The event was the first since the college reorganized its three schools into the School of Arts & Sciences, under the direction of Dean Dr. Jennifer Jewell; the School of Public Service, under Dean Dr. Sandra Hamar; and the Robert W. Plaster School of Business, led by Dean Jonathon Moberly.
Five faculty members were recognized for their promotions within the past year, including Dr. Hamar (Professor of Education), Dr. Kent Strodtman (Professor of Biochemistry), Dr. Mary Miller (Associate Professor of Education), Dr. Blake Nielsen (Associate Professor of Psychology) and Gina Singleton (Associate Professor of Accounting).
The conference opened with a keynote address by Dr. Mays Imad, a neuroscientist and faculty member at Connecticut College. A nationally recognized expert in trauma-informed teaching and learning, Imad’s research focuses on stress, self-awareness, advocacy and classroom community, and how these relate to student learning and success.
Her keynote explored the definition of reparative humanism and how it connects to higher education.
The conference, organized by the Center for Teaching and Learning, included a Q&A with Imad, breakout sessions and discussions led by the conference’s steering committee.
“This gathering provided a great opportunity for our faculty to engage in activities and discussions that reinforce why we do what we do while continually innovating the ways we connect with our students,” says Nielsen, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.
The event culminated in the Faculty Celebration the night of Thursday, Aug. 24, in New Hall Event Space.
Dr. Mark Price, professor of Humanities and the Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Endowed Chair in Ethics, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and his wife, Carmen Price, adjunct instructor of Humanities, joined two other bandmates from Hurtsickle Fade to play music during the celebration.
The academic deans teamed together to present the annual Deans’ Awards, of which three honors are awarded to full-time faculty members based on teaching, scholarship and service, and two are awarded to adjunct faculty who demonstrate excellence in classroom or online teaching.
Nominations are solicited from faculty and staff each spring, and the deans meet to select recipients in each category. Honorees receive engraved desk plaques and a cash prize.
Below are the recipients of 2023 Deans’ Awards:
- Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching – Gina Singleton, Business
- Deans’ Award for Excellence in Service – Dr. David Karr, Humanities
- Deans’ Award for Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Mary Dorn, Business
- Deans’ Award for Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Jon Oxford, Psychology
- Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching (In Seat) – Dr. Nicole Cunningham, Criminal Justice and Psychology
- Deans’ Award for Excellence in Teaching (Online) – Dr. Janet Andrews, Biology
The awards culminated in the presentation of the Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence. This prestigious honor was created in 2006 and is awarded to a full-time faculty member who demonstrates consistent excellence in the classroom and teaches rigorous classes with high academic expectations.
The Student Government Association nominates three faculty members. The college president, Faculty Association president and the provost then make the final selection.
The winner receives a medallion and crystal apple, and their name is engraved in the faculty lounge.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Piyusha Singh announced Associate Professor of Accounting Gina Singleton as the recipient of the 2023 Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence, marking Singleton’s second award of the evening.
Singleton holds her Master’s in Accounting from the University of Missouri and is a licensed CPA in the state of Missouri. She worked as a senior auditor for a Big 4 public accounting firm, as an accountant in the construction industry and as an adjunct at Columbia College before teaching full-time. As an auditor, she worked in industries including software, construction, telecommunications and oil & energy.
“Professor Singleton engages Columbia College students in a variety of Accounting classes and epitomizes excellence in every aspect of her teaching,” Singh says.