Office of the Provost

Faculty Awards, Grants and Recognitions

Christopher Newport University recognizes outstanding faculty who have made significant contributions in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. Below are award announcements as well as opportunities to apply for upcoming grants and awards.

Christopher Newport is proud to celebrate with the winners of the following international and national awards:

  • Dr. Rosa Motta, $10,500 Shohet Grant, International Catacomb Society (Harvard)
  • Professor Denise Gillman, Association for Theatre in Higher Education and Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival Prize for Teaching Innovation for Region IV (The first professor to ever be honored with this recognition)
  • Dr. Michaela Meyer, Three Top Paper Awards in the areas of Women’s Caucus, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, and Popular Culture, Central States Communication Association
  • Dr. Lisa Spiller, National Case Competition of the Jacobs & Clevenger Case Writers’ Workshop, Silver Award
  • Dr. Sharon Rowley, National Endowment for the Humanities $250,000 grant award
  • Dr. Patricia Hopkins, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty
  • Dr. Elizabeth Morán, Fulbright-García Robles Award, Mexico
  • Dr. Laura Puaca, AAUW Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship
  • Dr. Sharon Rowley, NEH Fellowship and Visiting Fellowship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, U.K.
  • Dr. Henry Booker, Fulbright Scholar Award to teach economics in Azerbaijan

The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

Previous awardees are as follows:

  • Dr. Jonathan White, 2019, Leadership and American Studies
  • Dr. Quentin Kidd, 2014, Government
  • Dr. Tracey Schwarze, 2007, Emerita, English
  • Dr. Harold Cones, 2000, Emeritus, Biology
  • Dr. Susan St. Onge, 1997, Emerita, French

In 2007 the Christopher Newport Alumni Society created the annual Alumni Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. It is designed to honor faculty who are exceptionally committed to teaching and learning excellence and to university citizenship.

The dean of each college/school is responsible for selecting one faculty member from her or his respective college/school and submitting to the vice provost for undergraduate education who oversees this award process. The vice provost will submit the nominees to the director of alumni relations and the chair of the Alumni Society committee who then interview the top candidates and select the winner.

Each dean’s nominee receives a $500 stipend from the Alumni Society. The winner of the award is announced at Honors Convocation, and receives a stipend of $2,000 (in addition to the initial $500 award).

Criteria and documentation: (All matters of interpretation of these provisions shall be decided by the vice provost). To be considered, individuals must, in the academic year of consideration, be serving as full-time, salaried members of the CNU instructional faculty and must be in no less than their seventh year of teaching at Christopher Newport. Nomination packages will include a letter of support outlining the reasons for the nomination and attesting to the quality of the nominee’s record from the academic dean. The nominee will assemble and submit a package of supporting documentation that shall include the following:

  1. A 1,000-word essay as to why the nominee should be selected as the winner. This is a 3-to–5-page statement of accomplishment that demonstrates evidence of outstanding performance and addresses the candidate’s educational philosophy. The statement should emphasize involvement/participation, effectiveness/success, impact/achievement and recognition/acknowledgement in

    • Teaching (instruction and student development)
    • Mentoring (formal and informal guidance of students outside the classroom)
    • Integration of knowledge (curricular development/connections between teaching and discovery)
    • Service (institutional/public/community)
  2. A one-page list of activities that support the above mentioned criteria

  3. Four letters of recommendation to include one from a colleague, one from a student, one from an alumnus/a and and from a person of the nominee’s choosing.

  4. Any additional evidence the nominee wishes to provide: summaries of teaching evaluations, etc. Quantitative information is encouraged here (no more than four pages).

Timeline for 2019 Award

Dates Action Required
2/1/2020 The vice provost invites the four academic deans to begin the process of selecting one nominee each from their respective college or school.
3/1/2020 Deans submit the names of their nominees to the vice provost and notify their nominees.
4/5/2020 Nomination packets are completed and submitted to the vice provost, who will provide them to the director of alumni relations and the chair of the Alumni Society committee to review the packets and set-up in-person interviews with each nominee.
4/12/2020 A reception for nominees, past winners, alumni society representatives, the president and various academic leadership members will be held at the Gregory P. Klich Alumni House from 6–8 p.m.
4/16/2020 Faculty Screening Committee forwards top candidates to Alumni Society Executive Council and Alumni Society Faculty Award Ad-Hoc Committee.
4/26/2020 Alumni Society decision communicated to the president, provost and vice provost.
5/10/2020 Presentation of nominees and announcement of the winner, along with presentation of plaque and medallion at Honors Convocation.

Previous winners

  • Dr. Laura Puaca, 2018
  • Dr. Nathan Busch, 2017
  • Dr. Jon White, 2016
  • Dr. Andrew Falk, 2015
  • Dr. Linda Waldron, 2014
  • Dr. Graham Schweig, 2013
  • Dr. Elizabeth Kaufer Busch, 2012
  • Dr. Mark U. Reimer, 2011
  • Dr. Edward J. Brash, 2010
  • Dr. Michaela Meyer, 2009
  • Dr. Quentin Kidd, 2008
  • Dr. Lisa Spiller, 2007

The provost and the Faculty Senate initiated three faculty awards (in teaching, scholarship and service) in 2011–12. A fourth award in interdisciplinarity – suggested by faculty and generously supported by the university librarian – was introduced in 2019.

These four awards join the annual Alumni Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring (which has been granted since 2007) to recognize the most recent faculty accomplishments.

All full- and part-time faculty are eligible for the awards. The Faculty Senate announces a call for nominations in the spring (self-nominations are also accepted). The senate receives the nominations and designates a subcommittee to rank the applications for each award. The senate then forwards the rankings to the provost, who makes the final decision on granting the awards.

Each award carries a $2,000 stipend and is recognized by a certificate presented by the provost at the general faculty meeting during Getting Started Week.

Past Faculty Excellence Award Winners

Year Teaching Scholarship Service Interdisciplinarity Graduate Mentoring
2012 Dr. Geoffrey Klein Dr. Tarek Abdel-Fattah Dr. Lori Underwood N/A  N/A 
2013 Dr. Jessica Thompson Dr. Quentin Kidd and Dr. Sharon Rowley Dr. Jean Filetti N/A  N/A 
2014 Dr. Peter Carlson Dr. Jonathan White Dr. Stephanie Bardwell N/A  N/A 
2015 Dr. Michelle Erhardt Dr. Xiaoqun Xu Dr. Lisa Webb N/A  N/A 
2016 Dr. Elizabeth Jelinek Dr. Thomas Hall Dr. Lynn Lambert N/A  N/A 
2017 Dr. Laura Puaca Dr. Nathan Busch Dr. Sheri Shuck-Hall & Dr. Jessica Thompson N/A  N/A 
2018 Dr. Laurie Hunter Dr. John Hyland & Dr. George Zestos Dr. Anton Riedl N/A  N/A 
2019 Dr. Brent Cusher Dr. Mark Padilla Dr. Linda Waldron Prof.Denise Gillman  N/A 
2020  Dr. Charlotte Cartwright  Dr. John Finn  Dr. John Nichols  Dr. William Donaldson  Dr. Jean Filetti 

Deadlines for 2021

Note: All deadlines are at 11:59 p.m.

Date Action Required
2/26/2021 Applications due electronically to department chairs
3/12/2021 Chairs submit their recommendations and rankings electronically (if multiple departmental members applied for same award)
3/26/2021 Deans submit their rankings electronically for review by the Faculty Senate subcommittee on Faculty Excellence Awards
4/23/2021 Faculty Senate votes on the subcommittee’s recommendation and submits its final rankings electronically for the Provost's review
Getting Started Week Provost announces the award recipients

Application Materials

Application materials should be submitted through Digital Measures as a single PDF file and should include:

  • A cover letter by the applicant containing a narrative explaining and detailing the excellence of the applicant’s service, teaching or scholarship, limited exclusively to accomplishments since August 2017, highlighting the criteria listed above (3–4 pages)
  • An abbreviated curriculum vitae highlighting relevant teaching, scholarship or service (1–2 pages)
  • A peer letter of support invited by the applicant from CNU faculty other than the chair or dean, or an academic scholar from another university (maximum 2 pages).
  • Faculty Excellence Award application

Dr. Jean Filetti, Director of Teacher Preparation and Professor of English, was announced in Fall 2020 as the winner of the 2020 Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring. Congratulations!

The Offices of the Provost and Graduate Studies is happy to announce information regarding the 2021 Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring. This award is for a full- and part-time graduate faculty member who has have an exceptional impact on graduate students through supervision of their research or professional practice. Nominations may be from students, colleagues, or oneself. The award will cover graduate mentoring for the past 3 years.

Deadlines for 2021

Note: All deadlines are at 5 p.m.

Date Action Required
2/26/2021 Nominations due. Email with the nominee's name and the person doing the nominating. Self nominations, nominations by students and peer nominations are welcome.
3/5/2021 All eligible, nominated faculty will be asked if they would like to submit materials.
3/12/2021 Faculty who wish to apply will email indicating that, and send a list of the names and contact information for 3-5 students who can speak on the nominee’s graduate mentoring
4/9/2021 Application materials from applicant, peer and students due to
4/23/2021 Committee sends recommendations to Director of Graduate Studies
Getting Started Week Provost announces winner

Review Process

A committee consisting of the four Graduate Program Directors or a representative from their program and the Interim Director for Graduate Student Studies will review the applications, and make a recommendation to the Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Studies, and Assessment.

Eligible faculty will be asked for a list of 3-5 students. Letters from those students will be requested, and used as a major consideration in the award decision process.

Each award carries a $2000 stipend, and will be recognized by a certificate presented by the provost during his general faculty meeting at Getting Started Week.

Application Materials

Application materials should include:

  • A cover letter by the applicant containing a narrative explaining the excellence of the applicant’s contribution to graduate mentoring and the graduate program (maximum three pages), including any publications or presentations with graduate student authors.
  • A peer letter of support invited by the applicant (maximum two pages).
  • Letters from students. These will be requested by the Office of Graduate Studies from the list of names provided by the nominee.

The objectives of the faculty development program are to improve instructional effectiveness and promote the professional development of faculty members.


  • Dr. Joe Balay
  • Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo
  • Dr. Jeffrey Carney
  • Dr. Linda Ficht
  • Dr. Thomas Hall
  • Dr. Chelsey Hamm
  • Dr. Sean Heuvel
  • Dr. Michael Meyer
  • Dr. Farideh Mohammadi
  • Dr. Matthew Morena
  • Dr. Ronald Quinlan
  • Dr. David Stenner
  • Dr. Taiyi Sun
  • Dr. Jacob Tews
  • Dr. Qingyan Tian
  • Dr. Alonso Varo Varo
  • Dr. Dali Wang

In the spring of 2013, the senior class collected a record amount of support from their peers, parents and friends and created a new faculty support fund, the Class of 2013 Faculty Development Fund, as their senior class gift.

The motivation for creating this fund was to establish a tangible way to say thank you to faculty mentors who changed their lives. Faculty members who demonstrate a record of student mentoring and excellence in service to the campus community are eligible to receive a $1,000 award* that can be used to support professional development and/or student mentoring. Six faculty members will be chosen to each receive $1,000. No more than two faculty members may be chosen from each academic college/school.

“By way of the Faculty Development Fund, the Class of 2013 hopes, in some measure, to acknowledge the priceless lessons they have learned in and out of the classroom at CNU, and express their appreciation for the contributions and mentorship of CNU’s faculty.”

2020 Awardees

  • Andrew Falk, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Jessica Apolloni, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Lynn Lambert, College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
  • Iordanka Panayotova, College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
  • Christopher Loy, College of Social Sciences
  • Linda Ficht, Luter School of Business

This award is sponsored annually by the provost’s office and the University Writing Council. The contest is open to all CNU faculty with winners receiving a cash prize.

This award is given to faculty members whose devotion to undergraduate writing embodies the goals and ideals of the liberal arts tradition through writing assignment design, treatment of writing as a developmental process, and the use of written feedback and evaluation of writing. This effective writing pedagogy makes this faculty member an energetic champion of writing.

Deadline for application: April 1, 2021

Please submit all materials as a single PDF to

Faculty wishing to be considered for this award should include the following items:

  • 500-word statement that addresses the following criteria:
    • Treats the teaching of writing as an ongoing process of knowledge articulation where improvement is gained through informal and formal preparatory activities, multiple drafts, iterations, and revisions.
    • Offers continual and diverse opportunities for feedback from written comments, conferencing with instructor, peer review sessions, and appointments with consultants in the Writing Center.
    • Evaluates written assignments by clearly established criteria, using rubrics or other assessment tools. Evaluations consider audience awareness, proper contextualization of issue, salient writing style appropriate for discipline, thoughtful organization, employment of discipline-specific discourse and conventions, and an appropriate understanding of grammar and mechanics.
    • Encourages and mentors students to continue developing papers and projects past the scope of a class, for example, to submit for publication, to enter graduate school and to pursue a career.
  • Two evaluated student papers from one class, including your feedback on multiple stages and revisions (with student names omitted).

  • Syllabus, assignments and rubrics corresponding to submitted student papers.

  • Two student recommendations that address your approach to teaching writing, including assignment creation, feedback, grading / evaluation criteria, and help beyond the class with writing. Recommendations may come from either current students or alumni of classes from the previous two years. (Recommendations do not need to be from the authors of the submitted student papers.)

Applications should only include evidence from a single course taught within the previous two academic years.

Please submit all materials in one PDF (with the exception of recommendation letters).

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