Rosemary and Matthew Spitzer Distinguished Science Faculty Award

“Faculty are a multiplier force; anything you do for them impacts many people.” – Rosemary Spitzer


The recipient of this year’s Rosemary and Matthew Spitzer Distinguished Science Faculty Award is Dr. Kathy Hann, a faculty member in the Mathematics Department. She was nominated by Dr. Julie Glass, chair of the Mathematics Department. “Dr. Hann is a quiet superstar in the department of mathematics. She is a deeply caring, creative, and effective teacher.  All of her courses are taught using an active learning approach. Students consistently comment on her helpfulness and clarity.”

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Hann’s work addresses the shortage of high school mathematics and science teachers. She has secured over $3.5 million in external funding to support the training of future teachers and carries out extensive service and advising activities.

As the recipient of this prestigious award, Dr. Hann said, “I was surprised and honored. I plan to use it to collaborate on scholarly work related to recruiting and supporting future STEM teachers who will work in high-needs schools.”

Dr. Hann is just one example of the outstanding College of Science faculty honored by the Rosemary and Matthew Spitzer Distinguished Science Faculty Award, created in 2015 by Rosemary Spitzer. A big proponent of physics, Matthew Spitzer was friends with several Cal State East Bay faculty members, all of whom would gather monthly for lunch and lengthy discussions about physics and other science topics. When Matthew passed away in 2013, Rosemary turned to her husband’s friends for guidance as to how she could make an impact on the university and the faculty members her husband was so fond of.

“Students receive recognition, but faculty less so,” explained Rosemary. “Dean Singley is doing a great job in the College of Science and I wanted to help him to be able to recognize outstanding faculty and provide them with additional resources.”

“I know budgets are tight in the CSU system,” she continued. “If this award helps a faculty member, it is well worth it.”