Lehigh Announces University Faculty and Staff Awards

The university recognizes 19 faculty and staff members for their outstanding dedication to the Lehigh community during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

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Christina Tatu

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In recognition of their talent, dedication and creativity during the 2020-2021 academic year, 19 members of the faculty and staff were awarded Lehigh’s most prestigious honors, the Lehigh University Awards.

“In the face of many challenges over the past 18 months, our faculty and staff have remained steadfast in their dedication to Lehigh and its mission, and we are grateful for their continued efforts,” said Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We congratulate all our award winners and celebrate the tremendous impact they have had on our community.” 

Members of the Lehigh community were invited to nominate faculty and staff who made an impact, whether through innovation, being a top performer in their department, or going out of their way to lend a helping hand. Nominations were taken from December through April 2.

Recipients were chosen by the University Awards Committee(s) and Senior Leadership.

Staff winners were personally congratulated with a phone call from Pat Johnson, vice president for finance and administration, and faculty winners received a congratulatory call from Provost Urban.  

 

2020-2021 Lehigh University Awards

Faculty

Alfred Noble Robinson Faculty Award: Rebecca Jen-Hui Wang, assistant professor of marketing, and Hannah Lee Dailey, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics.

The Alfred Noble Robinson Award is awarded to a faculty member, or in exceptional cases, divided between two members of the Lehigh faculty. Winners of this award have shown extraordinary enthusiasm for Lehigh’s goals and priorities, often working beyond their direct area/ unit on university-wide projects or committees.

Carl & Ingeborg Beidleman Research Award in Business & Economics: Dawei (David) Zhang, associate professor, Decision and Technology Analytics (DATA), and Ernest Kong-Wah Lai, associate professor of economics.

This award is given to highlight quality research and refereed scholarship in business and applied economic disciplines at Lehigh; reward those involved in distinguished research, and place research on an equal level with teaching and university service in the annual recognition of faculty achievements.

Christian & Mary Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching: William Luyben, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Awarded to a tenured member of the faculty (professor or associate professor) for distinguished teaching performed during the academic year.

Hillman Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising: Floyd D. Beachum, Bennett Professor of Urban School Leadership and program director and professor in the Educational Leadership Program,College of Education.

Hillman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising: Angela C. Brown, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

These awards recognize excellence in teaching, research or advancing the interests of Lehigh University. In that context, these awards recognize exemplary graduate or undergraduate student advising defined as either: a) Guiding students through their exploration and pursuit of an academic course of study; or b) Assisting students in the development and/or completion of research related to their degree program.

Hillman Faculty Award: Lynne Cassimeris, professor of biological sciences.

Awarded for excellence in teaching or research work, or for advancing the interests of the university in any way the Trustees may select, or for a special financial need requiring aid, of which the Trustees may become aware, or for any other reason which they may deem just and proper. 

Lehigh Early Career Award for Distinguished Teaching: Siddha Pimputkar, assistant professor of materials science and engineering.

Lehigh sponsors this award to be given to a member or members of the teaching staff for distinguished teaching performed during the academic year. This award, previously supported by the Lindback Foundation, and known as the Junior Lindback Award, is presented to an early-career faculty member (assistant professor, lecturer or instructor).

Libsch Early Career Research Award: Ganesh Balasubramanian, associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics.

This award is presented to highlight faculty members who are early in their research career ; reward those who have demonstrated the potential for high-quality research and scholarship done at Lehigh; place research and scholarship on an equal footing with teaching and university service in the annual awarding of recognition. The recipients must have held a position at Lehigh for at least two years.

Libsch Research Award: Wonpil Im, professor of biological sciences, chemistry, bioengineering and computer science, as well as the Presidential Endowed Chair in Health, Science and Engineering at Lehigh. 

The objectives of this award are to recognize excellence in research, scholarship and/or artistic achievement, including the overall impact, as well as the quality and quantity of scholarly contributions; reward those who perform distinguished research; place research and scholarship on an equal footing with teaching and university service in the annual awarding of recognition. The recipients must typically have completed at least 10 years as a tenure-track faculty at a college, university or in an equivalent position at another type of institution.

Stabler Award for Excellence in Teaching: David Diggs, professor of practice theory and Director of Bands.

Awarded to a member of the faculty who comes closest to the following standards: mastery of his or her field and superior ability in communicating it to others; an exceptional talent for encouraging students to want to understand alternatives and to make choices; knows how to extract from students the full measure of their potential to learn; guides their thoughts in a spirit of free inquiry and learns from them as he or she teaches; never rests from being a teacher; impresses on his or her students that they have only begun to learn while at Lehigh and that their real quest for knowledge and application of what they are taught will come after graduation; ultimate goal is not only to lead his or her students to excellence in their chosen field, but also to excellence as human beings and as leaders of society.

Perry A. Zirkel Award for Distinguished Teaching: Floyd D. Beachum, Bennett Professor of Urban School Leadership and program director and professor in the Educational Leadership Program.

Recognizes a full-time faculty member in the College of Education. The recipient must have a national or international reputation as a respected scholar; be respected by students and colleagues for rigor in teaching; and be recognized within the college as having non-inflationary grading standards.

  

Staff 

Alfred Noble Robinson Exempt and Nonexempt Staff Award: Ashley Nicole Sciora, assistant director, programming and outreach, for Lehigh University’s Center for Community Engagement.

Recognizes outstanding performance in service to the university and unusual promise of professional achievement. Winners of this award have shown extraordinary enthusiasm for Lehigh’s goals and priorities, often working beyond their direct area/unit on university-wide projects or committees.

Hillman Exempt Staff Award: Jason D. Schiffer, chief of the Lehigh University Police Department.

Recognizes a member of the exempt staff for excellence in administrative and/or research work, or for advancing the interests of the university; sustained excellence in performance that has major impact on advancing the department/university goals; and exemplary initiative and service.

Hillman Nonexempt Staff Award: Tess Pyne, executive secretary, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Recognizes a member of the nonexempt staff for excellence in performance or for advancing the interests of the university; sustained excellence in performance that has major impact on advancing the department/university goals; and exemplary initiative and service.

Lehigh University Exempt Staff Distinguished Service Award: Lawrence “Ozzie” Breiner, director of housing services.

Recognizes a member of the exempt staff who has contributed in significant ways to the Lehigh community over a number of years.

Louis & Helen Zirkel Library Staff Award: Richard Houck, lending services coordinator.

Established to recognize outstanding performance and service by a member of the exempt or nonexempt staff of the university libraries.

Perry & Carol Zirkel Nonexempt Staff Award: Erin Ketz, coordinator, first-year experience and coordinator, gender violence education and support.

Established to recognize outstanding performance and contributions by a member of the nonexempt staff. No one is eligible to win this award more than once.

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Christina Tatu

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