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CSUSB Management Professor Named Top Teacher of the Year

San Bernardino, Ca. – Kathie Pelletier, a professor of management who has taught at Cal State San Bernardino since 2008, has been named the recipient of the 2017-18 Golden Apple Award, the university’s highest award for teaching.

While teaching her Leading Effectively and Ethically course on May 7, she was interrupted by a delegation led by President Tomás D. Morales along with 30 senior administrators, selection committee members and faculty members barging into the winner’s classroom to make the announcement.

This faculty awards notification “ambush” is a long-time and much-loved CSUSB tradition.

“The Golden Apple Award recognizes outstanding teachers who are highly effective at their craft and who have a significant impact on our students,” said President Morales. “We are very proud … she has really been an exceptional leader on this campus.”

“Faculty can’t be effective without the partnership that we have right here, in these moments and in these classroom experiences,” said Pelletier, who held back tears during the surprise announcement. “I feel very fortunate that I’ve had students who come to class and energize me. They make my job meaningful, so this is something that we will share in this class. I appreciate all of my colleagues and especially our students, because you are the reason we do what we do.”

According to Lawrence C. Rose, dean of the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, Pelletier always has high ratings for service teaching, which is often acknowledged by her peers. “She also just shared a lot of that expertise with our new faculty just two days ago,” he said during the announcement. “So not only is she really doing a good job in the classroom, but she’s actually trying to show others how to do a great job too, and that’s going to make the college stronger as well.”

The nominating committee highlighted that Pelletier’s name was submitted by one of her students who has taken several of her courses, and who described her as someone who had helped the student discover her professional ambition. Pelletier’s teaching evaluation ratings are consistently high in the categories of “overall quality of instruction” and “professor’s specific contributions to your learning.” Student comments include such descriptors as “incredible teacher,” and they note that, while she leads a demanding class with high expectations, students both enjoy the class and find it to be a positive learning experience.

The nominating committee also highlighted comments from faculty colleagues who have observed Pelletier’s classes.  They describe her as a “gifted instructor” and emphasize her “effectiveness” in the classroom. Additional comments refer to her “ease and professionalism” along with her “exceptional job of teaching.” The committee also underscored her subject matter knowledge, high-quality course design and assessment practices, and her overall effectiveness in teaching.

“I have the opportunity to work with a wide range of faculty and students, and when people say ‘What’s your ideal faculty member?’ — my ideal faculty member is Dr. Pelletier because she’s committed to this institution, she’s committed to the students, and she shares that passion in the classroom, and that’s what makes her a great teacher,” said Mike Stull, professor and chair of the management department.

She also continues her service to students outside of the classroom by serving as chair or committee member on theses and doctoral committees, supervising independent studies and overseeing research assistants in pursuit of their research.

Pelletier was awarded a bachelor’s degree in physical education from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in psychology (industrial/organization) from CSUSB, and a Ph.D. in psychology (organizational behavior) from Claremont Graduate University.

Pelletier will be recognized at this year’s commencement ceremony at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario and will be honored at the annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon.

For an electronic image of Kathie Pelletier and more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit

About Cal State San Bernardino

California State University, San Bernardino is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in Inland Southern California. Opened in 1965 and set at the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, the university serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually. The university offers more than 70 traditional baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, education credential and certificate programs, and a doctorate program in educational leadership. Every one of its academic programs that is eligible has earned national accreditation. CSUSB reflects the dynamic diversity of the region and has the most diverse student population of any university in the Inland Empire. More than 80 percent of those who graduate are the first in their families to do so.

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