A shining illustration of an engaged faculty member who has also built an international reputation for her glass art, Katherine Gray has been named Cal State San Bernardino’s 2020-21 Superb Professor.

In becoming preferred for the honor, Grey, a professor and associate chair of the Department of Artwork and Layout, also becomes the John M. Pfau Endowed Professor, named for the university’s initial president. Grey is also a distinguished glass artist, whose function has been on screen in a variety of museum exhibitions and is the resident evaluator on the Netflix strike display “Blown Absent,” now in its second season.

Gray was shocked with information of the award on April 12 when CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales and about 40 colleagues had been at a Zoom meeting she experienced been invited to underneath the guise of a faculty office conference.

 “We’re in this article to existing the 2020-21 Outstanding Professor Award to you, Katherine Gray, for your enduring excellence in teaching, in investigate, in scholarly pursuits and your assistance to our college students, to our university and to the local community, but most importantly your dedication to our learners is 2nd to none,” Morales explained to the professor, who was beaming from the shock.

“One of the 1st items I’m likely to do when we repopulate is come across you and get your autograph,” Morales explained of Gray’s do the job on the Netflix sequence. “My wife and I definitely get pleasure from observing you and our alumna (contestant Nao Yamamoto). It’s definitely fantastic.”

In a lengthy-standing university custom, award recipients understand they’ve been named CSUSB Remarkable Professor through a surprise visit to their classroom or lab produced by the president, past award winners, college leaders, school and employees. Just as most campus exercise takes location remotely for the duration of the pandemic, award bulletins, way too, have been sent pretty much.  

Morales mentioned as the Superb Professor, Grey will acquire a $1,000 examine and a $3,000 School Progress Grant. She will be honored at the College of Arts & Letters digital graduation ceremony and at a school recognition celebration.

Provost Shari McMahan joked that she much too would seek out Gray’s autograph.

“Congratulations on this properly-deserved award. Your perform as an artist, teacher and mentor has introduced a lot worth and awareness and exhilaration at CSUSB. It is also touched the life of countless people around the world whether or not as a result of solo or team exhibitions, displays in museums or on tv,” McMahan claimed. “Thank you yet again for your total excellence, the prestige you have introduced to our campus and the exclusive possibilities you provide to all of our learners.”

Rueyling Chaung, dean of the School of Arts & Letters, claimed she definitely appreciated Gray’s do the job and her contributions to the university and the division. Chaung praised Gray for her “wonderful, exceptional, extraordinary work and contribution as a scholar, as an artist, as an educator, as a terrific promotor of glass artwork in the qualified subject and I just want to salute you for your amazing contribution and your exceptional get the job done. Really perfectly-deserved.”

Matthew Poole, chair of the CSUSB Department of Artwork & Style and design, named Grey “an exemplary colleague.”

“It’s just an complete enjoyment doing work with you Kathy,” he said. “You’re so reliable, so a lot pleasurable, so sort.” He also stated Grey has an amazing career and really is regarded as one of the most effective – if not the finest – glass artist in the United States and definitely throughout the entire world.

He extra that she was also a devoted educator and college member who had labored on a range of tricky initiatives that provided the university’s Quarter to Semester project. “We just could not hope for a improved colleague,” Poole mentioned.

When it was Gray’s transform, she reported she was “completely confused.”

“It’s been truly astounding performing with the pupils at Cal Point out. It is so energizing. I cherished educating. It is unquestionably been a minimal far more demanding all through the pandemic and we have perhaps been doing much less of the actually remarkable glassblowing element of it, but we’re however undertaking that, but actually just mainly because of COVID and social distancing, we’ve accomplishing tons of other things … pupils are trying lots of diverse factors and we’re exploring new terrain with each other so that’s been genuinely remarkable,” Grey said.  “I really feel tremendous blessed to be element of this community and have this task that I unquestionably adore. I would do it even if I wasn’t acquiring compensated. I really like receiving compensated, but it’s seriously, genuinely an complete joy. Thank you all for supplying me the opportunity and acknowledging my enthusiasm for it.”

Gray teaches glassblowing and glass art at all ranges. As one interviewer observed of her, “Katherine doesn’t make very objects, she offers us a lens to see the world through the magical lens of glass.” As a devoted educator, she deftly guides and mentors students as they study to check out the planet by a very similar lens, and as needed she crafts and recasts curricula to assistance them on their journey.

She has performed substantial roles in creating the Learn of Fine Arts (MFA) in studio arts diploma, the bachelor of fantastic arts in artwork diploma, as nicely as the quarter to semester conversion (Q2S) of the BA in Art degree. Her teaching-similar services consists of chairing division and college curriculum committees all through the Q2S changeover. Furthermore, Grey has supervised quite a few impartial analyze college students and master’s job pupils, and she has served on MFA candidate committees, usually as chair.

In college student scoring, her classes obtain regularly large marks and her instruction quality is routinely described as “amazing,” with quite a few pupils reporting that they find out “so considerably in such a very little time.”

In a nomination letter to Morales, 2020-21 College Awards Committee co-chairs Kimberly Cousins and Dany Doueiri mentioned: “What actually sets Professor Gray apart from the many other proficient college at CSUSB is her national and worldwide reputation as a glass artist, not only amongst experts in the area, but also the typical community.”

Museums showcased Gray’s work in 9 solo exhibitions in between 2000 and 2020, although showcasing her art in group reveals across the place at a price of just one to eight yearly given that 1996. She has obtained 30 scholarships, residencies and awards, from election to the Faculty of Fellows for the American Craft Council (2020) to residencies at the Tacoma Museum of Glass (2017, 2019). Educating and visiting artist invitations have taken her to at least nine nations, including South Korea, Denmark, Estonia and Australia, and 14 states.

In addition to making 7 posted articles or blog posts herself, her artwork has also been reviewed in publications these kinds of as the New York Situations, LA Occasions and Glass Magazine. Her glass artwork resides in 9 best glass museum collections, and 6 personal collections. She has also played numerous roles in supporting RAFFMA. Lay audiences progressively have occur to know her — and her medium of choice — through the Netflix sequence “Blown Away,” a contestant-elimination present for which she has served as resident choose and advisor for the earlier two seasons.

In the terms of the awards committee co-chairs, “Professor Gray’s physique of do the job and reputation provide notice and prestige to our university in a way that is exemplary.”

Along with Cousins, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and chair of the CSUSB Office of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Doueiri, a entire world languages and literatures professor, associates of the 2020-21 University Awards Committee are: Thomas Girshin, associate professor of English Jay Fiene, professor of Education and learning Leadership & Technology and previous dean of the School of Schooling Crystal Huang, affiliate professor of management Christopher Gentry, affiliate professor of kinesiology and Richard Samuelson, affiliate professor of heritage.