CSUSB professor Brian Janiskee, chair of the Department of political science, has been named the 2015-2016 Outstanding Professor of the Year. President Tomás Morales surprised Dr. Janiskee with the honor on March 17, 2016 during his class on American Foreign Policy. “This is a wonderful, wonderful tradition here at CSUSB,” Morales said. “We’re coming here to interrupt your class for a bit, and I brought a posse of faculty, staff and the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to share with you, and to share with Professor Janiskee, that he’s been awarded this year’s Outstanding Professor, which is CSUSB’s highest honor.
“While there was a group of distinguished faculty who are previous awardees, the reason why Brian is being recognized is because of you and other students that have responded to Brian’s amazing impact on our students and his fellow colleagues,” Morales said. The Outstanding Professor Selection Committee, in a letter to the president, wrote that there were many outstanding award nominees from across the university. “Professor Janiskee, however, stands out due to his sustained superior teaching, strong record of professional accomplishment, and his extensive record of service activities to the University, community, and his profession,” according to committee co-chairs psychology professor Kenneth Shultz Since joining CSUSB in 2008, Janiskee has taught 14 different courses ranging from introductory courses to graduate classes. He also helped to create and champion an interdisciplinary minor in philosophy, policy and economics.
In addition, Janiskee frequently mentors undergraduate and graduate students. In 2006, an honor’s thesis he supervised won the Dean’s Award for Best Senior Thesis in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He has overseen many graduate comprehensive exams, independent studies, as well as internship placements.
Janiskee has also been the long-time adviser for the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, which has won six national awards under his guidance.
He has published three books on politics, including his acclaimed book, “Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State,” which was recently released in its fourth edition. The text is regarded as the “go to” book for California politics. He has also published more than a dozen articles, encyclopedia entries and book chapters, as well as presented more than 20 times at professional conferences, the committee wrote.
Rafik Mohamed, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said since his arrival at CSUSB last summer that Janiskee has been a great source of help to him.
“I always go to you when I need counsel, and I really appreciate all that you’ve done,” Mohamed said. “Your chili’s not half bad either. This is the second award for the year. He won the first annual Behavioral Sciences Chili Cook-off with Spartan Chili.”
“This is a humbling experience because in my time here, I worked with so many great people,” Janiskee said. “To think that somehow I managed the opportunity to be recognized for this knowing all the great people that teach at this university. It’s humbling. I don’t know if that feeling makes sense, but that’s what I’m feeling. And so from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Janiskee said.
As the Outstanding Professor, Janiskee will receive a $3,000 faculty development grant, and be recognized at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences June Commencement and at the university’s annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon. Janiskee has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Western Michigan University and master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Michigan State University. Please see the original story here: