In a campuswide email on Tuesday, Provost Dr. Allison Jablonski announced this year’s winners of the University of Lynchburg’s faculty awards.
“While I’m sad that we cannot recognize them in person at the Academic Awards Banquet and the Trustees’ Dinner, I feel blessed that we have such valued faculty who share their talents with the campus community,” Jablonski wrote. “Please join me in congratulating these impressive faculty members for their accomplishments!”
The Thomas C. Allen-Heidi Koring Award for Excellence in Academic Advising went to Dr. DuAnn Kremer, associate professor of exercise physiology. One nomination reads: “I have watched Dr. Kremer spend hours of her time to help students succeed. … She always has the student in mind, not just academically, but financially. She makes sure her advisees can graduate in the shortest time period, allowing them to use their time and money wisely. … Dr. Kremer wants the students who attend the University of Lynchburg to shine brightly, and I know she is one of many faculty behind the scenes making that happen.”
The Shirley E. Rosser Award for Excellence in Teaching — the University’s highest teaching honor — was given to Dr. Kari Benson, professor of biology. “I try to make the learning experience collaborative in every sense,” Benson said. “If we can foster the spirit of philosophical inquiry in our students, we can develop their active participation in the learning process.” As one of her students put it, “She is not just an amazing advisor and mentor, but she’s a phenomenal teacher as well. I could tell that she loves her area of study and that she loves sharing that love with her students.”
The Elsie Ervin Bock Award for Excellence in Citizenship was awarded to Dr. Alisha Marciano, professor of psychology. According to the University, the 2020 Bock winner “contributes to all facets of our higher education environment. As a mentor, advisor, volunteer and support to many students within the University community, the awardee educates, but also shows these students how to use this knowledge in the ‘real world.’ She shares service-learning volunteer experiences with students by having them participate in community activities and events with her. This awardee freely gives her time … to ‘help in the trenches,’ co-teach, collaborate with other faculty, volunteer, and serve as a role model and mentor.”
Dr. Laura D. Long, professor of English, received the James A. Huston Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Dubbed “a model of scholarly success” by the University, Long also “uses her scholarship to engage her students.” As Department of Philosophy Chair Stephen Dawson explained, “Her work as a teaching writer has opened possibilities for any number of student writers and has emphasized the close connection between creativity and critical thinking in the liberal arts.”
The Edward A. Polloway Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching went to Dr. Mark Archambault, associate professor in the Doctor of Medical Science Program, who was praised by nominators for both his teaching and leadership skills. “As the creator of the PA Education Concentration within the Lynchburg DMSc program, Dr. Archambault carved a pathway for all PAs in higher education to achieve a doctorate degree that pertains to their academic discipline,” one nomination reads. “In addition, he has created an opportunity for clinical PAs who desire to be in PA education to enter a program that will allow them to develop as educators and leaders of our own profession.”
Finally, the Award for Excellence in Research Mentoring was given to Dr. John Eric Goff, professor of physics, for his impressive track record of not only working with students, but also getting their research published. One student wrote, “He helped me through the research for my Westover thesis, gave me experience in collaborating with laboratories from other countries, and helped me get published on my first paper. … His passion for the research topics he explores and his dedication to the success of his students is part of what inspired me to pursue higher education and research opportunities.”