Professor Gary Allen Cretser Named 2003 Hart Award Recipient

Professor Gary Allen Cretser Named 2003 Hart Award Recipient
Gary Cretser, chair of the Behavioral Sciences department, is the recipient of the 2003 George P. Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership.

Gary Allen Cretser, sociology professor and chair of the Behavioral Sciences department, has been selected for the George P. Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership for 2003-04. Cretser will receive his award on Sept. 22 during the university?s Fall Conference Convocation.

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.

“Gary Cretser is an outstanding individual. My colleagues agree that he is compassionate, fair-minded, intellectually stimulating, a solid scholar and an able administrator,” says 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 is no better testament than that.”

The award committee noted that Cretser “is highly regarded by his colleagues and peers across the campus.”

“Gary is seen as a very positive role model for faculty and students alike. He is friendly, enthusiastic and caring,” the committee wrote. “His willingness to go ?above and beyond the call of duty? has gained him many friends across the wide range of communities he has served over the years. He not only has made a significant contribution to his department and the university, he also has been quite active within his professional community off campus.”

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.

“It?s really an honor that my modest contributions have been construed as worthy of this recognition,” says Cretser. “I certainly like to try to help people reach consensus and to encourage faculty to think about how we might revise or develop the department and programs. But I don?t really feel that I?ve gone out of my way to be involved.”