Awards presented for teaching, research, service

Western Carolina University recently presented its top faculty and staff awards for teaching, research and service for the 2009-10 academic year at its annual spring Awards Convocation.

Chancellor John W. Bardo announced Gibbs Knotts, associate professor and head of the political science and public affairs department, as the winner of the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and the University Scholar Award. Bardo also presented university awards to faculty including Elizabeth “Libby” G. McRae, associate professor of history, recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award; and C. Dale Carpenter, professor of special education, recipient of the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award for Faculty.

Staff awards honored Rich L. Kucharski, general counsel and director of technology transfer, recipient of the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award for Administrative Staff; Amy McKenzie, administrative support associate for the philosophy and religion department, recipient of the Star Staff Award; and Rosemarie “Rosie” Greenwood, administrative support specialist for Facilities Management, recipient of the Judy H. Dowell Outstanding Support Staff Award.

The Academic Program of Excellence Award was bestowed on the communication sciences and disorders department.

The Integration of Learning Award was awarded to the Wellness and Leisure Time Program, a collaborative effort led by Bill Papin, a health, physical education and recreation instructort; Robert Crow, an instructional developer with Coulter Faculty Center; and Josh Whitmore, director of outdoor programs and Base Camp Cullowhee.

Additional universitywide faculty awards included the Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies Award, which honored Sloan Despeaux, associate professor and associate head of the mathematics and computer science department; the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, which honored Debbie Burke, professor of business law and head of the business administration and law and sport management department; the Jay M. Robinson eTeaching Award, which honored Claire DeCristofaro, associate professor of nursing; and the Last Lecture Award, which was presented to Ted Chiappelli, associate professor of health sciences.

“These awards recognize many of the contributions of our colleagues who work so intensely to provide our students with a first-class education, who create new knowledge and ways of applying that knowledge, and who serve the community to improve the quality of life for all of us,” said Bardo.