Mary Harris, Bruce Bond, Arminta Jacobson are among those honored during Faculty Excellence Week
All great universities share one common trait: outstanding faculty and staff.
And while UNT has honored its faculty for many years, the process of honoring faculty is taking a giant leap this year as the recognition will cover an entire week -- Salute to Faculty Excellence Week -- to recognize the achievements of UNT's more than 1,500 faculty members.
"UNT faculty members are undeniably committed to their work as teachers, scholars, and leaders. Recognizing the commitment and accomplishments of our faculty is just one of the many ways that we can foster loyalty and strengthen a sense of community at UNT," Christy Crutsinger, vice provost for faculty success, says.
Salute to Faculty Excellence Week, Oct. 1 - 5, will culminate in a formal dinner at Apogee Stadium to honor UNT's top faculty members with a variety of awards, including three new awards supported by the UNT Foundation.
Strong faculty members not only excel in teaching, but also in research, service and leadership. The UNT Foundation chose to recognize the contributions of UNT's faculty all-stars by creating the Eminent Faculty Award, the Leadership Award and the Community Engagement Award.
Bruce Bond, a Regents Professor in the UNT Department of English, has been selected to be the first UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award winner. The Eminent Faculty Award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching and service. To be considered for the university's top faculty award, faculty members must meet the following criteria:
- Must have served the University of North Texas for a minimum of 10 years.
- Must be a full-time tenured professor in good standing at the time of the nomination.
- Must be well-rounded, with outstanding accomplishments in scholarly-creative activity, teaching, and service, bringing honor and recognition to UNT.
- Must have contributed notably to the advancement and vitality of the university community.
Bond, an accomplished and internationally known poet, has been on the UNT faculty for 17 years. He has excelled creatively with 10 full-length books of poetry and four chapbooks. His poems and critical essays have appeared in anthologies and journals such as Best American Poetry, the Yale Review, The Georgia Review, Raritan and The New Republic.
Bond also excels in service and teaching. Upon joining the UNT faculty, he helped develop the creative writing program and he also helped to build the department's national reputation. His teaching evaluations for the last three years have averaged 1.09, on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest and five the lowest. Student reviews include comments such as "one of the most intellectually stimulating teachers ever" and "I have enjoyed this class more than even my highest expectations could have prepared me."
Bond will be honored with a one-time $15,000 cash prize and a commemorative medallion. He also will receive a bronze eagle sculpture, which will rotate to the next eminent faculty award winner in 2013.
Arminta Jacobson and Mary Harris were selected for the UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award and the UNT Foundation Leadership Award, respectively. Both awards required faculty members to be full-time tenure-track or tenured in good standing. Faculty members must also have been at the university for at least five years to qualify. Jacobson and Harris will receive one-time cash prizes of $5,000 and a commemorative medallion.
The Community Engagement Award recognizes UNT faculty whose careers are marked by:
- sustained activities that systematically and effectively advance mutual university-community engagement
- successfully address important community issues through collaborative initiatives
- create intellectual products respected by peers within and beyond the academy
Jacobson, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, was selected to receive the Community Engagement Award because of her career-long commitment to developing parent education resources across the state. She is the founder and director of UNT's Center for Parent Education and has worked with various organizations across Texas and the nation to advocate for better infrastructure for parent education.
In one of her nomination letters, Lucy Long of Practical Parent Education says "Dr. Jacobson's influence goes across all of Texas and beyond. Her tireless efforts to provide an infrastructure that will support strong parent education standards and practices resulted in collaboration with Children's Trust Fund of Texas and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to create the Texas Registry of Parent Education Resources (TX ROPER)."
The UNT Foundation Leadership Award recognizes a faculty member who significantly impacts the academic enterprise of the university through his or her leadership and service. Harris, a Regents Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration, joined the UNT faculty in 2000 as the university's first Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education after serving as the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of North Dakota.
Harris also is one of the founding co-directors of the Teach North Texas program, which prepares and supports secondary teachers of mathematics and science, addressing the national and regional need for excellence and innovation in science and technology. Harris helped secure the initial $3 million in start-up grants for the program. The program is now 300 students strong. Additionally, she was a co-leader of the North Texas Regional P-16 Council and co-leader of a project that led to the foundation of three early college high schools.
In addition to the three foundation awards, the university also will present 18 additional awards.
The week also will include a lecture and reception sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development and featuring UNT Research Award Winners, Angela Wilson, Regents Professor of chemistry and Jeffrey Bradetich, Regents Professor of music. Several other lectures and presentations will be held throughout the week.