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David W Willis Faculty Excellence Award


  • All full-time faculty with an appointment in Natural Resource Management and USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit adjunct faculty are eligible.
  • Awardees are ineligible for two years following receipt of this honor.


  • Up to three candidates will be nominated by the NRM Department Head and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences for consideration each year.

Nomination requirements (to be provided by the candidates): 

  • Cover letter listing what is included in the nomination packet.
  • Curriculum vita of the nominee that emphasizes their combined teaching/advising, research and service contributions over the last five years at SDSU.
  • Up to two letters of support from faculty, highlighting the quality and impact of the nominee's combined efforts.
  • Up to three supporting letters from current or former students or professional colleagues on the quality and impact of the nominee's faculty contributions.

Nomination Criteria:

To be eligible to receive the Dave Willis Award for Faculty Excellence, a faculty member must, at a minimum, demonstrate significant contributions to and impact from their total combined role in teaching, advising, research and service relative to their defined role: 

  1. Teaching: Substantially exceeding expectations in efforts devoted to insuring the quality of the student's learning experience and outcomes;
  2. Advising: Substantially exceeding expectations in advising and mentoring undergraduate students through their undergraduate curriculum, internship and undergraduate research;
  3. Research: Substantially exceeding expectations in grantsmanship, publishing, and graduate student advising;and
  4. Service: Substantially exceeding expectations in contributions to their profession, University and community-at-large by serving in appointed and elected leadership roles.

Selection Committee Composition:

  • Awardees will serve on the committee for two years following their selection.
  • The NRM Department Head serves as an ex officio member.
  • An Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences will serve as the fourth member.


  • Nominees are informed by the NRM Department Head of their candidacy by May 1 (preceding year)
  • Nomination packets are due annually on November 15.
  • The committee shall come to a decision by February 15 of each Spring semester.
  • The award will be made during the Annual Buffalo Banquet awards ceremony later during the Spring semester.