The Elon College Faculty Excellence Awards for 2006 were presented on May 4, 2006
The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member who exemplifies the Elon teacher-scholar -- outstanding in the classroom, current in the discipline, and committed to the intellectual development of students. Elon's mission statement calls for "a rich intellectual community characterized by active student engagement with a faculty dedicated to excellent teaching." The selection committee looked for excellence in the classroom as tangibly demonstrated by teaching and administrative evaluations for the preceding three years. Equally important were intangible factors such as inspiring students in the discipline, embracing ways to engage students in active learning, being available to students outside the classroom, being known as an excellent academic adviser, and having a willingness to teach where needed.
We are honored to present the Excellence in Teaching Award to two Elon College Faculty.
Katie King (Department of Psychology). Katie demonstrates the very best of what can happen when one applies the scholarship of teaching and learning to the classroom. Guided by her own research into how people develop complex understandings of the world, her classes are meticulously planned efforts to bring her students to new ways of seeing the world and themselves. Whether she is teaching her popular section of senior seminar on emerging adulthood, or teaching educational psychology to current and future classroom teachers, she is guided by a passionate belief that students can and want to be engaged in a demanding and meaningful dialogue of ideas. By providing careful scaffolding of core academic skills, creatively crafted projects that build upon each other as they push students toward ever-greater complexity of analysis, and detailed and encouraging feedback, Katie’s students repeatedly surprise themselves with what they’re capable of achieving. In the words of some of those students: “the main thing Dr. King tries to do in her classes is to challenge her students to think beyond simply what we read in the textbooks and ask questions about how this information applies to the world”; and “she really encourages students to learn and shows a genuine concern for their progress in and out of class”; and finally, “I have changed the way I think about myself, others and teaching…I have learned to not be so focused on my grade and rather to focus on learning and comprehending the material at a level in which I could connect it to other things I have learned…..I want to give my students this type of motivation.” Katie’s mentoring has resulted in student presentations at SURF and NCUR, publication of journal articles, and several students going on to pursue their Ph.D.’s in educational psychology. Perhaps what is most telling about the magic Katie can work is how her belief in and demanding expectations of her students bring them to a well-earned belief in themselves. Katie, thank you for your excellence in teaching.
David Powell(Department of Computing Sciences) David is an engaging teacher who strives always to be better. The students fortunate enough to have David are consistently challenged in and out of the classroom. He is known as a tough teacher, but the students still look forward to his classes because they know they will learn interesting and exciting skills and knowledge. Students often hear David declare "You're late!" Simply put, he believes that every minute in the classroom is a chance to learn, and he does not want to waste any. Comments from students include: “best teaching style of any professor I have had”; and “I have never spent so much time and effort in class before”; and “this class/lab combination is ideal to learn about concepts and then to apply them, all classes should be like this course.” David continually tries new approaches, software packages, and techniques. He is free with his time outside of the classroom and will spend hours with a student looking at a single problem. David is currently completing the second iteration of a unique Computer Science course called Intelligent Decision Making. This course, offered in conjunction with a UNC Office of the President grant for teaching high-performance computing to undergraduate students, was taken by students at five North Carolina institutions as well as at Elon over the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). David was the architect of this team-taught course that combined computer optimization and the emerging field of grid computing. Not content with just using the NCREN technology, David and his collaborators developed a new technological approach to delivering the course to the remote campuses by using a combination of the NCREN video and Web Conferencing software. David’s accomplishments in teaching as well as in curriculum development, administration of the Computing Sciences department, and in his research affirm that he is without doubt an exceptional example of the Elon Teacher-Scholar. David, thank you for your excellence in teaching.
The Excellence in Service/Leadership Award recognizes a faculty member who richly contributes to the ongoing welfare and betterment of the College, the University, and the profession. We value the many service and leadership roles performed by faculty. The teacher-scholar document calls on faculty to "dedicate their talents, experience, and leadership skills to activities that sustain, develop, and improve the entire institution." We value presence on campus, noting over time who does the big and little tasks that make us a better College. The selection committee focused on the tangible results of service for the preceding year. Equally important were intangible factors such as a willingness to volunteer one?s time when needed, to carry new ideas to reality, and to engage in shared governance.
We are honored to present the Excellence in Service/Leadership Award to two Elon College Faculty.
Donna Van Bodegraven(Department of Foreign Languages) Donna has provided outstanding service to Elon since her arrival in 1999. She is well-known on campus as an excellent teacher and extraordinary administrator. Donna has served as Chair of the Department of Foreign Language for seven years, and guided both the department and the institution through the adoption and implementation of our current foreign language proficiency requirement. A colleague notes that “Donna’s exceptional creative and administrative abilities are essential to the continued growth of both the Foreign Languages program and the Foreign Languages department at Elon.” Another colleague notes that “Donna has one of the most important qualities of leadership – the ability to listen.” Donna’s contributions to the life of the institution include her work on the Study Abroad Committee and the Athletics Committee. And, for the past two years Donna has served as chair of Curriculum Committee. This is a demanding position that requires a willingness to understand the requirements of all of the majors on campus, as well as the General Studies program. It is her responsibility to examine proposals to alter majors and minors, add and delete courses, alter courses, and add new programs, always with an eye toward the impact of these changes on the institution as a whole. This year, she also organized the subcommittee of Curriculum Committee that prepared the white paper for the upcoming Academic Summit. If this isn’t enough, Donna currently serves as President-elect of Phi Kappa Phi and chairs the PKP Graduate Fellowship Committee. Her commitment and leadership ensure the continuing success of Phi Kappa Phi at Elon. Finally, Donna is a passionate supporter of Elon events, and a huge fan of Elon’s football program. Her devotion to the Department of Foreign Languages, the students and to Elon is well evidenced in the service that she renders to the institution. Donna, thank you for your excellence in Service-Leadership.
Tom Mould(Department of Sociology and Anthropology) Tom exemplifies the definition of excellence in service and leadership. Over the past year, he has committed his efforts to several tasks that display his dedication to the growth and improvement of Elon as a university for students as well as a university for the larger community. Tom has directed the Social Science Fellows program as it has transitioned through several changes in conjunction with the growth of the program. He was tapped for the Elon College Fellows program and for teaching GST 110 to the Fellows because he can range over a number of academic disciplines easily and because he has a fine touch with students. As a director in the Fellows Program, Tom coordinates the Elon College Fellows Winter Term Experience – Paths of Inquiry in the Arts and Sciences; he helped develop the Fellows junior seminar; and he created the Fellows Rite of Passage. He maintains an open-door policy and almost daily has Fellows dropping by to touch base on various academic concerns. In addition, Tom has worked tirelessly with an interdisciplinary faculty committee to develop and launch the Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS), which has a home in the Sociology & Anthropology house. Under Tom’s leadership, the PERCS advisory committee has developed teaching modules, a brochure, and an ambitious five-year plan. Tom serves on the campus-wide Social Honor Code committee, the library committee and has gone beyond Elon’s walls to serve in various capacities within the community, including serving as a board member for the Women’s Resource Center and on the Media Board for the American Folklore Society. Despite his heavy service, leadership and teaching commitments, Tom is an active scholar, having published two books and numerous articles while at Elon. Tom, thank you for your excellence in Service-Leadership.
The Excellence in Scholarship Award recognizes a faculty member whose scholarly work has made a significant intellectual impact. Elon's teacher-scholar model describes scholarship as "the most fundamental form of professional activity." We value the scholarship of discovering new knowledge, integrating knowledge, applying knowledge, and developing pedagogical innovations. The selection committee considered tangible evidence of peer-reviewed research and creative activity that was published or presented during the preceding year. Equally important were intangible factors such as supporting the scholarly endeavors of colleagues, advancing the University's reputation, and mentoring students in undergraduate research. At Elon, a professor cannot be measured by the articles published, to the exclusion of the lives inspired.
We are honored to present the Excellence in Scholarship Award to Yoram Lubling (Department of Philosophy).
Yoram’s scholarship springs from the same passions that make him so effective a teacher in the classroom: personal experience and an insistence on making philosophy concrete, making philosophy itself make a difference. Yoram has published widely on service-learning and on pragmatism as a philosophy of education as well as a general approach to the world. Yoram’s work this year includes two articles, three book chapters, two book reviews, and four invited presentations. The articles include: “John Dewey and the problem of Pacifism,” published in the journal Contemporary Philosophy; and “Philosophy’s Living Pedagogy,” published in the journal BRIDGES: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History and Science. The book chapters include: “Teaching the Shoah: Philosophy and the Holocaust,” and “Service-Learning: When the Goal and Process of Education is One and the Same.” Yoram’s invited presentations include the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the Academy of Sciences in Prague. Finally, his book Twice-Dead was accepted for publication and is in press. The book is an attempt to recover and defend the memory of his grandfather, Moshe Lubling, who was a community leader and who died as one of the planners of the Jewish revolt in the Auschwitz death camp. Elie Wiesel, the Nobel prize winner, writes: “I personally have been particularly impressed with Yoram’s investigation into contemporary philosophical issues surrounding the Holocaust…as a member of the second-generation -- the son of a Holocaust survivor -- he has undertaken the struggle to preserve memories of those dark times, the necessity of memory, both individual and institutional, and the challenges therein -- his thoughts on this subject are of an abiding interest to myself and my colleagues.” Another colleague notes that while Yoram’s record of research publication is excellent, “he also has other important virtues which must be very central to the project of Elon University, he is a superb example of the genuine teacher-scholar, an increasingly rare commodity.” Yoram, thank you for your excellence in scholarship.
To further honor the recipients and celebrate our excellence, two very special musical numbers were performed. A male ensemble from the Department of Performing Arts performed Bio Doi from Miss Saigon and then seniors Rob Marnell and Perry Medlin performed Lilly’s Eyes. Both performances were accompanied by Sharon LaRocco.