The recipients of the 2012 Faculty Achievement Awards, with top graduating students from every degree program, will be honored at the University Honors Convocation on Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.
This year’s Faculty Achievement Award recipients are Dr. Fritz C. Kessler, Department of Geography, for Academic Accomplishment; Dr. Gregory J. Wood, Department of History, for Academic Accomplishment; Dr. Amit J. Shah, Department of Management, for Teaching; and Dr. Amy C. Branam, Department of English, for University and Community Service. The awards are made possible through generous gifts to the FSU Foundation, Inc.
In addition to the faculty awards, one graduating student per degree program will be honored for academic excellence and leadership. Faculty in each program have selected 12 graduate students and 36 undergraduate students to be recognized. Also commended will be 30 undergraduate students receiving Honors in General Education, based on completion of all requirements of the University Honors Program.
Since Kessler joined FSU in 1999, his dedication to the field of cartography, specifically map projections, has resulted in numerous conference presentations and publications, including an atlas, a cartography textbook and peer reviewed articles in major geography journals. He spent time as editor of “Cartographic Perspectives,” where he increased readership and expanded a student poster competition into the most important showcase of new cartographic talent and research in the country. Kessler, an associate professor of geography, continues to research map projections, using his knowledge and skills in the classroom. He is researching recent assessments of the lack of attention to geographic literacy and education in the United States. Kessler integrates his research, a key component of his work, into the curriculum to enhance student learning.
Wood, an assistant professor of history, recently published his research in a book, “Retiring Men: Manhood, Labor and Growing Old in America, 1900-1960,” which examines the preservation of masculinity and its influence on labor politics in the 20th century. He has authored several peer-reviewed journal articles, encyclopedia entries and book reviews. One of his articles received the prestigious James Soltow Award, and he has presented academic papers at conferences across the country. His labor studies research provides an expansion of our understanding of the combination of gender and labor through the lens of history. Wood is a model teacher and researcher: an individual who not only values research, but values the teaching of it to students to enhance their critical thinking skills.
A professor of management, Shah receives high accolades for his teaching skills from his colleagues and students. He is known for being highly accessible to students and possessing a deep desire to have a positive impact on their academic lives. His teaching techniques result in high-quality learning and retention. He relies on a learning model of conversational and discussion-based learning, encouraging students to actively construct meanings from course materials. He provides extensive feedback to students to improve academic performance. Letters from current and former students portray him as a deeply caring professor. Shah is the only faculty member in FSU history to have earned a Regents’ Award and all three categories of Faculty Achievement Awards.
Branam, an assistant professor of English, has shown profound dedication to FSU through her service to the University and surrounding community. She serves on numerous departmental and University committees and advises several student organizations. Her commitment to service is exemplified by her involvement in the Women’s Studies and African-American Studies programs. As an advisor for V-Day, she has taken a prominent role in organizing events such as the Clothesline Project, the Scarf Project, Take Back the Night and “The Vagina Monologues.” As a member of the African-American Studies steering committee, she has organized and secured grant funding for the Frostburg exhibition of “Hateful Things,” a traveling exhibit from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. Branam engages in a remarkable amount of service to better her institution and the experience of her students.
For more information, contact the Office of the Provost at 301-687-4211.
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