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College of Arts and Sciences faculty honored

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Six UD faculty receive awards for excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, advising, advocation, faculty mentoring and service.

The 2024 winners were nominated by their peers for these awards, which are presented annually. College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Debbie Hess Norris called the faculty members' body of work impressive and their dedication to their students inspiring.

Salil Lachke, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, received the Outstanding Scholarship Award. Lachke was recognized for his highly interdisciplinary research into the genetic basis of eye development and how abnormalities in this process can lead to cataracts, the most prevalent cause of blindness world-wide. His research has contributed to the identification of new genes linked to developmental disorders, and integration of this data to derive larger frameworks of tissue-specific gene regulatory networks that are fundamentally important for all life sciences. His work has resulted in an impressive record of high-impact scientific publications, professional honors and funded research projects that total more than $7.5 million dollars.

Kisha Porcher, assistant professor in the Department of English, was honored with the Outstanding Advocacy Award. Porcher co-organized the Black Racial Literacy Roundtable program at UD, part of the African Heritage Caucus. The Roundtable serves as a safe place for Black faculty, staff and graduate students to build on their own racial literacies while processing their experiences with racism. She also is a leader in the Delaware Black English Language Arts Clinical Educator Network, which paired 15 student teachers with eight Black educators in the state to develop racial literacy among educators and teacher candidates.

Sheng Lu and Tyson Sukava each received the Outstanding Teaching award. Lu, associate professor of fashion and apparel studies, has innovated learning experiences for students by creating an open resource to supplant expensive textbooks, inviting industry experts into the classroom, encouraging lively discussions among students, securing access to an analytics database valued at $350,000 at no charge for all fashion students, and providing an environment of inclusivity and caring. One student said, “I have never had a professor so dedicated to his work and to his students."

Sukava, assistant professor of classics in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, has taught more than 15 different courses in three different languages – Greek, Latin and English – since joining UD in 2017. His creative approach to his Gods, Heroes and Monsters class has made it extremely popular and has been a springboard for students to pursue other courses in classical studies as well as impacting directors and colleagues outside of UD. A former student inspired by his teaching methods wrote: “Now as an educator myself, I frequently return to projects and lesson plans from his courses as inspiration for my own classroom."

Siobhan Carroll, associate professor in the Department of English, received the Outstanding Service Award. Her recommenders cited the impact of her Pathways Grant from the Modern Languages Association and her fundraising campaign during a UD Giving Day that provided financial support for future English teachers who previously had faced many economic challenges in trying to complete a degree. These awards have improved the recruitment and retention of students from historically underrepresented groups.

Catherine Leimkuhler-Grimes, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received the Outstanding Faculty Mentor award. Grimes has a long history of training and mentorship of both students and faculty of diverse backgrounds. She is director of UD's NIH-funded Chemistry Biology Interface (CBI) T32 training program, which enhances training and professional development opportunities for both students and faculty mentors across a variety of departments on campus. Grimes also provides virtual mentor training and culturally aware mentoring workshops for CBI faculty through the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin.​

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Six UD faculty receive awards for excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, advising, advocation, faculty mentoring and service.
Biological Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry; English; Fashion and Apparel Studies; Foreign Languages and Literatures
 
5/13/2024
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