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Academic Affairs  

Faculty Awards & Endowments

Faculty Awards

All teaching award activity (i.e. calls for nominations, review of applications) are conducted by a Teaching Awards Committee, composed of teaching award winners during previous years.  The Teaching Awards Committee solicits nominations from students, faculty and alumni each fall and spring.  Applications are reviewed and awards are bestowed each spring.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Faculty Scholarship and Service Awards Committee (FSSAC) is soliciting nominations to recognize full-time faculty with the following awards:

1. Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award for outstanding scholarly and/or creative accomplishments (within the past 5 years); two awards will be given; full-time lecturers, tenure-track, and tenured faculty are eligible.

2. Distinguished Service Award for exceptional service to the institution, academic department, discipline, and/or community in support of the UNC Asheville mission (within the past 5 years); two awards will be given; full-time lecturers, tenure-track, and tenured faculty are eligible.

3. Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship Fund Prizes for sustained excellence in research/published writings and/or service to UNC Asheville/community-at-large by tenure-track or tenured faculty (two prizes awarded, typically one in each category for work done over 15+ years, 12 years of which must be while a UNC Asheville faculty member).

Click here for information on how to nominate yourself or another faculty member.  Deadline for nominations is Saturday, February 15, 2014.


Distinguished Service Award

When the University Service Council was established, its first order of business was to establish an award that would recognize one of their peers for outstanding service. The award's purpose was to foster and encourage service to the community, UNC Asheville, and to our professions at large.

From the USC charge:
  • Service to the UNC Asheville community contributes directly to the welfare and development of students, faculty, and staff at UNC Asheville by enhancing learning for UNC Asheville students, promoting professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, or otherwise working for the betterment of the UNC Asheville community.
  • Service to the profession or academic discipline contributes directly to the advancement of learning, teaching, scholarship, or practice in that faculty member's profession or discipline.
  • Service to the wider community contributes directly to serving people in need or serving the natural environment in the wider world beyond the UNC Asheville campus: Asheville, Buncombe County, the state, the nation, and the world.

In May 2002, the First Annual University Service Council Award was presented during the last faculty meeting of the 2001-2002 academic year.

Past Recipients
2013 Mary Lynn Manns, Greg Bourdreaux
2012 Surain Subramaniam
2011 Alan Hantz
2010 Linda Cornett
2009 Samuel Kaplan
2008 Merritt Moseley
2007 Dolores (Dee) Eggers

Distinguished Scholarship and Creative Activity Award

Past Recipients
2013 Leah G. Mathews, Erica Locklear
2012 Patrick Bahls, Amy Lanou
2011 Blake Hobby
2010 Daniel Pierce
2009 Duane Davis
2008 Ted Meigs, Bill Spellman
2007 Kitti Reynolds, Robert Yearout

UNC Asheville Distinguished Teacher of the Year

This is UNC Asheville's original teaching award, presented during Spring Commencement to a member of the Faculty who is judged a "Distinguished Teacher." A monetary award accompanies this recognition and all Distinguished Teachers are listed in the UNC Asheville catalog. This award reflects the high priority and importance placed on teaching at UNC Asheville. Any full-time faculty member (Lecturer, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor) shall be eligible, except for those faculty who have previously won the award.

The concept of a Distinguished Teacher Award carries with it certain assumptions, among which are:

1. Teaching is an art; no exact measurement or measuring devices can ever assure an objective determination of successful teaching since no definition of good teaching is ever wholly accurate or even desirable; effectiveness in the classroom carries with it the indefinable factors of character, personality, enthusiasm, and creativity.
2. The selection of an outstanding teacher by one's peers and one's students will always involve a degree of subjectivity; there can be no guarantee that in any given year, the award will recognize the single best instructor on campus; instead, the award will recognize one outstanding teacher; over a period of years, the probability is that a variety of good instructors from various fields will have an equal opportunity for recognition.
3. The selection process requires a trust in our colleagues; we must assume that those on the Review Committee will act professionally and in the best interest of the faculty and the university.
4. In spite of inherent flaws in attempting to offer an award where total objectivity cannot be guaranteed, such an award is highly desirable; merit always deserves recognition, and the university benefits from the public acknowledgement that we value and emphasize quality in the classroom.

Past Recipients
2013 Irene Rossell
2012 Thomas (Ted) E. Meigs
2011 Heidi Kelley
2010 Grace G. Campbell
2009 Timothy G. Forrest
2008 Steven C. Patch
2007 John W. Miller Jr.

Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship for Outstanding Scholarship and University Service 

Each year the full-time, ranked faculty of UNCA shall select two of its members for receipt of the Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship Fund prize. This award will honor those faculty who have excelled in one or both of the following fields:

  1. Service to the community and to UNCA; and,
  2. Demonstrated competence in the areas of teaching, research and published writings.

The selection of these two individuals is the responsibility of the Ruth and Leon Feldman Professorship Review Committee whose composition and procedures are described in Section 10.3.4 of the Faculty Handbook. The awards are bestowed at the final spring faculty meeting. Recipients of the award will be listed in the UNCA catalog in a section describing the Ruth & Leon Feldman Professorship Fund.

Past Recipients
2013 Bruce Larson, Duane Davis
2012 Mark Harvey and Cynthia Ho
2011 Brian Butler and Daniel Pierce
2010 Virginia Derryberry and Mark Sidelnick
2009 Grant Hardy and Michael Ruiz
2008 Mark Gibney and A. Keith Ray
2007 Bert Holmes and Don Lisnerski

Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors instituted an award system to underscore the importance of teaching and to encourage, identify, recognize, reward, and support good teaching within the University. The Board directed that each of the sixteen campuses establish awards for teaching excellence and to identify one faculty member per year that clearly exhibits those characteristics that sets them apart from the institution's faculty as a distinguished teacher. 

The Board of Governors' Distinguished Teacher award is presented each spring in a ceremony at the Board of Governors office. Eligibility is restricted to tenured faculty who have taught at their constituent institutions for at least seven years.

Past Recipients
2013 Linda Cornett
2012 Ellen Pearson
2011 Sophie Mills
2010 J. William Miller, Jr.
2009 Samuel Kaplan
2008 Kevin Moorhead
2007 Melissa Himelein

Excellent Teaching in the Natural Sciences

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a Natural Sciences division department with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. The Natural Sciences Division includes the following departments: Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, Physics.
Past Recipients
2013 Sally Wasileski
2012 Jeff Wilcox
2011 Patrick Bahls
2010 Chris Nicolay
2009 Kitti Reynolds
2008 Irene Rossell
2007 Cathy Whitlock

Excellent Teaching in the Social Sciences

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a Social Sciences division department with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. The Social Sciences Division includes the following departments: Economics, Education, Health and Fitness, Management, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.

Past Recipients
2013 Evelyn Chiang
2012 Karin Peterson
2011 Mark Gibney
2010 Linda Cornett
2009 Pamela Laughon
2008 Sarah (Betsy) Mayes
2007 Bryan Schaffer

Excellent Teaching in the Humanities

All full-time faculty who teach courses within a Humanities division department with a rank of lecturer or higher, regardless of tenure status, are eligible for this award. The Humanities Division includes the following departments: Art, Classics, Drama, Foreign Languages, History, Humanities, Library, Literature and Language, Mass Communication, Music, Philosophy. 

Past Recipients
2013 Leisa Rundquist 
2012 Erica Locklear
2011 Keya Maitra
2010 Gordon Wilson
2009 Brian Butler
2008 Brian Hook
2007 Ann Dunn

Excellent Teaching in University Programs

Past Recipients
2013 Jinhua Li 

Excellent Teaching by an Untenured Faculty Member

All full-time untenured faculty, regardless of appointment status, with a rank of lecturer or higher are eligible for this award.

Past Recipients
2013 Katherine Zubko 
2012 Jason Wingert
2011 Reid Chapman
2010 Blake Hobby
2009 Patrick Bahls
2008 Ted Meigs
2007 Susan Reiser

Excellent Teaching by Part-Time or Adjunct Faculty

All non-full-time faculty, regardless of appointment status, are eligible for this award.

Past Recipients
2013 Landon Ward
2012 Lee Anne Mangone
2011 Richard Laws
2010 Shirley Maggio
2009 Rebecca Doyle
2008 Dennis Lundblad
2007 Hal Marienthal


Endowed Professorships

Cary Caperton Owen Distinguished Professor in Economics

The Cary Caperton Owen Distinguished Professorship was established in October 2007 in honor of Cary Owen, who is known throughout the state as a remarkable champion for public education.  It is a three-year appointment that augments existing funding to allow a professor to pursue a special area of teaching, expand research efforts, and enhance professional development activities.

Past Recipients
2008 - present Joseph Sulock

Carol C. Belk Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

The Carol G. Belk Distinguished Professorship in Humanities was endowed by Irwin Belk in honor of his wife. Subtitled "Ethics In Contemporary Cultures," the Belk Professorship is given to an individual who can share his or her knowledge of the history, development and function of ethics and ethical systems in contemporary world cultures. The Belk Professor may come from any discipline and must have substantial accomplishment in undergraduate teaching, interdisciplinary teaching, scholarship, and campus and community leadership.

Duties include teaching two classes per semester, including courses in the Humanities program, scholarship, support of undergraduate research and faculty development activities. No term of appointment is specified.

Past Recipients
 - present Mark Gibney

Ruth Paddison Distinguished Professor in Music

Not awarded at this time

GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor in Molecular and Chemical Biology

Past Recipients
 - present Thomas "Ted" Meigs 

Roy Carroll Distinguished Professorship in Arts and Sciences Honors

Past Recipients
 - present Richard Chess

NEH Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the title of NEH professor is bestowed as a reward for scholarship and teaching in the Humanities. The NEH professor teaches a reduced class load (typically 2 courses each semester) and assists with faculty development in the Humanities area. The appointment is made by the Provost and VCAA for a term of 3 years. The title currently is held by the Director of Humanities Program.

Past Recipients
2013 - present Sophie Mills
2010 - 2012 Merritt Moseley
2007 - 2009 Gordon Wilson

Phillip G. Carson Distinguished Professor of Natural Science

The Phillip G. Carson Distinguished Professor in Science may be awarded in any discipline in UNC Asheville's natural sciences division, preferably to an individual whose specialty area stresses interdisciplinary learning. Identified as both a teacher and a scholar, the Carson Professor must have a strong commitment to undergraduate education and to undergraduate research, and is expected to have a wide impact on the university community and the state.

Duties include regular teaching of both upper and lower level courses (number of courses not specified), scholarship, support of undergraduate research, faculty development activities, and some public responsibilities. The appointment also provides separate funding for additional expenses. No term of appointment is specified.

Past Recipients
1998 - present Bert Holmes

Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professorship in Natural Science Undergraduate Research

The Glaxo Wellcome Professorship in Undergraduate Research may be awarded in any discipline in the physical and natural sciences, preferably to an individual whose expertise can enhance interdisciplinary learning and scholarship. The Glaxo Wellcome Professor is expected to take the lead role in facilitating interdisciplinary science and undergraduate science research. Evidence of commitment to undergraduate education, undergraduate research, and the liberal arts is essential. Preference is given to those with a proven record of securing external funds.

Duties include teaching four courses a year (lower and upper division), scholarship, support of undergraduate research, faculty development activities, and some public responsibilities. The appointment is for five years, renewable for a second five years.

Past Recipients
 - present Brian Dennison

Key Center Professorship

Past Recipients
2012 - present Lise Kloeppell

Sara and Joseph Breman Distinguished Professorship of Social Relations

The Sara and Joseph Breman Foundation and the Helen and Coleman Zageir Foundation have provided a permanent endowment for the Sara and Joseph Breman Professorship of Social Relations. This professorship is awarded for a two-year term to a faculty member residing in one of the Social Science departments listed in the endowment document. 

A call for applications is made during the fall semester of the Breman Professor's second year. Applications are reviewed the following spring by the VCAA in consultation with the chairs of the named Social Science departments.  The Breman Professor is named in the spring and his or her term begins the subsequent fall.

Past Recipients
2013 Amy Lanou
2012 Leah Mathews
2011 John Wood
2010 John Wood
2009 Kathie Garbe
2008 Kathie Garbe
2007 Melissa Himelein

Thomas H. Howerton Distinguished Professor in Humanities

Past Recipients
 - present Brian Butler

Interdisciplinary Professor of the Mountain South

Past Recipients
 - present Leah G. Mathews


Last edited by on February 24, 2014