Provost Allison Jablonski recognized the recipients of this year’s faculty awards at a ceremony on Friday, alongside the presentation of student academic awards.
Dr. Holly Gould, professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling, took home two awards for 2022: the Thomas C. Allen and Heidi Koring Award for Excellence in Academic Advising and the Shirley E. Rosser Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Nomination letters referenced Gould’s “caring and committed approach to academic advising” for the former award, describing her as an advocate and listener for her students.
Those submitting her name said she often works irregular hours helping students on their educational path, and has lasting connections with her advisees well after they graduate.
Gould’s infectious passion for teaching and learning also factored into her selection for the teaching award, and the selection committee found itself with her name at the top of everyone’s list.
Nominators emphasized Gould’s ability to energize students through the challenge of online instruction during the coronavirus pandemic. Students referenced her continued availability and concern for their wellbeing throughout that time.
The James A. Huston Award for Excellence in Scholarship went to Dr. Lindsay Michie, associate professor of history, recognizing her 2021 publication of “The Spirit of Resistance in Music and Spoken Word of South Africa’s Eastern Cape.”
Already an established teacher-scholar with previously published work on the convergence of music and resistance, Michie’s new book has been met with critical acclaim and has cemented her expertise as an expert in that area, her nominators wrote.
They also lauded her work on establishing the John Chilembwe historical marker in downtown Lynchburg, studying the pastor and educator’s ties to Africa and exemplifying the possibilities of faculty-student collaborative research.
This year’s Elsie Ervin Bock Award for Excellence in Citizenship was awarded to Ursula Bryant, associate professor of art, for her far-reaching involvement on campus and in the greater community.
Beyond her support of students on multiple levels and promotion of service learning opportunities, Bryant’s nominators underlined her “selfless work on multiple campus committees” and her contributions to campus, including guiding the students who created the University tartan and securing a grant to create a 3D map of campus.
Bryant leads by example, nominators said, delivering lectures on “citizenship and design” and promoting her work in a variety of contexts, such as presenting last year at the international STEM-STEAM Arts Humanities Social Science and Education Conference.
The 2022 Edward A. Polloway Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching went to Dr. Jennifer Hall, associate professor of health promotion and public health, with the award’s committee citing her “outstanding academic performance” in graduate and undergraduate settings.
A Master of Public Health student nominated Hall as “the best example of a teacher and mentor,” no matter the circumstances. Among other qualities, they noted her teaching philosophy toward experiential work and focus on mitigating socioeconomic disparities associated with public health issues.
In selecting Hall, the award’s committee said that her expertise and “commitment to academic excellence” serve as success-driving inspiration for her students.
Recognized for building an “ongoing culture of research with her students,” music department chair Dr. Cynthia Ramsey was given this year’s Award for Excellence in Research Mentoring.
Supportive letters from past and current students said Ramsey’s mentorship was key in building their skills in performance, teaching, and research, along with an overall sense of inner confidence. Those skills, they wrote, extended well beyond their higher education journey and conference presentations.
The award’s committee referenced Ramsey’s application in highlighting the value she puts in mentoring, saying that it “can occur at any time and in any place: in the classroom or in the music performance ensemble.”