In 2005, psychology Professor Eugene Wong joined a select few in the CSUSB faculty when he was chosen to receive the university’s Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.

On Wednesday, April 12, 12 years later, Wong’s classroom door flew open and a large group of university officials led by President Tomás D. Morales, came with the news that the professor, who joined the university in 1991 as a lecturer, had been named CSUSB’s 2016-17 Outstanding Professor, the university’s top faculty honor.

The award also meant that Wong had become only the fourth CSUSB faculty member to receive both of the university’s top faculty awards, the Outstanding Professor and the Golden Apple.

Morales said Wong was well-deserving of the Outstanding Professor Award.

“What makes this very special is that this award is really based on feedback from students and from his colleagues that have nominated Eugene,” Morales said. “I could list all of the accomplishments and I will, but the most important aspect is that this faculty member, Eugene, has been an incredible citizen here at CSUSB. He has touched the lives of generations of students in the classroom and with his ability to mentor and encourage students. He exemplifies our faculty.”

Robert Ricco, chair of the CSUSB Department of Psychology, praised his colleague.

“Time and time and time again he has voluntarily assisted our department, other departments, programs on campus, institutes and centers, of course individuals and individual students, individual faculty, individual administrators,” Ricco said. “He (Wong) has done that so many times and in so many ways that I don’t think you could document it. He’d be the last person to want you to document it. But he does it because of who he is, another reason why I can speak for our department and say we’re all just incredibly, incredibly happy to see you receive this recognition. You’re so deserving of it. Congratulations.”

Wong, whose family members were also among the visitors, was grateful to the psychology department and his students for their support.

“I want to thank the psych department, colleagues and staff because none of this happens without them. They are such an incredible part of my professional life and personal life. So to all of my colleagues, thank you very much for having been part of what I’ve done here,” Wong said. “Having been to other universities, I can honestly say this is a wonderful, wonderful department to be a part of.”

Pointing to his students, Wong said. “You guys I’m just barely getting to know because we’re early in the quarter and so on, but to all the past students, you guys are my inspiration. You’re why I do what I do and why I love being where I am on a regular basis, so thanks to all of you.”

In its selection announcement, the outstanding faculty nominating committee stated, “Not only does Dr. Wong have a record of particular distinction as a teacher, he has amassed an impressive record in the areas of research and service. Dr. Wong's consistent record of excellence in all aspects of our academic profession led the committee to recommend him to you for the recognition of CSUSB's highest award.”

Wong was praised as being “a stellar member of our faculty for 23 years,' according to the committee.

He has received particular distinction as a classroom educator, in both graduate and undergraduate courses, specializing in the areas of child development, assessment and evaluation, applied research methodology, and the teaching of psychology, according to the committee.

Wong has taught 22 different courses at CSUSB, served as a committee member on 32 master's thesis/doctoral dissertation committees, been committee chair on an additional 18 master's thesis/doctoral dissertation committees and has supervised many independent studies.

Along with winning the Golden Apple Award in 2005, he won the Western Psychological Association Teaching Award in 2015.

Wong’s students 'praise his interactive teaching style and his commitment to student understanding ... They applaud his real life examples and the ingenious ways he brings clinical practice to the classroom as a teaching tool,' according to the committee.

Student comments speak to his passion for, and commitment to, classroom instruction: 'It is clear that Professor Wong cares deeply for his students,' wrote one student. 'Dr. Wong was always available for the students,' wrote another; 'He is always willing to go above and beyond to help students,' according to a third student, while a fourth wrote, 'Dr. Wong is a fantastic instructor!'

As a researcher, the committee called Wong a “first-rate scholar, having published 24 papers in top professional journals. He has also made 56 research presentations at regional, national, and international conferences.

Wong is the co-principal investigator for a grant from First 5 San Bernardino County that seeks to enhance pre-school education in the county by providing direct training to teachers. He is also the co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant to enhance the research lab experiences of undergraduate students.

The committee called Wong's record of service at all levels – department, college, university, community – nothing short of remarkable.”

Since 2009, Wong has been director of the CSUSB Human Development Program, managing the curricular needs of the program and advising students. At the department level he has served on the Evaluation Committee, Adjunct Faculty Evaluation Committee, Planning Committee, Executive Committee, Outcomes Assessment Committee, Undergraduate Program Committee, Self-Study Committee, Chair Review Committee, and numerous recruitment and hiring committees.

At the college level he has served on the Dean Review Committee, Honor's Research Committee, and the Student Awards Committee. Wong has participated in the SOAR program, and was a member of a Faculty Focus Group that looked at ways to assess the quality of services students receive.

At the University level Wong has served on the Multiple Subject Curricular Implementation Committee, Liberal Studies Accelerated Track Committee, Advisory Board for the University Center for Developmental Disabilities, Advisory Board for the Children's Center, Hillside University Demonstration School Governance Council, and has served as an international student adviser.

In the community Wong has been an invaluable resource, particularly in the area of childhood development. Some of his contributions over the years include: serving on the Steering Committee for the Education and Human Development Academy at Beaumont High School; making a presentation to the Jurupa Unified School District on helping students do their best; and participating in University Connection Day at El Camino College in Torrance.

Wong was awarded a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA, a master’s degree and Ph.D., both in developmental psychology, from UC Riverside.

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