Berkeley Faculty Service Award

The Berkeley Faculty Service Award (BFSA) honors a member of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate for their outstanding and dedicated service to the campus, and whose activities as a faculty member have significantly enhanced the quality of the campus as an educational institution and community of scholars. This award recognizes Senate service, which is essential to the ideal of shared governance, and contributions that have had a lasting and significant impact on the excellence of the Berkeley campus.

2023 BFSA recipients are Lok Siu and Gary Firestone

Lok Siu photo

Lok Siu

Professor of Ethnic Studies

Professor Lok Siu joined UC Berkeley faculty in 2012 and is currently a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies. An acclaimed scholar of Asian diasporas and transnationalism, colleagues applaud her “tireless” service to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice on Berkeley campus and as a Berkeley faculty representative, systemwide.

Professor Siu’s campus service commenced in 2013, initially serving on the Status of Women and Ethnic Minorities on (SWEM) committee. As a member, she played contributory roles in its transformation to the Diversity, Equity, and Campus Climate (DECC) Committee. While a member of DECC from 2014-2017, she served as Berkeley’s representative and liaison to the systemwide Affirmative Action, Diversity, and Equity Committee (UCAADE) from 2015-2017. In 2017 and 2018, Siu became the Vice Chair and Chair of UCCADE, respectively. As Chair of UCAADE, Professor Siu played key roles in developing and advocating for programs and strategies supporting the diversification and retention of the UC professoriate through the Faculty Diversity Initiative. During her chairship, she also contributed to the development of recommendations to enhance the Presidential Post-Doctoral Program, guidelines for inclusion and use of diversity statements in faculty merit, promotion, and tenure reviews, as well as guidelines to inform best practices for Equity Advisors. After completing her term as UCAADE Chair, she continued to serve on the systemwide Task Force on Extending Faculty Diversity (2019-2020).

In addition to her efforts in support of faculty, Professor Liu played key roles in relation to undergraduate education.  In spring 2021, she served on the BOARS IGETC Ethnic Studies Working group, which developed recommendations for the transfer of credits from the Cal State system to the UC system. According to Keith Feldman, Chair, Department of Ethnic Studies, “[t]hese recommendations have become a model for considering Ethnic Studies transfer credits from community colleges, and laid the groundwork for considering a new UC Ethnic Studies admission requirement.”

From 2020-2022, Siu served as Chair of DECC. Siu spearheaded efforts to facilitate conversations between DECC and a variety of other campus units and organizations to collect information about the experiences of and issues across a wide variety of campus communities. In doing so, Siu set the stage for improved communication as well as opportunities for coordination and collaboration. In Spring of 2022, as Chair of DECC, Siu was appointed to the fifteen-member Joint Senate-Administration Workgroup on the Role of the University and its Units in Political and Social Action. Siu was one of three Senate members of the workgroup not serving in a formal administrative capacity.

In addition to her sustained service to the campus and the university, she has served in numerous leadership roles within the Department of Ethnic Studies, including serving on the Executive Committee, as Head Graduate Advisor, as Co-Chair of the Department’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee, as chair of the Community Relations committee, and the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program. In this latter role, Professor Siu was instrumental in both fundraising and building the capacity for--and now leading--the Asian American Research Center.

As Keith Feldman further attests, “Siu's record of campus and systemwide service, especially as a mid-career professor, is nothing short of jaw-dropping.”

Gary Firestone photo cropped

Gary Firestone

Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology

Professor Gary Firestone has been an active member of the Berkeley faculty for over 40 years, since his appointment as an Assistant Professor in 1982. His service has primarily related to the pedagogical mission of the University, both at the Senate Committee level and also at the Departmental level. His Academic Senate committee service has been as follows:

• Budget and Interdepartmental Relations ("Budget”) committee (2017-2020).

• Committee on Educational Policy (1998-2007; 2013-2017)

• Committee on Teaching (2010-2013)

• Committee on Committees (2007-2009; Chair 2008-2009)

• Divisional Council (2008-2009)

• Joint Administrative-Senate Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics (2010-2011)

This record demonstrates a highly substantial and consistent degree of Senate service over his many years on campus. In addition to the above, Firestone served on additional non-Senate campus-wide or system-wide committees, the most notable of which include:

• UC System-wide Committee on Committees (UCOC) (2007-2009)

• Campus Committee on Classroom Policy and Management (2000-2007; 2011-2013)

• Campus Advising Council (2014-2017)

• Dean of Undergraduate Education search committee (2008)

• Public Health Dean Review Committee (2007)

• Student Learning Center Advisory Board (2011-2015)

• Executive Committee of the College of Letters & Sciences, Member and Chair

• Academic Planning Board of the University (1995-1998)

• Life Sciences Building (LSB) Renovation Program Planning Committee (1983-1994)

• Chair of the Graduate Group in Endocrinology from 2001-present

Through all his service to these various committee, Firestone has demonstrated a particular passion for improving the education mission of the University. Some of his specific contributions include:

– helping to write a committee report analyzing capped and restricted majors on campus, and another one concerning the welfare of campus lecturers, as part of his service on the Committee on Educational Policy 

– helped to evaluate the role and cost effectiveness of campus athletic programs as part of the very active Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics

– improving the quality of the instructional laboratories in the Valley Life Science building and the Genetics and Plant Biology Instructional Laboratory through his service on Life Science Building Renovation Planning Committee

– overseeing and evaluating the majors and new courses in the College of Letters of Science as part of his service on the Executive Committee of the College of Letters & Sciences

– significant effort evaluating merit, retention, and hiring cases for the University as part of intensive service on the campus Budget Committee

Mary Ann Smart, who served on the Budget Committee with Firestone (including a year as Chair) wrote in support of Firestone’s nomination for this award, describing how Firestone “demonstrated a passionate commitment to the welfare of his colleagues as well as to promoting the best achievements in research, teaching, and service across the campus. Gary’s gregariousness and generosity of spirit made our meetings lively, enjoyable, and affectionate.”

Taken together, the above constitutes a highly significant degree of service to the University, much of which has been at the Senate level. Firestone is truly a hugely passionate fan of Berkeley and its educational mission, and a deserving recipient of the 2023 Berkeley Faculty Service Award.