The 2024 Wang Awardees portrait images side by side.
Press Release Faculty

CSU Awards Faculty and Staff for Commitment to Student Success


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

The 2024 Wang Awardees portrait images side by side.

The California State University (CSU) will present four faculty and one staff member with the esteemed Wang Family Excellence Award for their unwavering commitment to student achievement and advancing the CSU mission through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Each honoree will receive an award provided by CSU Trustee Emeritus Stanley T. Wang and administered through the CSU Foundation.

Honorees will be recognized publicly today​, January 30, during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, California.

“It is my great honor to confer the 2024 Wang Family Excellence Award to five extraordinary individuals who have made it their life's work to elevate the CSU learning experience and create limitless opportunities for our students," said CSU Chancellor Mildred García. “Their skill, innovation and unwavering commitment to fulfilling the CSU's mission wonderfully represent the highest ideals of the university."

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:

John Crockett, Ph.D., San Diego State (AVP for Research Advancement, Adjunct Professor of Geosciences) | Outstanding Staff Performance

Dr. John Crockett has been credited for invigorating the university's research enterprise by determining what objectively measurable, functional contributions he and his team can make that leverage SDSU scholars' intrinsic excellence. As a result, SDSU has been able to grow its research activity by more than 40% in just five years, now exceeding $192 million in external research activity in 2023.

With his team, Crockett has supported the training of more than 300 new faculty members on the San Diego State campus and many more graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. One of his group's signature programs is the Grants Research and Enterprise Writing fellowship, which coaches early-career faculty members on communicating effectively with grant officers, developing successful proposals and sharing their research with media and other stakeholders.​

For the past decade, Crockett has also worked to foster the expertise of early‐career faculty at SDSU. With an emphasis on equity, he and his team received NSF funding for and designed an intervention focused on preparing early‐career scholars to contribute equitably within science teams and be credited for their contributions.


Kelly Ansley Young, Ph.D., Cal State Long Beach (Professor of Biological Sciences) | Outstanding Faculty Innovator in Student Success

For the 20 years she has been at Cal State Long Beach, Dr. Kelly Ansley Young has utilized her exemplary teaching skills, knowledge, focused scholarship and student-centered inclusive approach to create pedagogical and mentoring programs for faculty that promote student achievement.

As part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program at Cal State Long Beach, Young created two programs to train mentors of research students, her most recent program focusing on mentoring through an equity and inclusivity lens. Since summer 2022, over 600 mentors have completed the Advanced Inclusive Mentoring (AIM) program and Young has trained AIM leaders at 11 CSU campuses, with nine of these universities adopting AIM. All told, AIM mentors are projected to reach an estimated 42,000 to 140,000 students during their careers.

Young's reproductive biology research laboratory is revered as a place where her students are not merely observers; they do their own research, present it at conferences and publish it in scholarly journals. Young successfully funded student research through three NIH grants. Overall, Young's practices and programs have multiplied exponentially the success of CSU students.


Daniel Crocker, Ph.D., Sonoma State (Professor and Chair of Biology) | Outstanding Faculty Scholarship

Dr. Daniel Crocker is a world-renowned researcher and expert on how human-created stressors such as noise and contaminants affect the survival and reproduction of thousands of species that live in the oceans.

He holds a nearly unparalleled record on campus for successful research funding, bringing in nearly $8 million in capacity building and transforming the university's biology program. His vertebrate endocrinology lab has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NIH to better understand the strategies that seals use to survive extended fasting and breath-holds. These studies not only inform scientists' knowledge of how these animals develop these capabilities but also hold important implications for human health issues such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

Additionally, Crocker is deeply committed to mentoring and training university students in research skills. He has been instrumental in developing the master's program in biology at Sonoma State, with his funding efforts supporting paid research for more than 40 graduate students in the university's lab. Crocker's research projects have also involved the recruitment of more than 100 undergraduates, many of whom are first-generation college graduates, including McNair, Sally Casanova, and Koret scholars from underserved communities.


Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Ph.D., San Francisco State (Professor of Asian American Studies) | Outstanding Faculty Teaching

Dr. Tintiangco-Cubales is known among her colleagues as a leader in creative and innovative curriculum and teaching methods. Her teaching strategies are widely regarded as models for engaging with students from elementary school to postgraduate studies and providing transformative experiences for students inside and outside of the classroom.​

Tintiangco-Cubales has developed and taught nine different undergraduate and graduate courses in Asian American studies and ethnic studies, teaches seminars in the educational doctoral program and supports the teaching of ethnic studies each semester to more than 150 students in the Step to College program. She has served as an advisor for the department's B.A. majors and minors, as well as the coordinator for the Asian American studies Master of Arts program. As an advisor, she has served as chair and/or committee member on more than 70 master's thesis committees and she has sat on and/or chaired 40 dissertations in the doctoral program in education both within and outside of San Francisco State​. She is frequently credited with helping to illuminate a pathway for working-class and first-generation students at SFSU.

Along with her students, Tintiangco-Cubales founded an award-winning and nationally recognized organization known as Pin@y Educational Partnerships, an ethnic studies educational community. Through the program, graduate and undergraduate students from SFSU and surrounding universities pursuing careers in education or community service receive a unique opportunity to teach critical Filipina/x/o American studies in K-12 schools and community colleges.


Charles Toombs, Ph.D., San Diego State (Professor of Africana Studies) | Outstanding Faculty Service

Dr. Charles Toombs is widely known and regarded for his scholarship, his service to the university and his deep commitment to creating just and equitable futures for Black communities. Over his nearly 30 years at San Diego State, he has chaired the department of Africana studies twice and served on and chaired committees relating to personnel, tenure and promotion, curriculum, scholarship and academic planning for both the department and college. His university-level engagement has included service on general education and student success committees and various task forces and initiatives dedicated to underrepresented faculty.

Toombs' career is equally distinguished by his many years of service to faculty in the California State University system and beyond. He currently serves as president of the California Faculty Association, the largest higher education faculty union in the United States, and as a vice president of SEIU California.

Toombs supports students' understanding of the world through a cultural and social justice lens, while engaging directly with underrepresented communities throughout California. He has earned praise for his ability to connect theoretical material to a practical understanding of the community and the issues that students and faculty face.

Exemplary teaching and a commitment to student success from faculty and staff as demonstrated by Wang Family Excellence awardees further supports the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025. This flagship initiative is focused on increasing graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating equity gaps and meeting California's workforce needs.

For more information on the awardees and their accomplishments, visit the Wang Family Excellence Award website.

​About the California State University

The California State University is the nation's largest four-year public university system, providing transformational opportunities for upward mobility to more than 450,000 students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. More than half of CSU students are people of color, and nearly one-third of them are first-generation college students. Because the CSU's 23 universities provide a high-quality education at an incredible value, they are rated among the best in the nation for promoting social mobility in national college rankings from U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Monthly. The CSU powers California and the nation, sending nearly 127,000 career-ready graduates into the workforce each year. In fact, one in every 20 Americans holding a college degree earned it at the CSU. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU newsroom.​