Outstanding Professor 2009-2010

William J. Reckmeyer

The Outstanding Professor Award recognizes a faculty member for overall excellence in an academic assignment.

William J. Reckmeyer

William Reckmeyer, professor of leadership and systems in San José State's Department of Anthropology, often tells his students to "go off and do the things that matter to them and that make a difference." Reckmeyer, this year's Outstanding Professor, lives by the advice he gives.

Reckmeyer has spent his career actively pursuing his passions while demonstrating a deep commitment to San José State and its students. Since arriving on campus in 1977, he's been a champion of cybernetic systems, leadership studies and global affairs. He has been a consultant to the Department of Defense, Kellogg Foundation and other significant national entities in the United States and abroad. And Reckmeyer is recognized as a longtime leader in the effort to globalize the university, having founded the SJSU Salzburg Program, an annual year-long program that promotes global citizenship.

In addition to making contributions that, according to a colleague, "are at the forefront of making SJSU a leading 21st-century, global university," Reckmeyer shares his enthusiasm for global citizenship with students. In the classroom, students benefit from his growing professional experience. When class is over and even after graduation, students can still count on Reckmeyer for support.

"I will always remember him telling me that if I ever needed anything that I was to call him, even if my car was broken down by the side of the road at two o'clock in the morning," wrote one student. "As a young woman in my early twenties, a thousand miles away from my family, this touched me immeasurably. His commitment to students goes beyond guiding academic progress and cultivating potential. He cares deeply about their wellbeing."

Reckmeyer balances his tremendous regard for students with his interdisciplinary work and the professional ambition that has led to visiting positions at Harvard, Stanford and Sydney universities, among others, as well as selection as a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow. His commitment to go above and beyond both in scholarship and as a teacher leaves a lasting impression.

"When it came time for my graduation, Dr. Reckmeyer arrived at my family's barbecue in full regalia," wrote another student. "He conducted a personal graduation ceremony, and once again helped me make my parents and grandparents proud."

Reckmeyer earned a bachelor's degree from Randolph-Macon College, master's and doctoral degrees from American University, and completed several post-doctoral programs at Harvard University.