Faculty and Staff Awards

Each year, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences honors its outstanding faculty and staff with a range of awards.

In 2021, awards will be given in four categories: Academic Leadership, Faculty Mentoring, Strategic Goals, and Staff Excellence.

The deadline for the submission of materials is Friday, April 16. Please submit all nomination materials to clas@uconn.edu with the name of the relevant award in the subject line.

About the Awards


Academic Leadership

This award recognizes exemplary work in leadership by an individual who oversees a CLAS department, center, institute, or program. One award will be given each year.

Criteria for Selection

This award recognizes exemplary work in leadership by an individual who oversees a CLAS academic unit, including our 25 departments and our 13 Centers, Institutes, and Programs.

An individual will be selected based on consistently demonstrated excellence, including substantive accomplishments, across the following areas:

  • Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Developing and communicating a clear vision for the unit, and moving the department toward that vision
  • Modeling and facilitating ethical, civil, and productive relationships among the faculty, staff, and students
  • Ensuring consultation with faculty and other stakeholders
  • Operating with openness, honesty, and transparency
  • Fostering an environment conducive to mentoring students, faculty, and staff across appointment types and campuses (where appropriate); empowering the success and development of others
  • Advancing research and scholarship; encouraging and facilitating faculty to obtain external research funding that is appropriate for the discipline
  • Facilitating the teaching and service missions of CLAS, in a manner that is equitable and balances the many demands among faculty, the College, and our units
  • Developing networks, partnerships, and collaborations to facilitate the success of their faculty and students
  • Dedication to continuous learning and improvement

The award is open to CLAS department heads or directors/coordinators of a CLAS center, institute or program. One award will be given. Recipients will be selected by a committee of CLAS leaders and will receive $1,000 in funds to support research, teaching, or professional development.

How to Nominate or Apply

To apply, nominators or self-nominators should submit:

  1. Letter of nomination by faculty, support staff, students, or individuals across these roles; the strongest nominations will show evidence of broad, collective support and details related to the list above
  2. Candidate CV
  3. Candidate statement on leadership, including their philosophy, accomplishments, and impact within CLAS (limited to two pages)

Faculty Mentoring

The Faculty Mentoring Awards will recognize faculty who demonstrate exemplary support, encouragement, and the creation of opportunities to enrich the learning and professional development of others. Awards will be given in three categories each year: mentoring of faculty, mentoring of graduate students, and mentoring of undergraduate students.

Criteria for Selection

Mentoring relationships can be extremely valuable in the success of individuals at all career stages and can also involve highly enjoyable and enriching experiences for both mentors and mentees. Mentoring may take many forms and can occur between pairs or larger groups of individuals. In all cases, mentoring should provide meaningful connections to facilitate the advancement of the goals and aspirations of the mentee(s)

Separate awards will be given for mentoring of faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students as follows:

  • Faculty Mentoring of Faculty Award
  • Faculty Mentoring of Graduate Students Award
  • Faculty Mentoring of Undergraduate Students Award

These awards are open to all CLAS full-time faculty, including all tenure-line, in-residence, and clinical faculty. However, individuals may be nominated for only one of the three mentoring awards each year. One award will be given in each category. Recipients will be selected by a committee of faculty members and will receive $1,000 in funds to support research, teaching, or professional development.

How to Nominate or Apply

To apply for any of the faculty mentoring awards, nominators or self-nominators should submit:

  1. Letter of nomination articulating the activities and impact of the mentor written by one or a collection of individuals, including students and/or faculty (limited to 3 pages, excluding signatures)
  2. Candidate CV
  3. Up to 3 additional letters of support, including one from the faculty member's supervisor (department head or other unit leader) if they are not a signatory on the letter of nomination; at least one letter of support must be from an individual at UConn

Strategic Goals

The Strategic Goal Awards recognize the efforts of faculty members to support key goals from the CLAS Strategic Plan. One award will be given in each of four categories each year. Nominations may be for an individual or a team.

    Criteria for Selection

    During the 2019-2021 academic year, the College undertook a collaborative strategic planning process. Among other things, the resulting plan articulated four overarching goals for the College to work toward in the coming years. The Strategic Goal Awards recognize the efforts of faculty members in these areas.

    • Climate, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award - Awarded in recognition of exceptional efforts to build and continually support an academic environment and workplace where diverse faculty, staff, and students feel valued and thrive.
    • Innovative Scholarship Award - Awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in interdisciplinary research that engage novel intersections to address major challenges to knowledge, well-being, and our world.
    • Teaching, Learning, and Student Success Award - Awarded for design, development, and/or delivery of an innovative course, curriculum, or other educational opportunity that significantly increases student engagement and positive learning outcomes in unique ways.
    • Broader Impacts, Service, and Visibility Award - Awarded for outstanding initiatives that visibly impact the welfare of Connecticut and beyond, including but not limited to facilitating community engagement, developing strong connections to government or nonprofit agencies, and/or leveraging alumni networks.

    These awards are open to all CLAS full-time faculty, including all tenure-line, in-residence, and clinical faculty. Nominations may be for individuals or teams of individuals. One award will be given in each category. Recipients will be selected by a committee of faculty members and each award will provide $1,000 in research, teaching, or professional development funds for the individual or team.

    How to Nominate or Apply

    To apply for any of the strategic goal awards, nominators or self-nominators should submit:

    1. Letter of nomination
    2. Individual candidate CV or CV for each team member
    3. Individual candidate or team statement of accomplishments (500-word limit; self-nominating individuals should include this in item #1)
    4. Up to 3 additional letters of support, including at least one from an individual at UConn

    Staff Excellence 

    The Staff Excellence Award honors individual staff members across the College who bring distinction and innovation to their work and help to promote the CLAS mission. Up to two awards will be given each year. 

    Criteria for Selection

    The Staff Excellence Award honors individual staff members across the College who bring distinction and innovation to their work and help to promote the CLAS mission.

    These awards are open to all full-time, permanent staff members of a CLAS department or unit. Up to two awards will be given. Recipients will be selected by a committee of College staff members and will be awarded $1,000 in funds for professional development.

    How to Nominate or Apply

    For the staff awards, nominators or self-nominators should submit:

    1. Letter of nomination
    2. Candidate statement describing their impact on the College and/or their unit (self- nominating individuals should include this in item #1)
    3. Up to 3 additional letters of support, including at least one from an individual at UConn

    Past Recipients

    2020

    Faculty Excellence in Teaching
    Annamaria Csizmadia, Human Development and Family Sciences
    Michael Finiguerra, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    Susan Herrick, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality Team Award
    Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Cohort

    Staff Excellence
    Ann Dreger, CLAS Academic Services Center
    Nick McIntosh, CLAS IT

    2019

    Faculty Excellence in Research
    Harry van der Hulst, Linguistics
    Bandana Purkayastha, Sociology
    David Knecht, Molecular and Cell Biology
    Norah Berrah, Physics
    Rebecca Puhl, Human Development and Family Studies - Public Scholarship category

    Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality
    Chris Vials, English - Social Justice category

    Staff Excellence
    Stephanie Beron, Geography
    Ashley Orcutt, Chemistry

    2018

    Faculty Excellence in Teaching
    Rory McGloin, Communication
    Laura Donorfio, Human Development and Family Studies
    Amit Savkar, Mathematics

    Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality
    Jane Gordon, Political Science - Social Justice category
    CLAS Student Leadership Board - Diversity, Inclusion and Equality category

    Staff Excellence
    Bri Diaz, Dean’s Office
    Cindy Stewart, Communication

     

    2017

    Faculty Excellence in Research
    Matthew Hughey, Sociology
    Letitia Naigles, Psychological Sciences
    Gerald Dunne, Physics
    Cathy Schlund-Vials, English and Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

    Staff Excellence
    Fe Delos-Santos, Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
    Heather Parker, History

    2016

    Faculty Excellence in Teaching
    Stephen Dyson, Political Science
    George Gibson, Physics
    Etan Markus, Psychological Sciences

    Staff Excellence
    Carla Gomez, Human Development and Family Studies
    Carol Valone, Psychological Sciences

    2015

    Faculty Excellence in Research
    Jc Beall, Philosophy
    Richard Langlois, Economics
    Akiko Nishiyama, Physiology and Neurobiology
    Ralf Schiffler, Mathematics

    Staff Excellence
    Jessica Muirhead, History
    Anne St. Onge, Biology Central Services

    2014

    Faculty Excellence in Teaching
    Sam Best, Political Science
    David Miller, Psychology
    Fred Roden, English

    2013

    Faculty Excellence in Research
    Blair Johnson, Psychology
    Patrick Hogan, English
    Ming-Hui Chen, Statistics
    Mark Boyer, Political Science

    2012

    Faculty Excellence in Teaching
    Shareen Hertel, Political Science
    Holly Fitch, Psychology
    Rachael Lynch, English

    2011

    Faculty Excellence in Research
    Michael Lynch, Philosophy
    Nancy Naples, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
    Mike Willig, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    Steve Suib, Chemistry

    2010

    Faculty Excellence in Teaching
    Margaret Breen, English
    Nicholas Leadbeater, Chemisty
    Rachel O’Neill, Molecular and Cell Biology
    Kim Price-Glynn, Sociology

    2009

    Faculty Excellence in Research
    Mary M. Burke, English
    Donald H. Les, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    James F. Rusling, Chemistry
    Stephen L. Ross, Economics