BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) recognized 13 members of its faculty and staff with awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, scholarly work and engagement during an awards luncheon held Oct. 23 on Appalachian’s campus.
“In each of the college’s departments and programs, there is amazing teaching, scholarship, service and engagement taking place, and these awards recognize that work by both our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Neva Specht, dean of the CAS.
She added, “We also celebrate the important work of advising. The college is focused on quality advising, which has enormous impact on the success of our students.”
The 2018–19 awards include the Richard N. Henson Outstanding Advisor Award, the Jimmy Smith Outstanding Service Award, the Donald W. Sink Family Outstanding Scholar Award and several others.
New to the CAS awards this year is the Excellence in Engagement Award, which recognizes a CAS faculty member with outstanding accomplishments in both university and community engagement.
2018–19 CAS faculty and staff award winners
- Richard N. Henson Outstanding Advisor Award winner
Dr. Diane P. Mines, professor in the Department of Anthropology.
The Richard N. Henson Outstanding Advisor Award, which was established in the 1998–99 academic year, recognizes the importance of academic advising and the role that quality advising plays in student satisfaction and retention. The award is presented annually to a full-time faculty member in the CAS.
Nominees for the award must show evidence of appropriate advising techniques, be responsive to student questions and student concerns, and be knowledgeable about university policies and procedures.
- Outstanding Staff Award winner
Lauri Miller, administrative support specialist in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.
The Outstanding Staff Award was established in 2014 to recognize the importance of services provided by staff members serving students and faculty in the CAS.
The award honors one staff member each year who has demonstrated concern for the well-being of students and faculty, enthusiasm for their service, exemplary work and who regularly surpasses job expectations.
- Jimmy Smith Outstanding Service Award winner
Dr. Jill Ehnenn, professor in and assistant chair of the Department of English.
In 2003, the CAS established the Jimmy Smith Outstanding Service Award in recognition of the numerous contributions of Dr. Jimmy Smith, a professor in the Department of Mathematics from 1968 to 2000.
The award honors a faculty member who has demonstrated meaningful and significant service to the college, the university and/or the faculty member’s profession.
- William C. Strickland Outstanding Junior Faculty Award winner
Dr. Maggie Sugg, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning.
The William C. Strickland Outstanding Junior Faculty Award honors one assistant professor in the CAS who has made significant contributions to the intellectual life of the university. The award is designed to assist untenured tenure-track faculty in the development of his/her research programs or creative activity. It is awarded to a faculty member who has demonstrated, while at the university, the highest standards of excellence in research, scholarship and contributions to his/her academic field.
Dr. William C. Strickland, for whom the award is named, was dean of the CAS from 1968 to 1984 and a professor in the college’s Department of Philosophy and Religion.
- Donald W. Sink Family Outstanding Scholar Award winner
Dr. Lynn Siefferman, professor in the Department of Biology.
In 1994, the CAS established an Outstanding Scholar Award. In May 1998, it was renamed the Donald W. Sink Outstanding Scholar Award. Sink served as CAS dean from 1991–98 and was a professor in the college’s Department of Chemistry (now known as the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences).
The award honors a tenured faculty member in the college who has made outstanding scholarly contributions throughout his/her career.
- Non-Tenure Track Teaching Excellence Award winner
Misa Yamamoto, senior lecturer in the Department of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
The Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Teaching Excellence Award honors one NTT faculty member in the CAS who has demonstrated outstanding teaching as exhibited by a knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject matter and an exceptional concern for student success. The recipient should also demonstrate an active interest in departmental and university issues.
- Inductees to the Academy of Outstanding Teachers
- Dr. Ellen Key, associate professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies.
- Dr. Joseph Gonzalez, associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.
- Dr. Craig Fischer, professor in the Department of English.
- Dr. Beverly Moser, professor in the Department of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
In 1988, the CAS instituted the Academy of Outstanding Teachers and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award to recognize excellence in teaching.
All full-time, retired and emeriti faculty who have taught in the college for at least two full years are eligible. Persons nominated may have been an instructor in a lecture class or seminar at any level, a lab instructor or director of independent study or an academic adviser or mentor. Normally those appointed to the academy are currently active faculty members in the college; however, under extraordinary circumstances, retired or emeriti faculty may be appointed.
- Excellence in Engagement Award winner
Marta Toran, outreach coordinator for the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and adjunct instructor in the Department of Biology.
The Excellence in Engagement Award honors a CAS faculty member with outstanding accomplishments in engagement, defined as representing the university to cultivate partnerships and initiatives that address community issues; enhancing scholarship, research and creative activities; supporting curriculum, teaching and learning; and contributing to the public good. Engagement extends beyond outreach to include mutual benefit to all involved.
All faculty, including tenure-track, non-tenure track, part-time and emeriti, with at least three years of experience in the college are eligible for the award.
- College Teacher of the Year Award winner
Dr. Ellen Lamont, assistant professor in the Department Sociology.
In 1988, the CAS instituted its Academy of Outstanding Teachers and the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award to recognize excellence in teaching. All full-time, retired and emeriti faculty who have taught in the college for at least two full years are eligible for these honors. Persons nominated may have been an instructor in a lecture class or seminar at any level, a lab instructor or director of independent study, or an academic advisor or mentor.
Normally, those appointed to the Academy of Outstanding Teachers are currently active faculty members in the college; however, under extraordinary circumstances, retired or emeriti faculty may be appointed.
- CAS Outstanding Alumni Award winner
William L. “Larry” Bridges ’75, visiting faculty lecturer in the Department of Computer Sciences.
The Outstanding Alumni Award was instituted in 1998 to honor CAS alumni who have distinguished themselves through their remarkable contributions to a profession; through their ability to provide leadership; through public service activities; through outstanding creative endeavors; or through other accomplishments.
To view past recipients and to learn more about each award, visit https://cas.appstate.edu/faculty-staff/awards.
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About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.