Faculty Awards

From: Laura Mentore, Chair, University Committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards
Date of distribution: January 8, 2015)


Dear Colleagues,

The University Committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards is very pleased to solicit nominations of candidates for our annual faculty awards:

(1) Grellet C. Simpson Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching

(2) Graduate Faculty Award

(3) Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Award

(4) J. Christopher “Topher” Bill Service Award

(5) Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

We are sending out this announcement a little earlier than previous years, in order to provide you more time to prepare, and in hopes of receiving as many nominations as possible. As a reminder, if you nominated someone in the past three years for one of these awards and they did not win, you may easily reactivate the prior nomination. Just send an email to Amy O’Reilly (aoreilly@umw.edu) stating that you wish for the person to be considered again for the same award.  All of the nomination materials previously submitted for that nominee will be used as the basis for considering them again. And, of course, if you wish to add anything (additional nomination letters, for example), you may do that.

Last year’s winners were:

  • Liane Houghtalin, Professor of Classics (Grellet C. Simpson Award)
  • G. Robert Greene, Senior Lecturer in Management (Graduate Faculty Award)
  • Eric Bonds, Assistant Professor of Sociology (Outstanding Young Faculty Award)
  • Venita McCall, Professor of Education  (Topher Bill Award)
  • Christopher KilmartinProfessor of Psychology (Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award)

The Mary W. Pinschmidt Award is determined by the Senior Class.  Last year’s winner was Maria Isabel Martinez-MiraAssociate Professor of Spanish.  Please do not nominate anyone for the Pinschmidt award through this process. A list of all past recipients of these awards is available at:


Nomination Process

Nominations are welcome from any member of the University community, and letters may be written by single or multiple individuals.  Nominations from students are always welcome, so please consider relaying this message to students within your major through an appropriate channel. Send a letter to the Provost’s office, indicating the specific reasons for the nomination.  The deadline for the receipt of nomination letters is Monday, February 22, 2016. Nominations must be submitted electronically as either a word or pdf document (pdf preferred).  Send the nomination letter as a file attachment to Amy O’Reilly (aoreilly@umw.edu).

All full-time continuing faculty are eligible to be nominated for the Simpson Award or for the Graduate Faculty Award.  Keep in mind, though, that the Simpson Award is for outstanding undergraduate teaching.  Also, nominees for the Graduate Faculty Award must be persons who teach graduate students and have distinguished themselves as members of a graduate program at the University.

The Outstanding Young Faculty Award is presented to a full-time faculty member who has between two and five years of full-time teaching service at UMW. Someone who is in their fifth year is eligible; someone who has already completed five years of service is not. Please make sure the individual you are nominating in this category is eligible. See this list of persons eligible for the young faculty award.

The Topher Bill Award recognizes outstanding faculty service. Nominees must have served a minimum of seven years as a member of the Mary Washington teaching faculty and must have been significantly and consistently involved in a variety of service roles through department, college, university, and/or community service activities.

The Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award is based on the significance/impact of the faculty nominee’s scholarly, creative, and/or professional achievement(s).  All full-time, continuing faculty with at least seven years employment at UMW are eligible.  Achievement(s) must have been undertaken during the nominee’s years at UMW.

Award Presentations

The Graduate Faculty Award will be presented at the Graduate Commencement ceremony on Friday evening, May 6.  The Simpson Award and the Young Faculty Award winners will be presented at the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday May 7.  The Waple Award will be presented at the General Faculty Meeting in April 2016. The Topher Bill Award will be presented at the opening General Faculty Meeting in August 2016.

Selection Process

The University Committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards will review all nominations and select the winners.  Members of this committee are:

  • Laura Mentore, Department of Sociology and Anthropology (Committee Chair)
  • Theresa Grana, Department of Biology
  • Dave Henderson, College of Business
  • Shumona Dasgupta, Department of English, Linguistics and Communication
  • Teresa Coffman, College of Education

Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter.  Please let us know if you have any questions.  Once again, the deadline for nominations is Monday, February 22, 2016. All nominations must be submitted electronically to Amy O’Reilly (aoreilly@umw.edu).  We look forward to receiving your nominations on behalf of your outstanding colleagues!


Laura, Theresa, Dave, Shumona, and Teresa

Laura H. Mentore
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Mary Washington