The Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award is given annually to a professor for outstanding achievement in teaching, research and service.
“I try to make a difference in my students’ lives and help transform the way they view the world around them,” said Sepinwall, a Carmel Valley resident who serves as a Solana Beach school volunteer and is a member of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival committee. “This is a wonderful university and I am happy to contribute to its development.”
Former student Sarah Wolk, who is pursuing a doctorate in history at UC Riverside, noted that her “passion and enthusiasm for teaching shine through in everything she does…Professor Sepinwall applies herself wholeheartedly to her work, and her positive energy is contagious.”
Sepinwall graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Ph.D. in 1998 from Stanford University. She joined Cal State University San Marcos in 1999.
Her areas of expertise also include Haiti and French-Jewish history. Her first book, The Abbé Grégoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism, was a biography of the French priest and revolutionary Abbé Henri Grégoire, who argued that Jews should not be oppressed and that slaves should be freed.
Sepinwall’s course on Haitian history was among the first offered at any North American university, and her book Haitian History: New Perspectives is now used at several universities in the U.S., Canada and England.
“Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall exemplifies the highest values of Cal State San Marcos and embodies what it means to be a faculty member committed to sustained excellence in teaching and enhancing student learning,” said Cal State San Marcos President Karen S. Haynes.
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