Professor Behind 'CSU Ferguson' Honored by College

  • BY Cal State East Bay
  • July 9, 2018

The College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences has created a new annual award to recognize faculty who demonstrate excellence in both teaching and research, and who energize their teaching with the results of their research or creative activities.

The recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award for 2018-2019 will be professor Ann Fajilan of the Department of Theater and Dance. Fajilan has been recognized for recent theatrical projects – most notably the successful creation and performance of “CSU Ferguson,” a play that has won a variety of performance awards and has drawn favorable reviews from universities across the country. She devised this production to put a face on the faceless hoodie and to create a space for students to address the intersectionalities of related oppressions. 

The work features characters (written and performed by Cal State East Bay students) from varied backgrounds, telling personal tales of exclusion, trauma, abuse, redemption and resilience. After a debut at the Hayward campus, the student production was named a finalist in the Kennedy Center’s College Competition and was performed at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Among several student Distinguished Achievement Awards, “CSU Ferguson” received a Special Achievement Award in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Citizen Artists Award for insisting that theatrical production is central to the urgent communities, national and international conversations on campuses of higher education nationwide. 

According to the college, professor Fajilan played critical roles of artistic creation, director and teacher, modeling the integration of instruction and research in a manner simultaneously exciting and meaningful to both audiences and participants.

The college’s Faculty Excellence Award endowment has been funded by gifts from recent faculty and others who support faculty excellence. It offers a support fund to the recipient to support research and teaching activities during the year.

Fajilan plans to continue her research into moments of cultural trauma that can be expressed through cathartic moments of theater, including oral histories of the final survivors of the Bataan Death March 1942, some of whom reside in the Bay Area. She also plans to uses this stipend to further her research by dramatizing the legacies of elder Filipinix in the Bay Area and Central California.