2021 Lam-Larsen Distinguished Service Professorship Awards

Three Lam Family College of Business faculty members receive inaugural Lam-Larsen Distinguished Service Professorship Awards in recognition of their outstanding and diverse service contributions to our campus community and the general community at large.

Each awardee receives a $10,000 annual stipend for two years and is expected to share their service experiences and methods to balance teaching, research, and outstanding service with the college community.   This award is supported by the Lam-Larsen Fund for Global Innovation.  Read about the three inaugural award recipients for 2021 and join us in congratulating them:
Colin Johnson

Colin Johnson, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Hospitality and Tourism Management

Professor Colin Johnson has had a long and distinguished career in hospitality, both in industry and academia. He came to San Francisco State University in 2008 after serving on the faculties of San Jose State University and the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, a hospitality management school in Switzerland. Prior to academia, Professor Johnson worked in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom for more than 10 years.

At San Francisco State, Professor Johnson is currently serving his second three-year term as chair of the Hospitality and Tourism Management department. He served his first term in this role from 2013-2016, during which he supervised the highly popular "Taste of the Bay" annual event. Professor Johnson has also served as co-director of the college’s Center for Ethics and Sustainable Business, served on the college's Professional Development and Research Committee (PDRC) for 10 years and chaired the PDRC for five years. He has served on the college's Dean's Search Committee and the University's Retention, Tenure, and Promotions (RTP) Committee.

Externally, Professor Johnson has represented San Francisco State in meetings of the Hotel Council of San Francisco, Visit Oakland, and San Francisco Travel Association. He has also been an invited keynote speaker for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Irish Hotel Federation, and the Kenyan Hotelkeepers and Caterers Association, among others.

Through his many service activities on and off campus, Professor Johnson has demonstrated how to utilize one’s skills and knowledge to strengthen communities.

Chenwei Li

Theresa Roeder, Ph.D.

Professor, Decision Sciences

Professor Theresa Roeder has performed service across many dimensions since she began her San Francisco State career with the Decision Sciences department in 2005.  She has served many communities, including her department, college, our University, as well as academic, professional, and local communities in numerous ways and over long periods of time. 
Professor Roeder currently serves as Undergraduate Curricular Innovation director at the Lam Family College of Business.  She has previously served on the college’s Assurance of Learning Committee and, at the University level, as chair of the Committee on Written English Proficiency (CWEP), which led to the approval of new Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) courses for SF State.  One of the most important areas of instruction is communication, as indicated by employers of our students, and CWEP courses have a significant impact in this area.

Professor Roeder also served as interim senior assistant dean during the most recent Lam Family College of Business dean search process.  In serving the academic community, among other activities, she was the program chair for the 2020 Winter Simulation Conference that drew 300 submission papers and 750 attendees.

Professor Roeder served as board chair of the Mount Tamalpais College, formerly known as the Prison University Project.  This organization provides support for in-person Associate of Arts degree programs inside San Quentin State Prison.  The program has shown a near-zero recidivism rate for prison inmate participants while also helping change the culture of incarceration from punishment to academic achievement.  Professor Roeder volunteered numerous hours to this organization and its cause, and the result is an outstanding example of the positive impact SF State has on society.

Sameer Verma

Sameer Verma, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Information Systems

Professor Sameer Verma’s extensive service record, which spans the Information Systems department, the Lam Family College of Business, San Francisco State, and the academic, professional, local and global communities, has been consistently impressive throughout his 21 years at SF State.

Currently, Professor Verma serves as chair of the Information Systems department and is on the advisory board for the Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of WiRED International. Previously, Professor Verma has served on the Graduate Curriculum Committee, the University Curriculum Committee and a number of other important search, hiring and Retention, Tenure, and Promotions (RTP) committees. He has also served on the board of directors of the Drupal Association, among others.

Perhaps the hallmark of Professor Verma’s service activities is the use of his skills and background in technology to develop innovative service projects that have benefitted a diversity of populations. For example, Professor Verma has a long record of contributions to our academic technology on campus: in his early work, he helped bring wifi to campus; his work on a learning management system and Moodle ultimately led to the campus-wide development and implementation of iLearn; he has worked on multiple projects with Drupal, the University’s website content management system; and he has helped plan and host numerous open data and civic engagement hackathons on campus.

Professor Verma’s work facilitating the implementation of technological solutions extends well beyond our campus borders. Some of these projects and initiatives include: bringing the One Laptop per Child project to San Francisco and Jamaica; his establishment of a Center of Excellence with the University of West Indies; and his work with WiRED International, which has helped to build health information systems and clinics in rural and remote populations abroad. Also notable is his collaborative effort on a STEM education project targeted to women in rural Nigeria. As shown by his substantial and far-reaching service contributions, Professor Verma exemplifies service excellence.

The Lam Family College of Business thanks and commends Professors Johnson, Roeder and Verma for their dedication to using their expertise and talents in innovative ways in service to our college and University communities, as well as broader local and global communities.