Education Professor Doreen Nelson Receives 2006 Wang Family Excellence Award

Education Professor Doreen Nelson Receives 2006 Wang Family Excellence Award
The CSU named Education professor Doreen Nelson a 2006 recipient of the Wang Family Excellence Award.

Education professor Doreen Nelson has been named one of five 2006 recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Excellence Award. She will receive a $20,000 award at the May 2006 CSU Trustees' meeting.

The university will host a recognition reception for Nelson on May 18, 4-5:30 p.m. at Kellogg House Pomona. The campus community is invited to celebrate her accomplishment.

Recognized by the New York Times as one of the 30 most innovative educators in the United States, Nelson pioneered the field of design thinking in education. She developed the nation's first Master of Arts degree program in education with an emphasis on Design and Creativity: Applying Technology where students of any age learn to design and construct a city of the future in their classrooms. The methodology demonstrates how design and creativity enhance and extend the teaching of math, sciences, language arts and social studies. It has been practiced world-wide in public schools, museums and universities.

Nelson, who began at Cal Poly Pomona 20 years ago, teaches in the College of Education & Integrative Studies and in the College of Environmental Design. She received her master's in Educational Administration with Distinction from Cal State Northridge and her bachelor's in Arts and Humanities from UCLA.

She is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, as well as an author, producer and director of educational films and a major contributor to computer design firms.

The Wang award was established in fall 1998 when then-Trustee Stanley T. Wang provided $1 million to reward outstanding faculty and administrators. The award is designed to “celebrate those CSU faculty and administrators who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines and areas of assignment.” Annually, during a 10 year-period, four faculty and one administrator throughout the CSU system will receive $20,000 awards. This is the eighth year the awards have been given.

“Great professors and leaders such as these sow the seeds for the next generation of leaders. All of these individuals have a strong passion for helping students learn and providing them with the best education possible,” says Wang. “My own professors taught me to be who I am today. The faculty recognition award is a way to demonstrate the great respect and deep appreciation I feel for them as a former trustee and student. I am a strong believer that faculty are the key to a high-quality education, which is the door to success and happiness in life.”

The Wang Family Excellence Award is administered through the CSU Foundation. Each campus president annually may nominate one faculty member from each of the four discipline categories. Each president also may nominate one administrator annually.

The other 2006 Wang Award Recipients are:

  • Eugene D. Novotney, Humboldt State University, Visual and Performing Arts and Letters  
  • Alan L. Smith, Cal State San Bernardino, Natural Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering  
  • Paul K. Longmore, San Francisco State University, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service  
  • Kenneth H. Coale, San Jos State, University Administrator   

“Countless California State University faculty members have dedicated their lives to teaching students, expanding knowledge and serving both their community and their field of study. The CSU staff is equally dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. To choose just one in each category was a challenging task for the selection committee, but these individuals are all extraordinarily impressive,” says CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “We are all grateful to Trustee Wang for providing a means to recognize these five individuals for all they do for CSU students.”

Previous Cal Poly Pomona Wang Award recipients are:

  • Vernon Stauble, professor, International Business & Marketing (1999)
  • Steven Wickler, professor, Animal & Veterinary Sciences (2000)
  • Aubrey Fine, professor, Education & Integrative Studies (2001)
  • Wayne Bidlack, dean, College of Agriculture (2002)