A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
February 9, 2006 Volume 36 / Number 5


The Outstanding Awards 20052006

The Faculty Recognition and Support Committee has named the Outstanding Award recipients for 20052006. In this issue, Thomas Fahey, Outstanding Professor, and Bob Thomas, Outstanding Teacher, are presented. Kathleen Kaiser, Outstanding Service Award, and Larry Hanne, Outstanding Advisor, will be presented in the March 9 issue.

Thomas Fahey Is Named Outstanding Professor

The Faculty Recognition and Support Committee has named exercise physiologist Thomas Fahey Outstanding Professor for 2005–2006. Outstanding Professor is the premier award at the University, as it is given for both scholarship and outstanding teaching.

Fahey, a member of the Department of Kinesiology since 1984, has published extensively, is known internationally for his work in exercise physiology, receives top evaluations from his students, and participates in the World Games as a discus thrower.

Fahey received his EdD in 1972 from the University of California, Berkeley. His area of emphasis was exercise physiology with a minor in motor development and biomechanics. He grew up in San Francisco and received his BA and MA from San Francisco State University.

His textbook, co-authored with George Brooks, Exercise Physiology: Bioenergetics and Its Applications (1984), is used in exercise physiology graduate education throughout the United States and worldwide. The fourth edition of the book was published in 2005.

Fahey’s publications include 19 books, 38 refereed journal articles, and more than 200 professional articles in journals and in popular magazines.

Known internationally, Fahey was a guest lecturer at the University of Puerto Rico in 2004. He has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and symposia on sports medicine, including the Estene Foundation Symposium in Spain and the International Symposium on Sports Medicine in Poland. Fahey established an international exchange between CSU, Chico and the Institute of Sport in Warsaw, Poland, in 1994.

Scott Roberts, a former student and current colleague of Fahey’s, credits Fahey with helping determine the course of his career through inspiration, guidance, and example. “Dr. Fahey always takes time for his students, staying after class and talking with them for as long as they have questions,” said Roberts. “He has a remarkable command of exercise science and sports medicine literature. I don‘t know of any other professor that is as effective at incorporating personal experience and practical and theoretical knowledge into the classroom setting.”

Fahey has continued to participate as a discus thrower in the World Games, a competition divided into age groups that determines regional, national, and world champions every four years. Between 1998 and 2004, Fahey won the national discus championship for his age group. In 2003, Fahey won the gold medal in the discus for the world championship. “Throughout his career, Dr. Fahey has trained with other elite athletes and has always been willing to share these experiences with current students,” said William Colvin, professor emeritus and a colleague of Fahey’s.

Added Roberts: “Tom Fahey has inspired hundreds of students and athletes to be the best at what they want to do in life, to always ask questions, to continue to want to learn, and to always make sure they have fun in life.”

Robert Thomas Is the Outstanding Teacher

A 40-year veteran of teaching at CSU, Chico, Robert E. Thomas, Department of Biological Sciences, has been chosen as the Outstanding Teacher of 2005–2006 by the Faculty Recognition and Support Committee.

Thomas, who came to CSU, Chico in 1966 after receiving a PhD from Kent State University, received two Outstanding Professor Awards, one in 1983 and another in 1984, and Professional Achievement Honors in 1981, 1986, and 1994.

Thomas entered the Faculty Early Retirement Program in 2001. Before that, he taught vertebrate physiology, cell physiology, general biology for nonmajors, as well as graduate courses. He served as a premed advisor and faculty advisor for the Pre-Med Association for 13 of the last 18 years.

“Alumni that I talk to often ask after Dr. Thomas,” said Patricia Edelmann, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. “They tell me what an influence he has been on their personal and academic lives, and that he is one of the professors they really remember.”

Postbaccalaureate biology major Anna Panighetti said, ”Other students with whom I spoke agreed that Dr. Thomas’ gift for teaching stems from the fact that he truly enjoys what he does. Even after more than 35 years of teaching, he approaches teaching with commitment, enthusiasm, and an ever-present smile for his students. He is well known among biology students as the teacher of the most difficult course in the department, vertebrate physiology.”

Thomas has been the principle or co-principle investigator in two dozen funded research projects and published more than four dozen research papers. Most recently, in 2005, he co-authored a paper that looked at DNA breaks in the mussel and clam following chronic field exposure to hydrocarbons from oil after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 2004, he co-authored papers on the impact on salmon eggs from the oil spill.

“Even as Bob closes his teaching career with the end of his FERP period during the 2006 spring semester, his rigorous teaching has not diminished,” said Paul Zingg, president of CSU, Chico. “He has maintained his standards and expectations of high achievement while continually updating his courses and continuing his excellent record of academic advising for preprofessional students. In the last six years, 42 CSU, Chico graduates have entered MD, PhD, DDS, DO, or DVM programs, many as a result of Professor Thomas’ guidance.”