Faculty honored for retirements and years of service

Maria Pallavicini hugs another faculty member

Maria Pallavicini

The words used by faculty members to describe retired Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Pallavicini were expressed with reverence.

Mentor. Leader. Visionary.

And, of course, teacher.

“I keep coming back to the word teacher,” said Berit Gundersen, new Dean of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy. “There are so many of us who have been helped and mentored by Maria over the years.”

The tributes were shared at the recent 2023 Faculty Retirement and Years of Service Celebration on the Stockton Campus. Pallavicini was one of five retiring faculty members honored.

In addition, 50 Pacific faculty received recognition for years of service in five-year increments—from 5 to 45 years.

The years-of-service honorees included three McGeorge School of Law faculty—Stanley McCaffrey, Christine Manolakas and Franklin Gevurtz—who were recognized for teaching at the law school for 40 years or longer.

“With parents and students, we talk about the fantastic academic programs we have, the diversity of those programs, the diversity of our student body, our beautiful campuses and all the other things that attract young people to Pacific,” President Christopher Callahan said. “But first and foremost, we talk about our amazing faculty.”

A professor standing at a podium

William Herrin

Retiring faculty leave lasting imprint on Pacific

William Herrin, 37 years

Herrin was awarded two year-long Fulbright scholarships to teach and conduct research at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

“To receive one Fulbright is an amazing accomplishment. To receive two is almost impossible, and that says so much about Bill,” said College of the Pacific Dean Lee Skinner.

In addition to serving two terms as chair of the Department of Economics, he was director of the School of International Studies from 2013 through 2021.

He recently was awarded the Order of Pacific.

Thomas Derthick, 35 years

Derthick, associate professor of practice (bass), joined the Conservatory of Music faculty in 1988. He has served as division director for strings and chamber music and was music director for the Pacific Youth Symphony for 20 years.

In 2020, he was elected president of the Professional Musicians of Central California, American Federation of Musicians, Local 12. Through the pandemic he negotiated numerous symphony and theater contracts and safety protocols. He also helped secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic relief money, pandemic unemployment assistance and other pandemic grant money for his colleagues.

Tanya Storch, 23 years

Storch started her Pacific career as an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies and retires as full professor. She regularly taught courses on Buddhist, Confucian and Asian religious traditions; Introduction to Religion; World Religions; Women and World Religions; and Pacific Seminar 2.

She viewed her efforts of connecting Pacific to local houses of worship as her most important service. She fostered connections with the Cambodian, Lao-Hmong, Chinese and Sikh communities in Stockton as well as the synagogue Temple Israel and the Japanese Pure Land temple.

Gary Armagnac, 22 years

Armagnac arrived at Pacific in 2002 and became chair of the theatre arts department where he taught a variety of theater courses. He is part of the team that created the successful Media X program.

He has received many awards for his work including a CINE Golden Eagle Award in 1998 for “Shakes: Rattle & Role,” a documentary he wrote and directed for public television about his touring production of “Hamlet.” His credits include many films and TV shows such as “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and the Coen brothers’ “Blood Simple.”

Maria Pallavicini, 12 years

Pallavicini joined Pacific in 2011 and also served as interim president during the 2019-20 academic year. She recently received Order of Pacific, the university’s highest individual honor.

Pallavicini led the creation of a new academic plan and the refresh of Pacific 2020, the university’s strategic plan. She has overseen the creation of numerous new undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on Pacific’s three campuses.

Pallavicini helped establish the new School of Health Sciences and transform the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center into a modern hub of learning and innovation. Pallavicini also was instrumental in the dental school’s move to a state-of-the-art building in San Francisco.

    Stephen McCaffrey stands next to a river

    Stephen McCaffrey

    Faculty honored for years of service at Pacific

    Stephen McCaffrey, 45 years

    McCaffrey joined the McGeorge faculty in 1977 and serves as the Carol Olson Endowed Professor of Law.

    One of the world's foremost authorities on international water law, he was named the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his contributions to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. The Stockholm Water Prize is considered comparable to a Nobel Prize in the field of water. McCaffrey was the first attorney to win the award.

    McCaffrey’s father, Stanley McCaffrey, served as Pacific’s president from 1971 to 1987.

    Christine Manolakas, 45 years

    Manolakas joined the law faculty in 1978 and teaches courses in taxation.

    Manolakas served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2005-2008. The "Manolakas Extraordinary Contribution Award" was established as a result of her contributions to the law school. The award is conferred on a member of the faculty or administrative staff annually.

    Franklin Gevurtz, 40 years

    Gevurtz has served as the associate dean for scholarship at McGeorge since 2019. Gevurtz joined the law faculty in 1982.

    Gevurtz is—in the words of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit—a "leading commentator" on corporate law. Courts, lawyers, students and scholars in the United States and abroad look to his Corporation Law treatise for authoritative guidance. He has authored seven books and more than 50 articles, essays and book chapters.

    Other faculty members honored for 25 or more years of service to the university were:

    • 35 years: Thomas Derthick (Conservatory of Music) and Brian Klunk (College of the Pacific)
    • 30 years: Leslie Gielow Jacobs and John Sprankling (both McGeorge School of Law)
    • 25 years: Ruth Brittin (Conservatory of Music), James Hetrick (School of Engineering and Computer Science) and Eric Wood (Conservatory of Music)