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Two local professors earn awards from California State University system

SAN MARCOS — Two local professors are among 25 California State University faculty to receive Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards, it was announced today.

A selection committee comprised of faculty, student representatives from the California State Student Association and staff members from the CSU Office of the Chancellor reviewed hundreds of nominations to identify the awardees, who include Sharon Hamill of Cal State San Marcos and Elizabeth Pollard of San Diego State University.

The $5,000 awards honor “those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to advance student success, particularly in courses or areas with traditionally low success rates or persistent equity gaps,” according to CSU.

Additionally, $10,000 is allocated to the academic department of award winners in support of ongoing innovation and leadership to advance student success in the CSU system.

Funding for the awards is provided by grant support from foundation partners.

“The CSU’s world-class faculty continue to advance bold, creative solutions to enrich student learning, despite the daunting and unprecedented challenges facing higher education,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “The awardees have demonstrated brilliance, ingenuity and adaptability, and their steadfast commitment to student success is at the very core of the CSU’s educational mission.”

Hamill, a psychology professor who holds a doctorate degree from UC Irvine, joined CSUSM in 1996 after serving on the faculty at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Her area of specialty is developmental psychology and her current research focuses on multigenerational family relationships and caregiving for grandparents with Alzheimer’s disease and the development of personal responsibility in adolescents and emerging adults.

Pollard, a history professor with a doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, has been teaching courses at SDSU in Roman History, World History and witchcraft studies since 2002.  She is currently exploring the influence of classical understandings of witchcraft on modern pop-culture representations of witches — from comics to film.