Press Release Faculty

CSU Standouts: Faculty and Staff to be Honored for Extraordinary Dedication to Student Success


Annual Wang Family Excellence Awards honor contributions in teaching, scholarship and service to CSU students.


The California State University (CSU) will honor four faculty and one staff member with the esteemed Wang Family Excellence Awards for their unwavering commitment to student achievement and advancing the CSU mission through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. As part of their recognition, each honoree will receive a $20,000 award that is provided through a gift from CSU Trustee Emeritus Stanley T. Wang and administered through the CSU Foundation.

Honorees will be recognized publicly Tuesday, January 25, during a virtual meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees.

“Made possible through the vision and generosity of Trustee Emeritus Stanley T. Wang, the Wang Family Excellence Awards wonderfully illuminate examples of the extraordinary teaching, scholarship, innovation and service that are hallmarks of the California State University," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “This year's awardees perfectly embody the CSU's core values of inclusive excellence and student success—and they bring great distinction and honor to their campuses and the CSU more broadly."

Introduced in 1998, the Wang Family Excellence Awards recognize CSU faculty members who have distinguished themselves through high-quality teaching and excellence in their area of expertise. The awards also acknowledge a staff member whose contributions go above and beyond expectations.

The five honorees are:

S. Steve Arounsack, Ph.D., California State University, Stanislaus, (Professor, Anthropology), Outstanding Faculty Scholarship

As an internationally recognized scholar on Lao culture and parts of Southeast Asia, Dr. Steve Arounsack's work reflects a deep passion to engage, educate and inform. He challenges his students to “learn by doing" and engages their curiosity with technology-enhanced active learning pedagogies. His commitment to the innovative use of classroom technology earned him the prestigious Sony Award for Innovative Teaching with Technology, and spurred his efforts to secure funding for the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab. In addition, he was selected to serve as the lead cultural advisor and principal visual anthropologist on Disney Animation Studios' “Raya and the Last Dragon." This film is noteworthy because it is the first feature-length Disney film to focus on Southeast Asian cultures. Arounsack remains focused on student success, mentoring numerous students who were accepted into strong visual anthropology graduate programs.

Don Edberg, Ph.D., California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, (Professor, Aerospace Engineering), Outstanding Faculty Teaching

Dr. Don Edberg's 20-year academic career at Cal Poly Pomona has earned him a reputation for excellence in teaching, with several awards over the last decade including the esteemed Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching.  His close working relationships with the aerospace industry provides opportunities for students to interact directly with practicing engineers and gain practical experience. Over the years, Edberg has taught and advised 500 students across 120 design teams in collegiate competitions for aircraft, spacecraft and launch vehicles, and advised 240 students across 45 senior project teams. Last year, he was a volunteer advisor for the student team who designed and built Pomona's first satellite to launch into space. Edberg also brings a world of experience into the classroom as the holder of 10 U.S. patents on launch vehicles and related engineering technologies.

Loucine M. Huckabay, MSN, Ph.D., California State University, Long Beach, (Director and Professor, School of Nursing), Outstanding Faculty Service

Throughout her 42-year tenure at Cal State Long Beach, Dr. Loucine Huckabay has been a strong supporter and advocate for students, especially those from historically underserved backgrounds. She is well known for mentoring students who struggle academically, or those whose home or work situations interfere with their academic success. Her efforts include soliciting grants to help recruit and support Black and Latinx nurses pursuing master's degrees in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, many of whom ultimately provide much-needed patient care in underserved areas. Huckabay's years of university service encompass a wide array of work, ranging from writing national and state accreditation studies for the School of Nursing to serving on CSULB's Academic Senate for two decades. Evidence of her passion for nursing education can be seen in her extraordinary fundraising efforts, raising a total of $42.5 million for the university's School of Nursing. Huckabay's outstanding service extends to business and industry, public and private health care organizations, and local, state and international institutions.

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, (Vice President for Student Affairs), Outstanding Staff Performance

The COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for Dr. Keith Humphrey to demonstrate once again the leadership and foresight that have become hallmarks of his nine years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In addition to addressing much of the university's response to pandemic-related disruptions, Humphrey led the university's quarantine and isolation program. Beyond the pandemic, Humphrey strives to create a welcoming and inclusive campus climate, and has established several programs including: the Cal Poly Dream Center, the Men and Masculinities Program, the Center for Military Connected Students, the recently opened Native American and Indigenous Cultural Center and the forthcoming Latinx Cultural Center. A strong commitment to the university's Graduation Initiative 2025 strategy has also been central to Humphrey's focus, particularly in his role in securing donor support for the Cal Poly Cares program, the Cal Poly Food Pantry and the Tanklage Family Initiative to End Homelessness.

Dave Moon, M.F.A.,  California State University, Northridge, (Professor of Art), Outstanding Innovator in Student Success

His 30 years of service as a faculty member at CSUN demonstrate that Professor Dave Moon is a passionate educator and innovator dedicated to student success. Moon founded the on-campus Center for Visual Communication (VISCOM) to enable students to apply their learning to projects for the campus and community. With faculty mentorship and guidance, students gain experience and skills in design, marketing and strategy for real-world clients. Since its launch, VISCOM has enhanced the educational experience of more than 1,200 students. More than 90% of VISCOM students have received paid internships or job offers upon graduation. Moon was also instrumental in creating the Matador Emerging Technology and Arts Lab, the Design Hub and IntersectLA, a student-run, faculty-mentored strategic communication agency. At this campus-based agency, students meet and interact with clients, presenting solutions and implementing strategic communication plans. In addition to his faculty service, he has served as interim dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, and was chair of the Art Department for five years.

Excellence in teaching and a dedication to student success from faculty and staff like the 2022 Wang Family Excellence awardees further supports the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025. This key initiative is focused on increasing graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating equity gaps and meeting California's workforce needs. Despite challenges presented by the global health crisis, more CSU students earned baccalaureate degrees in the 2020-21 academic year than ever before. Nearly 132,000 CSU students joined the ranks of the CSU's 4 million alumni.

The CSU Board of Trustees meeting will be held virtually on January 25th and 26th.

For more information on the Wang Family Excellence Award recipients and their accomplishments, visit our website

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About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 faculty and staff and 477,000 students. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.