PSFA Dean's Awards

This year, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA) initiated an inaugural series of Dean's Awards. Faculty, staff, and students were invited to submit formal nominations of their peers for outstanding staff and for faculty in two categories: teaching and research, scholarly, and creative activities. The new Honors and Awards Committee received several nominations across the board and reviewed each one in depth to determine one winner. Both the nominees and the awardees were announced at the PSFA Town Hall on April. 18, 2023. Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners! The College appreciates the many colleagues who took time to make a nomination and the excellent work of our faculty and staff.

2022-23 Dean's Award Winners

Elizabeth Allison, Public Affairs and Communications Specialist, Arts Alive

Elizabeth AllisonElizabeth Allison is the Arts Alive SDSU Public Affairs and Communication Specialist. With a passion for inclusive and interdisciplinary arts programming, she maintains a special focus on community engagement and student mentorship. Having worked at SDSU since 2013, she developed and oversees the comprehensive communication system for Arts Alive SDSU and the Arts Alive SDSU Internship programs. She completed her B.A. in Linguistics at Cal State Long Beach and her M.A. in Children’s Literature at SDSU. In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking, and dancing.

Richard Underwood, Lecturer, School of Theatre, Television, and Film

Richard UnderwoodRich Underwood’s photographic and directorial career has taken him from Photojournalist to Cinematographer, Documentary Filmmaker, Commercial Director/Cameraman and Feature Film Director of Photography. His current emphasis is in Television Commercial and Branded Content. His cinematic work with lighting led to the development and contract for the Birdcage Lantern manufactured and sold by Chimera Lighting.

Underwood’s work has consistently garnished national and international acclaim. Over 60 festivals around the world have awarded and selected his films. Winning both Best American Director and Best Short Documentary in the London Director Awards 2021 as well as taking top prizes in the Sydney International Film Festival – 2021, Angeles Documentaries – 2021, San Diego International Film Festival - 2021, Last Shot Film Festival – 2021, World London Festival – 2021, New Media Film Festival – 2021 and the Indie Short Fest -2020.

Rich’s storytelling work in short screenplays “AM” and “Exposures” and his feature length script “Bumper Fish” have made Official Selection in 15 national and international screenwriting competitions. He is also a published author having penned “Roll!” for Focal Press ISBN978-0240808482.

Rich began teaching at San Diego State University in 2005 and continues with Cinematography as his primary area of instruction. In addition, he teaches the final thesis production classes in both the BA and MFA degree programs. Underwood is the curator of both the Howling Film Festival presenting short horror films for Halloween and the Valentine’s Film Festival. He also curates the TFM department’s “Behind the Scenes Gallery”. Rich created program curriculum for the University of California San Diego’s Digital Arts Center and has been a faculty member of the Maine Media Workshops.

Rich Underwood received a Bachelor’s of Science in Radio and Television from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Television, Film and New Media from San Diego State University.

You can view Rich’s work at

Megan Welsh, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs

Megan Welsh

Megan Welsh is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs, where she teaches courses on research methods and data analysis for social scientists, as well as special topics courses on homelessness and racial and gender (in)justice. Students in Dr. Welsh’s classes get the opportunity to engage in “real world” field research on pressing issues confronting our local communities, including homelessness, housing insecurity, public safety, and climate change.

The main goal of Dr. Welsh’s research is to inform community-based solutions to poverty and climate change that are rooted in people’s wisdom about the specific needs of their communities. Dr. Welsh especially enjoys partnering with social service organizations and advocates to conduct research to inform more just and equitable public policy.

Some of Dr. Welsh’s current projects include: a regional assessment of bathrooms and other basic health and sanitation resources in the San Diego region; an examination of the effects of unsheltered people’s encounters with police on health decision-making (funded by the University of California’s Office of the President); and the effects of climate change-related flooding on community residents’ participation in green infrastructure initiatives (funded by the National Science Foundation and in partnership with the City of Imperial Beach).

Dr. Welsh holds a doctorate in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY Graduate Center, and bachelor and master degrees in social work from UC Berkeley and Temple University, respectively.


Yin Yu, Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design

Yin Yu

Dr. Yin Yu is an artist, designer, and engineer. Her research explores the potential of interactive multimedia environments and the intersection of architecture, music, and emerging technologies. Her practice covers a broad spectrum, including product design, furniture design, haptics, architectural design, interactive design, wearable design, and art installation. She has won several awards, including the Oregon BEST Red List Design Challenge, the Academic Excellence Design & Paper Award, and Lyman and Judith Johnson Interior Architecture Award. She was the recipient of the Olivia Long Converse Fellowship and the Nascence and UO Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship.

Dr. Yu’s works have been published and exhibited in international venues, such as the Human-Computer Interaction (CHI) conference (US), the Haptic and Audio Interaction Design (HAID) workshop (FR), the Wearable Technology Exhibition (ES), the Expanded Animation Symposium at Ars Electronica (AT), and the Xenakis22 Symposium (GR). 

She practiced in both technology firms and architectural design companies, such as Fortune 500 Global No.1 Design Firm AECOM, where she worked as the interior architect of the Apple China Campus project. She has also worked at local and international companies, such as BENOY (Europe Top 50 UK Design Firm), Optoplex (Top 13 in the Fast 50 Program for Silicon Valley Telecommunication), Group 70 International (A Hawaii Top 3 Architecture Design Firm), and SDC Solutions (a System Development Company based in Manchester, New Hampshire). 

Dr. Yu joined the School of Art and Design in 2022. She has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering (SMU, China), a Master of Science in Information Technology (SNUH, US), and a Master of Science in Interior Architecture (UO, US). She received a Doctorate in Media Arts and Technology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Chuyun Oh, Associate Professor, School of Music and Dance

Chuyun Oh

Dr. Chuyun Oh (Ph.D. in Performance Studies at UT Austin) is an Associate Professor of Dance at San Diego State University. As a Fulbright scholar, she focuses on performance ethnography, activism, and racial and gender identities in transnational popular dance. Her work has appeared in Dance Research Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly, Dance Chronicle, The Journal of Popular Culture, Communication, Culture & Critique, The International Journal of the History of Sport, The Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, and The Journal of Fandom Studies. She is a recipient of the Top Paper (2019) and Top Contributed Performance three times (2016- 2018) from the Performance Studies Division at National Communication Association. As a pioneer of K-pop dance research, she was the David Sanjek Keynote Speaker in Popular Music at the 64th Annual Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2019. Her work has received positive media coverage in LA Times, Financial Times, Allure, SD Voyager Magazine, Voice of San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and more. She serves on the editorial boards of Text and Performance Quarterly and Review of Communication. She is a co-editor of Candlelight Movement, Democracy, and Communication in Korea (Routledge, 2021) and the author of K-pop Dance: Fandoming Yourself on Social Media (Routledge, 2023).

She started her professional dance training at an early age at Little Angels Children’s Folk Ballet of Korea and then at the Kirov Academy of Ballet/Universal Ballet Academy, performing various roles in classical ballet repertoires. Early in her career as a modern dancer, she was trained in Horton and Graham techniques, received awards from international dance competitions such as Nakano International Dance Competition Japan and Seoul International Dance Competition judged by the Ailey School faculty, and toured across Germany, South Korea, Japan, Austria, and the U.S. Before coming to SDSU, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Guest Choreographer at Dance and Movement Studies at Hamilton College in New York.