SSU staff member honored for outstanding contributions to student success

The annual Wang Family Excellence Awards honor extraordinary dedication and contributions in teaching, scholarship, and service to CSU students
January 27, 2021
Gerald Jones

Rohnert Park, CA — Sonoma State University’s Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Gerald Jones, J.D., has been named a recipient of the prestigious Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Staff Performance. As part of his recognition, Jones will receive a $20,000 award.

Dr. Jones led strategies to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation of historically underrepresented students. He also oversees the Male Success Initiative program, which aids in closing the achievement gap for male students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

Over the past three years, Jones has been the principal investigator on more than 25 grants totaling $14 million to support at-risk and marginalized students. Throughout his more than 20 years of service to the university, Jones has made tremendous contributions to thousands of underserved students. From serving as director of the TRiO Upward Bound programs to his current dual role as senior director of the Center for Academic Access and Student Enrichment (CAASE), he has dedicated himself to aiding the most vulnerable populations. This includes helping students enroll in the four-year college or university of their choice along with earning their degrees within six years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jones worked with campus partners to ensure all CAASE students in need had the technological resources – including Chromebooks, noise-canceling headphones, and hotspots – to continue their studies online.

On Tuesday, January 26, the California State University honored Dr. Jones and four CSU faculty with the Wang Family Excellence Awards for their extraordinary commitment to student achievement and contributions in their respective fields. Each honoree will receive a $20,000 award provided through a gift from CSU Trustee Emeritus Stanley T. Wang and administered through the CSU Foundation. 

“Each day, CSU faculty and staff are helping students achieve their academic goals and dreams through Graduation Initiative 2025. These five honorees have gone above and beyond all expectations to share their knowledge and expertise to guide our talented students on their journey to academic success,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “Stanley Wang and his family’s generous financial gift allows us to provide financial support for these awardees’ ongoing work and to publicly recognize their dedication, life-changing contributions, and professional achievements.” 

Launched in 1998, the Wang Family Excellence Awards celebrate CSU faculty members who have distinguished themselves through excellence in their academic disciplines and who have an enormous impact through high-quality instruction. 

For more information on the Wang Family Excellence Awards recipients and their accomplishments, visit our website.

ABOUT US: Sonoma State is a public university committed to educational access and excellence, with a long-standing tradition of promoting intellectual and personal growth, leadership opportunities, and technological proficiency. We are driven by a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and guided by core values of sustainability, inclusivity, and integrity. Situated among the rolling hills of Sonoma County, SSU is a living example of Northern California’s diverse natural beauty. We provide high-quality education through innovative programs that leverage the area’s economic, cultural, and natural resources. Connect with and learn more about SSU in the SSU NewsCenter.

Media Contact

Julia Gonzalez