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Monday, November 28, 2022

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Hardy Tower (Photo: Jim Brady) Hardy Tower (Photo: Jim Brady)

2018 Outstanding Faculty Awards

Six exceptional faculty members will be recognized at the kickoff to the 2018-19 academic year.
By Jeff Ristine

Six exceptional San Diego State University faculty members will receive this year’s SDSU Alumni Distinguished Faculty Awards for outstanding contributions to the university and their respective fields. The honors will be presented by San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre at the All-University Convocation on Thursday, Aug. 23, in Montezuma Hall at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

The awardees are:

Piotr Jankowski is a professor and chair of the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Letters. He is internationally recognized for his scholarship in the field of geographic information science (GIScience), with research that spans the subfields of geography, computer science and planning. He has been instrumental in training a new generation of doctoral and master’s students, who have gone on to prominent positions in higher education and the public and private sectors. He has received a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award for 2019. 

Murray Jennex is a professor of management information systems in the Fowler College of Business. He and a former student, Jessica Whitney, were recognized this year as “mission heroes” by Soroptimists Together Against Trafficking (STAT!) for work that determined how human traffickers were using a series of emojis as code in online classified ads. Drawing upon his expertise in cybersecurity, he has developed and taught several classes to prepare students for careers in the industry while creating an important link between the college and the professional business community, locally and nationally.

Nancy Frey is a professor of educational leadership in the College of Education. She is a prolific researcher and scholar and is co-author of a book for teachers, “Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom,” now in its second edition. She applied her work locally as a co-founder of Health Sciences High and Middle College, a high-performing charter school located in San Diego’s City Heights community, where she continues to serve as a teacher leader. She has mentored many doctoral students in educational leadership and has secured more than $1 million in grants to support the study of educational issues.

Hala Madanat is a professor and director of the School of Public Health in the College of Health and Human Services. She has strengthened critical relationships with the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services and other local partners. While participating in the school’s national reaccreditation process, she improved its data systems and updated its mission statement, resulting in high ratings and reaccreditation for a maximum term. She has initiated new international experiences for students and worked with a leading Tijuana-based university, UABC, to develop “Obesity on the Border,” a new course to be taught jointly by SDSU and UABC faculty for students at both universities. 

Thomas Rockwell is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Sciences, where he has been teaching since 1983. Rockwell is a widely quoted expert on earthquakes and tectonic activity in Southern California and has developed an internationally recognized research program. He is a member of the board of directors of the Southern California Earthquake Center and serves as an expert for local and global consulting companies on earthquake issues related to specific construction or modernization sites. He has drawn more than $4 million in research funding to SDSU.

Bey-Ling Sha is a professor and director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. She is co-author of the 11th edition of “Cutlip & Center’s Effective Public Relations,” an internationally recognized reference book. She developed a strategic plan and a comprehensive diversity plan for the school, as well as a bilingual media offering in the curriculum. Her awards include a national 2012 Outstanding Educator Award from the Public Relations Society of America and the 2016 Provost’s Innovation for Excellence Award at SDSU.