Nominations request superb faculty

by David Hernandez

San Diego State communication professor Brian Spitzberg served as chair of the Faculty Honors and Awards Committee for three years.

With the committee, he would select faculty to receive the San Diego State Alumni Association Awards for Outstanding Faculty Contributions to the university, more commonly known as the Faculty Montys. Now he’s the recipient of the award he used to give other faculty.

Spitzberg has become a recipient of the award for the 2012-13 academic year.

“It’s magnificent as an experience,” Spitzberg said. “It is a judgment of peers to honor you relative to your peers. It really is a way of saying that what you’ve been doing has value.”

Spitzberg’s recognition was the result of having an exceptional record of teaching and various publications. He has numerous mechanisms to measure learning, such as IMPACT, a computerized system currently used at several other colleges and universities. Scholastically, he is most known for his research on stalking and interpersonal communication skills.

Every spring, one faculty member from each college, including the Library and Information Access and the Imperial Valley Campus, is prized with the award. As the deadline to submit nominations for the 2013-14 academic year approaches, all members of the SDSU community are invited to nominate faculty.

Faculty members are recognized for their contributions made through teaching scholarship, professional activity or other services and may be made on a university, community, state, national or international level, according to SDSU NewsCenter.

The recipients attend a breakfast and are invited on stage during the SDSU Convocation to receive their awards.

The Alumni Association also funds a reward of $500, which is provided by non-state funds and alumni operation.

Spitzberg, having been part of the Faculty Honors and Awards Committee prior to receiving his award, understands the importance of nominating faculty.

“Just as we honor valedictorians or salutatorians for exceptional achievement, it’s important to remember those who help students fulfill their accomplishments,” Spitzberg said.

As a faculty member, Spitzberg believes honors such as the Faculty Montys are also important because it’s a profession that includes hard work and either delayed or little gratification.

“I enjoyed being able to take my wife to the breakfast and let her experience it,” Spitzberg said. “She gets to see me toil and work long hours, so it’s nice for those you care about—but aren’t part of this fish bowl—to be able to see that the fish bowl cares.”

Nominations for the 2013-14 academic year can be made by filling out the form available on the Faculty Affairs website under “awards.” The completed form must be submitted to the appropriate Dean’s office by Feb. 18.