Willamette presents faculty awards for teaching and scholarship

Faculty Awards

Left to right: Jennifer Roberts, David Friedman, Chris Symeonides (accepting for his father, Symeon Symeonides), Seth Cotlar, Inga Johnson, Mark Conliffe. Not pictured: Henry H. Bi.

Faculty excellence, scholarship and service were highlighted at the 2012 Faculty Awards which was held on September 12, 2012 on the Ford Hall 2nd floor patio.

Following is a list of the awards and the recipients:

Lawrence D. Cress Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship

This award recognizes the important relationships between teaching, research and the undergraduate experience.

Seth Cotlar, College of Liberal Arts (History)

Cotlar not only connects his own scholarship with teaching but has helped others do so through his leadership of the Liberal Arts Research Collaborative Program known as LARC.  Through LARC he designed a new model for fostering student-faculty collaboration the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  His own scholarship has most recently resulted in publication of a book in 2011, “Tom Paine’s America - The Rise and Fall of Transatlantic Radicalism in the Early Republic”.  He has developed successful techniques to ensure that students prepare for class so they can use class time for discussions.  He asks questions that require students to review the reading, organize the evidence it provides into broader interpretations and engage with some of the larger, interpretive questions through conversation.  Students unanimously endorse his approach to teaching and advising. 

Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching

This award celebrates distinguished teaching and leadership by a faculty member.

Mark Conliffe, College of Liberal Arts (German and Russian)

Conliffe is successful in creating learning environments where students feel comfortable contributing and receiving feedback. He uses technology effectively to bring a distant part of the world and different culture to his students, teaching courses both in the language and in translation. Letters from colleagues and students consistently praise this person as a passionate, engaging and amiable professor. He is consummately skilled at leading class discussions. Several students describe his class as a “mind-transforming experience”. Colleagues describe him as a generous, reasonable, co-operative faculty member who can be trusted to have the College’s best interests in mind.

David Friedman, College of Law

Friedman began his teaching career at the College of Law in 2006 as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Clinical Legal Studies. In the fall of 2008, he was appointed to the regular faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and, since that time, he has taught several of the College of Law’s most highly-enrolled classes including Contracts I & II, Sales and Business Organizations. As part of the College of Law’s regular evaluation process, Friedman has had class visitations from more than half of the tenured members of the law school faculty who describe him as “excellent,” “outstanding,” “gifted,” and “skillful.” Students describe this professor in equally glowing terms and, in a remarkable feat for a professor who only joined the regular faculty in 2008, named him the College of Law’s Outstanding Professor of the Year three times in a row from 2009 to 2011.

Henry H. Bi, Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Due to Bi's hard work, the Atkinson School is the only SAP University Alliance partner in the state of Oregon and only one of two in the entire northwest. This effort enables university faculty to teach students about technology-enabled integrated business processes. Students gain practical knowledge of how technology gives businesses the ability to optimize processes like accounting & controlling, human capital management, project planning, plant and materials management, and sales and distribution. His successful effort to incorporate the SAP enterprise resource planning platform throughout the coursework he offers is greatly appreciated by our students. His course evaluations are consistently strong. He works hard to convey the cross-disciplinary nature of operations and information systems, and the ethical concerns typical in that domain. Students appreciate his concern for them and the challenges he presents them with active learning. Bi embodies the commitment to teaching and learning sought by the Atkinson School and Willamette University.

United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service 

This award celebrates not only the extraordinary impact a professor can have in the classroom, it also recognizes the powerful role a faculty member can play in the campus community.

Inga Johnson, College of Liberal Arts (Mathematics)

Johnson uses a method of instruction called Inquiry-Based Learning. This method requires students to actively create knowledge of the course material using their own critical analysis, logical reasoning and creativity. The professor gives students a list of sequenced questions and problems to solve. The sequenced questions are designed to be accessible steps towards achieving deeper understanding of the course concepts. Students report that this professor makes difficult concepts clear to them, that her positive attitude encourages them to keep trying and that she challenges and inspires them. Johnson is also a teacher of teachers. Her colleagues express deep admiration and gratitude for her leadership in departmental pedagogy and curriculum. The department summer retreat meeting series resulted in the joint design of new course and ways to teach standard courses. She has been a splendid mentor and role model to newer faculty members.

Jennifer Roberts, Graduate School of Education

In just two short years, Roberts has proven to be an asset to the Graduate School of Education and Willamette University thanks to both her teaching excellence and her contributions to the community. When she arrived in August 2010, Roberts was immediately immersed in both the teaching and leadership of our face-to-face MAT cohort program. With several senior faculty on sabbatical leaves, she assumed the duties of cohort coordinator, mentored adjunct faculty and supported the field placements of our students’ in the schools – a daunting task for any first-year faculty member but something that speaks to this person’s values and integrity. Outside of GSE she has taken on the role of Executive Board Member in the Oregon Council of Teachers of English and the National Association of Professors of Middle Level Education – organizations that are dedicated to improving teacher education and classroom practice. Her students are consistently impressed by her careful classroom preparation, engaging manner and meaningful feedback.

Robert L. Misner Award for Law Faculty Scholarship

Established in memory of this former dean and professor at the College of Law, this award recognizes a member of the faculty who embodies Dean Misner's commitment to excellence. 

Symeon Symeonides, College of Law

Symeonides joined the College of Law faculty in 1999, after having served as a member of the faculty of another distinguished law U.S. school since 1978. In addition to teaching in U.S. Law Schools, this professor has also taught in many foreign law programs, including programs in France, Greece, Belgium, and The Hague. During his time at the College of Law, this professor has published 12 books, 48 law review articles (including many in the nation’s most prestigious law reviews) and 18 shorter works. Coupled with the books and articles he wrote prior to arriving at Willamette, he has now published more than 20 books and more than 100 law review articles in his long and distinguished career.

Mortar Board Professor of the Year

The recipient of this award is selected by CLA students and presented by Mortar Board to a member of the CLA faculty.

Mark Conliffe, College of Liberal Arts (German and Russian)