O’Connor Receives Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award

Posted: January 23, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

John S. O’Connor, associate professor of English and interdisciplinary studies at George Mason, was honored with the TIAA-CREF Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award (OFA), the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Gov. Mark Warner announced the 11 recipients Wednesday at a ceremony in the Richmond State Capitol that marked the 18th annual presentation of the prestigious awards.

John O’Connor

“It is because of men and women like these that Virginia boasts a higher education system that is the envy of the rest of the United States, and indeed the world,” Warner said. “Our colleges and universities attract this outstanding intellectual capital that makes them economic engines for the entire commonwealth.”

O’Connor has held 11 different positions during his 29 years at George Mason and has been recognized for excellence by the university. Last year, he was presented with the David King Teaching Award. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1995.

In addition to his service to the English department, O’Connor has been an affiliated faculty member in cultural studies; associate director of the Institute for the Federal Theater Project and New Deal Culture; director of the English department’s composition program and Composition with Computers Program; co-director of Mason’s Instructional Development Office and its Zero-Based Curriculum; director of the Johnson (University) Center; vice provost for Information Technology and Services; and founding dean of New Century College. In 2000, O’Connor was recognized for his ongoing role in shaping both institutional and national conversations on teaching and learning by being named a senior scholar for the American Association for Higher Education.

Each OFA honoree received a $4,000 award and a commemorative plaque from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which administers the OFA program.

This year, 86 faculty members of the nearly 10,000 full-time faculty from 35 institutions were nominated. All Virginia institutions are invited to participate in the annual competition; candidates for the award are nominated by their peers.

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