Excellence awards

College of Liberal & Creative Arts Excellence Awards recipients announced

Top row, from left: Hamid Khani, Tara Lockhart, Ayana Aïrakan-Mance. Bottom row, from left:  John Holland, Richard Ortiz and Jennifer Waller.


The College of Liberal & Creative Arts presented its fifth annual Excellence Awards to faculty and staff on August 17. The six winners were announced at the College’s opening meeting for the 2022 – 2023 year, held in McKenna Theatre.

Award Recipients for 2022-23

Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty Awards

Hamid Khani, Department of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA)

For decades, Professor Khani has taught, researched and served in the areas of inclusivity and community engagement, social justice and creativity. Professor Khani’s exemplary teaching and community engagement work demonstrates his care and commitment to the SF State community and is continually innovative and responsive to student need. In addition, Hamid was the SF State faculty person directly involved with the construction and completion of Marcus Hall and continues to work tirelessly with this arduous project today. He is one of the most sought-after mentors in BECA and his contributions have been, and continue to be, invaluable.


Tara Lockhart, Department of English Language and Literature

Professor Lockhart serves as the Writing Program Director in the English department and, in that role, she serves the entire campus community in her direction of our lower division GE writing requirements. She is a strong advocate for the importance of writing instruction in higher ed and has directed a program that includes excellent faculty development initiatives, strong and collaborative curriculum planning, student-centered scheduling and placement processes, and active and strong collaboration with our campus-wide undergraduate advisors. She has additionally taken on significant leadership in the English department's Racial Justice Working Group to address equity gaps and racial injustice, as well as, serving as editor of a nationally recognized journal within her field. Her collaborations with DUEAP, CEETL, METRO and other efforts across campus continue to inspire our students and a very large writing instructor pool to engage in high quality learning in a vital discipline.


Lecturer Faculty Awards

Ayana Aïrakan-Mance, School of Design

Ayana Airakan-Mance is a phenomenal lecturer faculty in the School of Design. Her expert instruction in cornerstone design software touches both our majors and students throughout the University. She developed, and is the lead instructor for our, "Introduction to 2-D Design" course, DES 222. But Ayana goes above and beyond her duties as lecturer faculty. She has contributed extensively to the curricular updates of for both DES 222 and DES 322 courses. This involved organizing regular faculty meetings, sharing files and demo videos, and creating a sense of community with faculty teaching these courses. These two courses are core prerequisites and form the foundation for the Visual Communication Design program. She actively engages with regular faculty meetings sharing her knowledge about her classes, her students and the program. She has mentored three students through Independent Studies and is a fierce advocate for BIPOC students in the School of Design. Ayana designed the layout for a recent issue of the magazine "Design for All." This issue also contained her article titled "Please, Just Shut Up and Listen" about social justice and the black experience in America and in design.


John Holland, Department of English Language and Literature

Lecturer faculty John Holland is a leader and innovator, spearheading new initiatives regarding peer learning and program assessment. He has made a significant contribution to the campus, leading other teachers in our department, leading in campus-wide teaching initiatives, and presenting at forums across campus and in the profession. John has led our program and the campus in adopting peer learning technologies and pedagogies in both online and face-to-face courses. He has been a QoLT ambassador and CEETL leader, assisting dozens of faculty members in the adoption of cutting-edge online and peer learning technology. Well before the pandemic, John was showing us how we can use technology not merely to cut costs or save classroom space; in John's hands, technology increases student engagement and enhances student learning. He is truly a model for other teachers in our department and across campus. John designed and currently organizes the Writing Program’s assessment processes. As the lead faculty for assessment, John has designed a shared assignment, set up an archiving system for over 900 pieces of student writing, helped to create a rubric and data analysis system, and led faculty in analyzing student work. He has imbued this work with anti-racism, drawing on social justice scholarship on diverse language learners to create a process that honors students’ home language while also capturing their learning in our courses. John’s vision and innovation has led to two publications and provided invaluable information for improvement in our program.


Staff Excellence Awards

Richard Ortiz, School of Design — Instructional Support Technician 

Richard Ortiz excels at innovative, adaptable educational support and is noteworthy for his consistent contributions not only to facilities but also to the student experience. He is a furniture designer, a strategist, a facilities innovator, and a leader in integrating the physical environment with pedagogy. His creativity has transformed the School of Design's facilities into spaces that students and faculty are proud to work in. Over the last few years, he has been able to quickly adapt and pivot to new challenges and instructional needs. Richard has generously collaborated with other departments in LCA to support their hires and work with them on building their technical expertise. LCA and the School of Design benefit from his professionalism, work ethic, creative problem-solving, abundant generosity, and support.


Jennifer Waller, School of Department of Philosophy — Academic Office Coordinator

Jennifer Waller is the heart and soul of the Department of Philosophy and by all accounts the department could not ask for a better AOC. She is conscientious in her commitment to taking care of the department's chair, faculty and students. Her work ethic and resilience are outstanding, as evidenced by her tireless engagement with the affairs of the department. She excels at community engagement and plans wonderful social events online and in-person so that the faculty and students can interact and bond, efforts that have helped maintain community and connection.