Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences recognizes outstanding faculty

Professors L. Kim Epting, Cynthia Fair and Caroline Ketcham were honored Aug. 18, 2014, when faculty from Elon College, the College of Arts & Sciences gathered in the Lakeside Meeting Rooms to plan for the upcoming academic year and to celebrate colleagues’ achievements.

Three faculty member in Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, received their college’s top awards on Aug. 18, 2014, for teaching, scholarship and service to the university and community over the past year.

Excellence in Teaching Award: L. Kim Epting, Department of Psychology

The 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. 

Since joining the Elon faculty in 2007, Epting has progressed on a pathway of excellence in teaching, the foremost focus of faculty work at the university. She routinely teaches introductory courses, electives in her specialty such as the psychology of learning and cognitive psychology, upper level seminars such as the empirical research senior seminar, and a transition course on graduate studies in psychology/mental health. 

Epting’s student perceptions of learning scores are consistently high. Students find her to have clear goals, and she is lauded for her preparation and organization. Epting challenges students to think critically, supports a respectful class environment, expects students to support assertions with evidence and reasoning, and produces assignments that foster analytical and creative thinking. 

Epting continually focuses on mentoring, particularly around undergraduate research. An active and successful scholar, she routinely mentors several students each semester in the process of undergraduate research, and she collaborates with students in developing presentations and coauthored publications. Involving research students as reviewers and in the professional writing process greatly enriches their research experience, deepens their understanding of the process of inquiry and prepares them for a career path.  

As an instructor of the department’s transition course for majors, Epting serves as an important mentor to many students who are navigating their professional pathway. Colleagues in and beyond the department recognize her as an excellent instructor who is dedicated to her ongoing development as a teacher and to providing a rigorous experience for her students.

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Cynthia “Cindy” Fair, Department of Human Service Studies

Elon College’s scholarship award recognizes a faculty member whose academic work has demonstrated a significant intellectual impact. The university’s teacher-scholar model describes scholarship as “the most fundamental form of professional activity” and Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences values the discovery of new knowledge, the integration and application of that knowledge, and the development of pedagogical innovations.

Fair has a long record of high achievement in all aspects of faculty work. She continues to teach in multiple realms including human services, public health studies, Elon College Fellows and the Core Curriculum. She has held multiple service and leadership roles at the university, most recently as coordinator of the new, interdisciplinary Public Health Studies major.

Fair’s highly regarded reputation in the field is demonstrated by invitations to serve as a reviewer for programs at the National Cancer Institute-Pediatric Branch at the National Institutes of Health, by her co-facilitation of a think tank on Pediatric HIV Reproductive Decision-Making at NIH, and by the development of professional collaborations outside of Elon.  She continues to provide service as a reviewer for journals including the Journal of Adolescent Health, AIDS Care, Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, as well as successfully publishing her own work in numerous peer-reviewed outlets, including the International Journal of Childhood Education, the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, and AIDS CARE. 

Her recent work focuses on the fertility desires/intentions, childbearing motivations, and sexual reproductive health of adolescents and young adults living with HIV, and she is collaborating with a colleague at the University of Southern California to expand her research to include a Spanish-speaking population.

Service learning is another research focus for Fair, who publishes on the topic and has presented work on intergenerational service learning at the Association for Childhood Education International’s Global Summit on Childhood in Washington. She was awarded a Senior Faculty Research Fellowship for 2013-2015 and has received other FR&D support for her scholarship including a year-long sabbatical, and grant-in-aid funding.

Elon College Faculty Excellence in Service-Leadership Award: Caroline Ketcham, Department of Exercise Science

The annual award recognizes a faculty member who “richly contributes to the ongoing welfare and betterment of the college, university and profession,” thereby upholding the educational mission and leadership valued at Elon University.

Over the past three years, Ketcham has served on a departmental faculty search committee and the scholarship document committee, and she recently spent a year shadowing outgoing chair Joyce Davis in preparation for taking over as department chair this fall.  Ketcham also served on the Honors Advisory Committee, the Math & Natural Sciences curriculum committee, the Anatomy Committee in the Biology Department, the Senior Faculty Research Fellow Selection Committee, the search committee for the Assistant Director of Career Services for the Arts & Sciences, the Neuroscience Program Advisory Committee, the University Appeals Board, the Danieley Neighborhood Council, and the Voices of Discovery committee.

In addition, Ketcham has served on the Promotion & Tenure committee, and she took on the role of coordinator of the Health Professions program.  In this capacity, Ketcham has done significant work to revitalize the program effort. Outside of Elon, she has served on the Alamance Regional Medical Center IRB board since 2008, and she serves as a reviewer for 11 different journals in her field.