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Monday, March 20, 2023

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From left: Amanda Etter, Marc Pastor (representing James Frazee), Stephanie Brodine, Brittnie Bloom, Jessica Barlow, Kathy McCarty-Baker and President Elliot Hirshman From left: Amanda Etter, Marc Pastor (representing James Frazee), Stephanie Brodine, Brittnie Bloom, Jessica Barlow, Kathy McCarty-Baker and President Elliot Hirshman

Outstanding Faculty and Staff Honored

Six members of the SDSU community received President’s Leadership Fund awards.
By Katie White

The President’s Leadership Fund (PLF) is honoring the achievements of six San Diego State University faculty and staff members. The PLF provides seed money for groundbreaking programs and supports the entrepreneurial ideas that define SDSU’s quality educational experience.

During his remarks at the awards ceremony on June 29, SDSU President Elliot Hirshman explained that the PLF was established to encourage and support innovation.

“Today, we recognize faculty and staff members whose innovative work benefits our entire campus and our broader society,” he said.

Award Recipients

Jessica Barlow is director of the Sage Project and a professor in the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Barlow coordinates the Sage Project’s partnerships with local communities and works with faculty members from more than two dozen departments across campus to ensure the success of the program’s initiatives. In the past three years, more than 2,400 students have taken on real-life challenges through the transformational learning opportunities offered by the Sage Project. Under Barlow’s supervision, the Sage Project has partnered with National City, Santee, San Diego and Tijuana. A partnership with Lemon Grove is in the works for the 2016-17 academic year.

Brittnie Bloom is the program manager for the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD). Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this initiative prepares historically underrepresented students for Ph.D. programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Bloom goes above and beyond her day-to-day tasks at IMSD and volunteers with several community groups that encourage diversity in higher education. She also mentors more than two dozen IMSD students and teaches a course in the College of Sciences about careers in STEM and health fields.

Stephanie Brodine, M.D., is a professor and head of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She has worked closely with NIH to assist with the launch of the Ebola vaccine trial in Liberia. She is also on the frontlines of HIV/AIDS research and clinical trials in Uganda. Dr. Brodine oversees a public health program that enables students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations in poor, rural areas of Mexico.

Amanda Etter is an academic advisor for Wounded Warrior Battalion West, based in the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center. She has helped 65 recovering service members (RSMs) enroll in college courses and assisted RSM families with applications resulting in more than $60,000 in scholarships. Etter also oversees more than 20 advising sessions for injured veterans each month. The sessions help veterans set educational goals and aim to facilitate the transition from the military to academia.

James Frazee is director of Instructional Technology Services (ITS), leading the department to create and implement innovative technologies that help professors and students achieve their goals. Frazee also oversees a research team evaluating how learning tools like Blackboard can be used to alert professors to students who need supplemental instruction. The Center for Digital Education has named Frazee one of the Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers Across America.

Kathy McCarthy-Baker is an instructor in the Adaptive Fitness Clinic. Her work to increase the clinic’s outreach in the community has resulted in at-capacity enrollment. McCarthy-Baker also initiated an SDSU Strive crowdfunding campaign for the clinic.  She has fostered relationships with coaches across the country and is currently working to establish the Aztec Adaptive Sports Program to provide equal access to sports programs to athletes with physical disabilities.

About the President’s Leadership Fund

The President’s Leadership Fund was established to provide SDSU with the flexible resources to respond quickly to strategic opportunities, pursue innovation and reward excellence. Over the past 13 years, PLF donors have funded nearly 300 initiatives that support student success and enhance research and creative endeavors at SDSU.