Faculty Awards


First Call Faculty Awards 2019

From: Eric Lorentzen, Chair, University Committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards

Date of Distribution: (November 26, 2019)

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 hope you will take the time to prepare and submit a nomination. The Committee received strong slates of nominees last year and we are hopeful of again 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:

•Robert R. Barr, Associate Professor of Political Science (Grellet C. Simpson Award)
•Jane L. Huffman, Associate Professor of Education (Graduate Faculty Award)
•Caitlin C. Finlayson, Assistant Professor of Geography (Outstanding Young Faculty Award)
•E. Eric Gable, Professor of Anthropology (Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award)
•Smita Jain Oxford, Senior Lecturer in Business Communication (Mary W. Pinschmidt Award — this award is determined by the Senior Class)
•Dana S. Hall, Associate Professor of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education (J. Christopher “Topher” Bill Service Award)

The Mary W. Pinschmidt Award is determined by the Senior Class. 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, March 4, 2019.  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 the attached 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 10th.  The Simpson Award and the Young Faculty Award winners will be presented at the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11th.  The Waple Award will be presented at the General Faculty Meeting in April 2019. The Topher Bill Award will be presented at the opening General Faculty Meeting in August 2019.

Selection Process

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

• Eric Lorentzen, Department of English, Linguistics and Communication (Committee Chair)
• Parrish Waters, Department of Biological Sciences
• Sayan Sarkar, College of Business
• Antonio Causarano, College of Education
• Plus one member to be named by the Committee on Faculty Organization

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, March 4, 2019. 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!
Eric, Antonio, Parrish, Sayan

Eric Lorentzen
SFFA Committee Chair
Associate Professor of English
Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
304 Combs Hall
Fredericksburg, VA 22401