Faculty Awards

MEMORANDUM to UMW Students, Faculty, and Staff
From Jonathan Levin, Provost (date of distribution – January 29, 2015)


I am very pleased to solicit nominations of candidates for our annual faculty awards —(1) the Grellet C. Simpson Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, (2) the Graduate Faculty Award, (3) the Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Award, (4) the J. Christopher “Topher” Bill Service Award, and (5) the Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.

We have made one important change in how you may nominate your colleagues that we hope will make the process easier for you. 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 of course do that.

Last year’s winners were:

  • Mara Scanlon, Professor of English (Grellet C. Simpson Award);
  • Beverly Epps, Associate Professor of Education (Graduate Faculty Award);
  • Chad Murphy, Assistant Professor of Political Science (Outstanding Young Faculty Award)
  • Lou Martinette, Associate Professor of Marketingy  (Topher Bill Award); and
  • Mindy Erchull, Associate Professor of Psychology (Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award).

There is one other faculty award, the Mary W. Pinschmidt Award, and it is determined by the Senior Class.  Last year’s winner was Lynn Lewis, Professor of Biology.  Please do not nominate anyone for the Pinschmidt award through this process. A list of all past recipients of these awards is available at: http://publications.umw.edu/undergraduatecatalog/administration-and-faculty/faculty/faculty-awards/

Nomination Process

Nominations are welcome from any member of the University community.  Send a letter to me, indicating the specific reasons for the nomination.  The deadline for the receipt of nomination letters is Monday, February 23, 2015. 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 8.  The Simpson Award and the Young Faculty Award winners will be presented at the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday May 9.  The Waple Award will be presented at the General Faculty Meeting in April 2015. The Topher Bill Award will be presented at the opening General Faculty Meeting in August 2015.

Selection Process

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

  • Theresa Grana, Department of Biological Sciences (Chair)
  • Laura Mentore, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
  • Courtney Clayton, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Dave Henderson, College of Business
  • Federico Schneider, Department of Modern Foreign Languages

Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Once again, the deadline for nominations is Monday, February 23, 2015. All nominations must be submitted electronically to Amy O’reilly (aoreilly@umw.edu).  I look forward to receiving a nomination from you.