The essence of the College of Charleston resides in the talent, commitment and achievement of its faculty. Each year, at the end of the spring semester, the College recognizes outstanding faculty accomplishment and dedication in teaching, research and advising. The 2013-2014 awards are listed here.
The William R. Moore Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Award honors one faculty member who has done an exemplary job of integrating research into teaching over the course of a career and works closely with students on their own research to enrich their intellectual lives. Dating back to 2001, this award honors its first recipient, William V. Moore, and each year it is presented to a faculty member whose contributions exemplify the teacher-scholar model that professor Moore embodied. Jennifer Wright of the Department of Psychology was named as the recipient of this award for 2014 due to the exceptional initiative she has taken to expand students’ horizons, literally and figuratively. Not only has she proposed nearly a half dozen new courses, she has offered study abroad classes in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, and contributed to the First Year Experience program with a learning community that linked Psychological Science with Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology, and Philosophy. She also developed a unique course on ‘Teaching Mentorship’ to provide a “behind the scenes” experience for students as teaching assistants. In fact, her new approach was so successful that it has been adopted by the psychology department. She is a dedicated mentor and role model who has provided meaningful research experiences for undergraduate students at the College She has also co-authored peer reviewed papers with students; served as head instructor for the McNair program; and assisted future College students by serving as a senior thesis adviser for high school students.
The Distinguished Teaching Award was established in 1977 to honor those faculty members who are outstanding among the College’s many exceptional teachers. For 2014, the recipient is Chris Warnick from the Department of English. He is a true campus leader in writing instruction and assessment. Both in the classroom and through various projects aimed at improving how writing is taught across campus, he has had a significant impact on student learning at the College. He spends hours working individually with students, and their enthusiastic comments on evaluations are a testament to his dedication. In addition to modeling for students the academic research and writing process, he actively encourages students to publish their work. Four students from his first-year writing courses wrote class essays that have won departmental awards, and one student published her essay in “Young Scholars in Writing,” a national peer-reviewed journal.
The Distinguished Research Award is given each year by the Faculty Research and Development Committee to a salient member of the faculty with a career of significant research. This year’s Distinguished Research Award was presented to physics professor Joseph Carson, whose work has focused on the direct imaging of extra solar planets. In recent years, he has worked as a lead researcher using awarded spaces on the Hubble telescope to take a number of direct images of planets beyond our own solar system. He has included undergraduates in his research, including last years’ exciting discovery of “Super Jupiter,” which has changed the way astronomers think about the relation of a sun’s mass to its related planet formation. Carson’s colleagues praise him as a scientist deeply committed both to his own research and to work in the larger community.
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes the contributions of a colleague who, beyond their required duties, has a sustained career of serving the college community in an outstanding and distinguished manner. The 2014 recipient of this award, communication professor Lynn Cherry, has held so many positions at the College, it is difficult to keep track. She has been Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Academic Services, Chair of the Academic Planning, Assessment, and Curriculum committees, and chair of the Action Retention Team. For the past year, she has served as Faculty Marshall, Associate Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of Undergraduate Studies. On top of all of that, she has somehow found time to teach, act as a faculty advisor for the debate team and chair of the College Community Coalition. Cherry’s dedication to the Charleston community seems unlimited at times, and for this reason, she has been named to receive the Distinguished Service Award.
The Distinguished Advising Award was established in 1994 to honor those faculty members who have demonstrated an exceptional dedication to students in the area of academic advising. Dee Dee Joyce from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology has demonstrated a sustained dedication to students within her department and across the College. She has been a dedicated advisor, an advocate for struggling students, and a mentor for students majoring in anthropology and sociology. This is not the first time her efforts have been recognized. In 2007, she received the Dr. Conrad D. Festa Presidential Legacy Award for Advocacy.
The Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award was established in 2014 to honor those adjunct faculty members who are outstanding among the College’s many exceptional teachers. Reba Parker, who teaches within the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, is the inaugural recipient of this award. She has served as an adjunct in this department for 15 years, during which time she has taught nearly 100 courses. Over the past five years, she has taught five classes per semester. Her aim in teaching is to inspire the next generation into action by applying their sociological knowledge. Her students praise her for teaching interesting and engaging classes. She strives to show students through empirical evidence and case studies that social change is possible, is happening, and with new innovative means, can be pursued by every student regardless of their major. She transforms the learning process by grounding her approach in practical application and introducing her students to the world beyond the College. She has published a number of scholarly chapters on the Sociology of Peace, and is the founder of the non-profit Charleston Peace One Day.