Board of directors recognizes faculty excellence

Sweet Briar College faculty members have been on a roll lately, accumulating awards recognizing their teaching excellence and contributions in their fields.

It started last year when math professor Jim Kirkwood received the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. It is the commonwealth’s highest honor given to faculty at its private and public universities and colleges.

Scarcely a year later, Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English John Gregory Brown became the second Sweet Briar professor in row — and the third in four years — to earn SCHEV’s OFA award: Math professor Raina Robeva was tapped for the honor in 2014.

Kirkwood wasn’t quite done, however. In October, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges recognized him with the 2016 H. Hiter Harris, Jr. Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Lincoln Brower rounded out the stretch of accolades in November, becoming the fourth recipient of the E.O. Wilson Award for Outstanding Science in Biodiversity Conservation. Brower is a longtime research professor of biology at Sweet Briar and world-renowned expert on monarch butterflies.

When the board of directors met on campus in late February, the members adopted resolutions congratulating each awardee.

“The board wanted to show its appreciation and respect for the faculty and the positive impact they have on our students and the institution,” President Phil Stone said. “These awards represent recognition by their peers. That’s the most meaningful kind of honor and it reflects the excellence of a Sweet Briar education.”

President Stone and Dean Pam DeWeese recently caught up with each professor to present the resolutions in person:

Jim Kirkwood receives resolution.
In 2016, math professor Jim Kirkwood received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges H. Hiter Harris, Jr. Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.
John Gregory Brown receives resolution.
Julia Jackson Nichols Professor of English John Gregory Brown received the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Lincoln Brower receives resolution.
Research professor of biology Lincoln Brower received the fourth annual E.O. Wilson Award for Outstanding Science in Biodiversity Conservation.
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