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College News

Uman, Erklenz-Watts Honored During Commencement Weekend


Two faculty were honored with prestigious awards from the College during Commencement Weekend.

During the Commencement ceremony, Dr. Deborah Uman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English, received the Trustees' Award for Distinguished Scholarly Achievement. This award is the highest honor that the Board of Trustees can bestow on a faculty member, second only to an honorary degree. It is given to no more than one full-time faculty member each year in recognition of outstanding scholarly work, ranging from writing books and articles, to presenting papers at professional conferences.

Uman has a substantial list of accomplishments over the past three years, including one single-authored scholarly book, one scholarly book that she co-edited, two essays in scholarly edited volumes (one in 2011 and one this month), and six conference presentations.

Her scholarship includes both original research that has been met with acclaim by her scholarly peers, and scholarship that helps to inform teaching and program development. Both are highly valued by the College, as they demonstrate commitment to advancing the discipline as well as providing engaged and informed classroom experiences for students.

The most distinguished of Uman’s scholarly production in recent years is her book, Women as Translators in Early Modern England, published in 2012 by the University of Delaware Press, which is known for its particularly strong list of titles in Shakespearean and Early Modern literary studies, Uman’s areas of specialization.

Uman’s reputation in the field of early modern women’s writing has resulted in her being invited to contribute essays and conference papers in noted academic societies, which account for some of her other recent scholarship.

Commencement 2014

Dr. Deborah Uman receiving the award from Martin Birmingham, Vice Chair of the College's Board of Trustees.

At the President’s Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 9, Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts, Associate Professor in the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education, was the recipient of the Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is given annually to a full-time faculty member for outstanding work in the classroom. Award recipients must demonstrate thorough knowledge of their subject matter, solid preparation for class, clear and effective communication, and genuine enthusiasm for their job.

Erklenz-Watts was nominated by her students for the award, applauding her for how she “values all of her students and their opinions,” doing whatever she can do to help them get through the program. Her dedication to the students was also noted. One student wrote, “She is the best teacher that I have ever had and I wouldn’t have made it through my program at Fisher if it weren’t for her.”

In addition to her accomplishments in the classroom, Erklenz-Watts’ involvement on campus, particularly with the Student Government Association as the Faculty Liaison, was also credited.

Another nomination read, “She expects a lot from her students, but in turn, gives them her all.”

Commencement 2014

Dr. Michelle Erklenz-Watts with Dr. Randy Krieg, Provost of the College.

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