2011-12 Outstanding Professor: Thalia Anagnos

2011-12 Outstanding Professor: Thalia Anagnos (photo by Christina Olivas)

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

The Outstanding Professor Award recognizes a faculty member for overall excellence in an academic assignment.

Thalia Anagnos, professor of general engineering, challenges her students to actively participate in the learning process, stay engaged in the classroom, and explore how engineering fits into the larger context of globalization, sustainability and social impact. This big picture contextual thinking helped her earn the 2011-2012 Outstanding Professor Award.

Anagnos’ commitment to San Jose State and its students can be seen through her contributions in the classroom, to her department and college, and to her field of research. Since becoming an SJSU faculty member in 1984, she has demonstrated dedication to educational innovation and effectiveness, student success and retention, and scholarship and research efforts, focusing on earthquake risk and loss estimation. As director of assessment, Anagnos supported departments and programs in creating overall program planning based on student learning evaluation tools. In this capacity, she helped the faculty bring SJSU into full compliance with Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation.

Anagnos has been recognized for her long-standing commitment to providing students with access to higher education, having served 25 years on the organizing committee for Expanding Your Horizons, a conference aimed at encouraging young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Anagnos serves as principal investigator for a five-year, $600,000 National Science Foundation award, which provides scholarships and mentorships for students with potential to become leaders in the engineering profession.

In addition to making contributions that, according to a colleague, “make the university a more interesting, effective, and enjoyable educational institution,” Anagnos shares her enthusiasm for intellectual growth with students.

“I’m very committed to having a vibrant curriculum, having a vibrant advising program, and working with students to make sure that they succeed here at SJSU,” she said.

Her devotion to student success is clear in the classroom.

“She puts every effort into getting the material across to the students and gives many opportunities for students to gain understanding through questions and practice — and during office hours,” one student wrote.

Anagnos earned a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego and master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

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