Five California State University, Fresno faculty members this week were selected for the provost’s “Awards for Excellence in Teaching” — the university’s highest academic honors for faculty.
Dr. Albert McLeod, professor of sociology; Dr. Elizabeth H. Wilkerson, professor of nursing; Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, professor of social work education; Dr. Diane Yerkes, professor of educational research,
administration, and foundations; and Dr. Dickran Kouymjian, professor of Armenian studies, will be honored for their contributions to Fresno State this year.
The awards will be presented by Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president for academic affairs, on Thursday, May 13. Each professor will receive a cash award as part of the citation.
McLeod, who has been with the university since 1968, received the overall Excellence in Teaching Award and $2,000. He earned his bachelor of
arts degree from Evangel College, master of arts degree from the University of
Omaha, and his doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Nebraska.
Noted for teaching his popular course, “Interpersonal Relationships,” McLeod says he thinks of his classroom as a “learning field.” Colleagues said his unconventional methods of teaching and grading students have earned him respect and admiration.
“Professor McLeod’s classes were the best of the best,” said former student Pamela Alexander. She said McLeod encourages his students to continually experiment and challenge themselves.
Other former students who supported him in his nomination said that McLeod didn’t just lecture about learning, but awakens their ability to think more critically and thoroughly.
Kapoor, a faculty member since 1967, will receive $1,000 for the Excellence in Teaching Award for Faculty Service. An internationally recognized peace advocate, Kapoor is also responsible for initiating the Peace Garden on campus. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from DAV College (India), master of arts degree from Delhi School of Social Work, his master of social work and his doctor of philosophy degrees from Florida State University.
Yerkes, who arrived at Fresno State in 1990, will receive $1,000 for the Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. Well known for using the portfolio assessment approach, Yerkes is also noted for her devotion to her students. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kentucky, master of arts degree from San Diego State University, and her doctor of education degree from the United States International University.
Wilkerson will receive $1,000 for the Excellence in Teaching Award for Educational Technology. She has been a member of the faculty since 1986. An innovator in the use of computers and technology to enhance teaching and learning, Wilkerson is also known for her expertise in critical care and pathophysiology. She earned her bachelor of science, nursing degree from Fresno State and her doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Kouymjian is the recipient of $1,000 for the Excellence in Teaching Award for Distinguished Achievement in Research — the first time this category has been awarded. An international expert in Armenian studies, Kouymjian also holds the Haig and Isabel Berberian Chair in Armenian
Studies. He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin, his masters of arts degree from the American University of Beirut, and his doctor of philosophy degree from Columbia University.
The provost’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching recipients are selected by a committee composed of representatives from the university community.