Faculty awards presented at annual luncheon

Tom Tiemann, Andy Angyal and Barbara Taylor earned Elon's top awards for teaching, distinguished scholarship and civic engagement at the annual Faculty-Staff Awards Luncheon May 14. Details...

Tiemann, professor of economics, was presented with the 2002-03 Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Tiemann’s willingness to help students and faculty members is renowned across campus. One student said Tiemann makes students feel they have a “personal relationship with him whether through his availability in his office, his commitment in the classroom or just his smile on campus as we pass him by.” One colleague remarks, “he has been a quiet presence, innovative and engaged in offering our students the very best of his abilities and the vision to move beyond the classroom to consider the world of which they are a part.”

In the classroom, students say his enthusiasm for the subject matter is evident. “The passion rubs off on the students, especially me, and makes me realize how important the material is so that I want to learn it,” one student says. Although his expectations are high, he has been known to ease the tension of a first test by treating the entire class to a cup of coffee beforehand. “He is student-centered, his techniques match his goals and students’ needs, and he simply cares about doing his job right,” says one student.

Colleagues praise his innovative approach to teaching. “His sense of creativity was always evident in his willingness to take risks, such as taking his students to off-campus venues and exposing them to the way that public planning and policy influences the civic life of America,” notes a colleague.

Tiemann has held several leadership positions at Elon, including dean of the Love School of Business and director of the general studies program. He currently serves as co-director of the Jefferson Pilot Fellows program.

Tiemann is the 31st winner of the Daniels-Danieley Award, established by President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley and his wife, Verona Daniels Danieley, in honor of their parents.

Angyal, professor of English and environmental studies, was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award.

He is an active scholar who is noted for his work in the area of nature and environmental writing scholarship. He has published three books in the prestigious Twayne United States Authors Series: “Wendell Berry,” “Lewis Thomas,” and “Loren Eiseley.” He has been named the official biographer for environmentalist Thomas Berry, whom he has brought to Elon’s campus twice to visit with students.

A frequent contributor to professional journals, Angyal has contributed scholarly articles on American icons such as Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau and John Berryman, while also writing reviews for such well known journals as American Literature. He has also brought academic conferences to Elon’s campus and is a contributor at numerous others.

Angyal broke ground in 1986 as Elon’s first Fulbright Lecturer, teaching at Louis Kossuth University in Hungary. He has also lectured in China, Czechoslovakia and Poland. These experiences allowed him to create numerous courses related to technology and environmental connectedness.

His interest in the environment doesn’t end with research. He is an avid organic gardener at his farm outside Gibsonville, and he has introduced many students to environmental stewardship there and at TimberLake Farm. One colleague says, “Dr. Angyal’s greatest accomplishment is a successful academic life without any visible and artificial divisions, a genuine stream of experiences. His intellectual life and the actual practice of daily living are one and the same.”

Angyal is the fourth recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award, established in 2000 to recognize a faculty member whose research has earned peer commendation and respect while making a significant contribution to his or her field of study.

Taylor, associate professor of computing sciences and coordinator of educational technology for teacher education, is Elon’s first recipient of the Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility.

Since 1980, Taylor has worked closely with CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center in Alamance County. She has committed herself to CrossRoads’ mission of supporting people affected by sexual assault, serving on its board of directors, accompanying victims to court or the hospital and working as a fundraiser. She has helped plan and participated in numerous events, including the Human Race for CrossRoads, Take Back the Night and Make a Sundae, Make a Difference.

She has utilized her professional skills to help create a Web site for CrossRoads, design a membership database and, with the help of an Elon student, translate the Web site into Spanish to reach the area’s growing Hispanic population.

Her commitment to Elon students has been demonstrated in countless ways. She served as faculty advisor to the student group One in Three from 1993-1997, and assisted with planning and implementing the first Take Back the Night event in 1993. She has also worked as a co-facilitator, helping organize a support group for victims in 1992 that was aided by the involvement of many Elon students.

A colleague who serves on the CrossRoads board of directors says the organization and its members “are consistently motivated and energized by Barbara’s selfless spirit, leadership, and dedication to the cause of preventing sexual abuse and serving victims.”

The Periclean Award will be presented each year to a member of Elon’s faculty or staff whose service to the broader community exemplifies the ideals of Project Pericles. Elon is one of 10 colleges and universities nationwide to join Project Pericles, an initiative sponsored by the Eugene Lang Foundation, which challenges institutions to provide a learning experience that will “instill in students an abiding and active sense of social responsibility and civic concern.”