California State University, Long Beach
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Outstanding Prof, Staff Member Named

Published: June 5, 2017

William C. Pedersen

William C. Pedersen
Department of Psychology
Outstanding Professor Award

According to his students, what sets psychology’s William Pedersen apart from other professors is his passion for teaching—both inside and outside the classroom—and it is that passion that helped earn him this year’s Outstanding Professor Award at CSULB.

Pedersen admits that he is most passionate about working with students outside the classroom. He also believes it is the one area in which he has had the most positive impact on his students. Since joining the university in 1999, he has mentored more than 160 graduate and undergraduate students in his research lab, 21 of whom have subsequently been admitted to doctoral programs. He also has served on 86 thesis committees, of which he has chaired 21.

His work with students has also been a part of his scholarly and creative activities. With a focus on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence, Pedersen’s research efforts have yielded 36 peer-reviewed articles in top journals plus two book chapters. He also has three manuscripts under review or in a revise-and-resubmit status and four papers in progress. Additionally, he has made more than 70 presentations at regional, national or international conferences, with nearly all of the presentations having multiple student co-authors.

Despite all of his teaching and scholarship work, participating in service activities is extremely important to him, both as a person and as an academic, and he has sought out opportunities to serve his department, the College of Liberal Arts, the university and the CSU system.

This includes serving as the assistant chair of the Psychology Department and an advisory committee member; assignments on hiring committees, with the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion process; the CSULB Academic Senate and reviewing for 17 academic journals; and work as a Faculty Data Fellow for Student Success for an initiative sponsored by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. It also includes engaging in other leadership roles such as chairing the CSULB Institutional Review Board and the Master of Arts in Research Committee.

Wendy Lopez

Wendy Lopez
Department of Human Development
Outstanding Staff Award

When asked for feedback on the Department of Human Development (HDEV), the many students in the major state that the number one asset in the department is its administrative support coordinator Wendy Lopez. That’s just one reason why she is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Staff Award.

An alumna of CSULB, Lopez has worked in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) since 1999 in numerous positions and for HDEV since 2007. Her combination of congeniality and efficiency, collaboration and cooperation, make her a strong asset for the department and the university.

HDEV has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with the number of full-time faculty more than doubling and the number of declared majors increasing from 200 to more than 800. Despite the numbers, however, “There isn’t a student in the department that Wendy has not met with, advised, and/or counseled at some point during his or her time at CSULB,” according to HDEV Assistant Professor Emily Schryer.

Through it all, Lopez has remained her kind, efficient, gracious, upbeat self. In addition to assisting students and performing her regular duties which include scheduling, budgeting, hiring and event planning, Lopez has also served as a mentor to new CLA staff members.

“Beyond her work ethic and productivity, Wendy’s upbeat attitude is a principal force in maintaining a positive atmosphere in the department. Faculty members unilaterally appreciate her office management and ongoing support. For students she is often the public face of the department,” said Department Chair Carl Fisher. “Wendy’s enthusiasm for her job, and for doing it well, is unparalleled in my experience. I have never known a staff member so deeply woven into the fabric of an academic department.”

In addition to her dedication to work at CSULB, Lopez also finds time to volunteer in her community. Most notable is her work with the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, for which she has volunteered for many years with a focus on fundraising for an after-school program.