Kambiz Hamadani, a Cal State San Marcos assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is among 26 faculty members being recognized by the California State University system with Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards for their commitment to student success.
The awards recognize faculty leaders who have implemented innovative practices that significantly improve student success.
“World-class CSU faculty are leading the charge as our university continues its remarkable progress in improving student learning and degree completion,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “These exceptional recipients demonstrate leadership in their respective fields and incorporate cutting-edge techniques into curriculum. Their commitment to student success ensures that the value of a CSU degree continues to increase.”
A selection committee composed of faculty, student representatives from the California State Student Association and staff members from the CSU Chancellor’s Office reviewed 366 nominations to identify the inaugural awardees.
As part of the recognition, awardees will receive a $5,000 cash award and $10,000 will be allocated to their academic department to support ongoing innovation and leadership to advance student success. Funding for the awards is provided by generous grant support from the College Futures Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation, which see faculty innovation and leadership as vital to improving outcomes for California’s diverse students.
“Dr. Hamadani is creating an academic experience that helps our students discover where their interests intersect with the cutting edge in their field,” said Katherine Kantardjieff, dean of CSUSM’s College of Science and Mathematics. “By actively working to instill creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and innovation in our students, Dr. Hamadani is helping to prepare our students to be productive members of an agile, resilient and inclusive STEM workforce.”
Faculty innovation is crucial to reaching the ambitious student success goals outlined in the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025. This system-wide effort advances specific goals to eliminate equity gaps and significantly improve degree completion.
Award recipients will be formally honored in mid-October at the third annual Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium hosted this year in San Diego.
About California State University San Marcos
Building on an innovative 28-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange Counties.
The University enrolls 17,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.