Professor Gary Allen Cretser Honored With 2003-04 Hart Award

Professor Gary Allen Cretser Honored With 2003-04 Hart Award
President J. Michael Ortiz congratulates Hart Award winner Gary Cretser during the 2003 Fall Convocation.

Gary Allen Cretser, sociology professor and chair of the Behavioral Sciences department, received the 2003-04 George P. Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership during the university?s Fall Convocation on Sept. 22. Tomás Morales, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, presented the award and $1,000 honorarium to Cretser.

The Hart Award, now in its eighth year, recognizes faculty members who are regarded as role models and leaders, both on campus and in the community. The award was established in 1996 following the death of George P. Hart, a well-respected 30-year member of the Political Science department and an associate dean in the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences. Hart had also served on the Academic Senate for 15 years.

“Receiving the George P. Hart Award is indeed an honor for me,” said Cretser, after accepting his award. “George and I started at Cal Poly Pomona at almost the exact same time and I worked with him on a number of projects over the years. I always had the utmost respect for George and he consistently helped me to do my job and keep my sanity at the same time.”

Cretser has been a faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona since 1966, serving in many different capacities at the university and within The California State University system. He currently serves as department chair of Behavioral Sciences, a position he first assumed in 1975-84 and again in 1992. Other positions held throughout his career include resident director of the CSU International Programs in Sweden and Denmark at Uppsala University, Sweden, 1990-91; acting director of International Programs and the International Center at Cal Poly Pomona, 1989-90; associate director of International Education at Cal Poly Pomona, 1988-89; campus coordinator for International Programs at Cal Poly Pomona, 1985-86 and 1988-89.

Cretser has also held positions on a variety of university committees and organizations, including senator on the Academic Senate and chair of the Faculty Policies Committee of the Senate. He is a professional member of the American Association of University Professors, American Sociological Association, California Sociological Association and Phi Beta Delta, an international honor society in which he has served as national president (1989-90) and now vice president for the western region.

Cretser?s leadership roles and volunteer work stretch beyond the CSU. He has participated as a consultant on eight projects affecting the broader community, including work with residential care facilities, fire departments, the California Office of Traffic Safety and the California Institution for Men in Chino. Shortly after arriving at Cal Poly Pomona, before he had children of his own, Cretser spent eight years volunteering as a coach, team manager and board member for the Pomona Northwest Little League.

Cretser, a Claremont resident, holds bachelor?s and master?s degrees in sociology and a doctorate of philosophy in sociology from the University of Southern California. He has published numerous professional articles in such publications as “African American Encyclopedia,” “Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies,” “Racial and Ethnic Relations in America” and “The Journal of Marriage and Family Review.”

Many honors and awards have been bestowed on Cretser including honorary membership into the Golden Key National Honorary Society, the Behavioral Science Department Leadership Award and three Exceptional Merit Awards from Cal Poly Pomona.

“Gary Cretser is an outstanding individual. My colleagues agree that he is compassionate, fair-minded, intellectually stimulating, a solid scholar and an able administrator,” said Wayne Wooden, sociology professor and coordinator of the Criminal Justice & Corrections program. “He?s the kind of professor that years after one has graduated from this university, a student will remember with fondness ? there isno better testament than that.”