George Mason Faculty Honored Friday for Outstanding Teaching

Posted: April 21, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

A celebration honoring the winners of the 2004 George Mason University Teaching Awards will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Lobby. The university community is invited to attend and celebrate their achievements.

The winners of the 2004 Teaching Excellence Awards are:

  • Zofia Burr, Department of English
  • Lawrence Butler, Department of History and Art History
  • Jim Henry, Department of English
  • Anastasia Kitsantas, Graduate School of Education (GSE)
  • Lesley Smith, New Century College

The winner of the 2004 David J. King Teaching Award is Bruce Manchester, Communication Department.

The George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award was initiated in 1996 to highlight the importance of teaching in George Mason’s mission and to recognize those faculty members who are leaders within the educational community, on campus, and beyond. Teaching Excellence awards are supported by the Office of the Provost.

The David J. King Teaching Award, an endowed award, was inaugurated in 2002. It is given annually to a faculty member who is an outstanding teacher and has made significant contributions to the overall educational excellence of the university.

Winners for both awards are selected through a competitive process in which applicants document their educational excellence through a teaching portfolio and other materials. Finalists and the winners are chosen by a committee that is composed of former award winners and the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. Teaching Award winners receive a monetary award and travel support to present their work at a national or regional meeting.

Burr is an associate professor of English and women’s studies and is currently the coordinator of the General Education courses in English. She is the author of Of Women, Poetry, and Power: Strategies of Address in Dickinson, Miles, Brooks, Lorde, and Angelou and the editor of Set in Motion: Essays, Interviews, and Dialogues.

Butler is a medievalist with particular focus on Byzantine and Islamic art and architecture and a sometime resident of Istanbul, Turkey. He has published on the Hagia Sophia and related sixth-century structures, and on the history of American scholarship in the eastern Mediterranean. His teaching interests span the medieval Eurasian world from Iceland to China, with special attention to trade connections, cultural property issues, and the Silk Road.

Henry became interested in teaching while playing basketball professionally in Switzerland and teaching Swiss children the game. He returned to the United States to complete his PhD in an interdisciplinary program in writing and has been teaching at George Mason since 1990. His book, Writing Workplace Cultures: An Archaeology of Professional Writing, was chosen as a Distinguished Publication in 2001 by the Association for Business Communication.

Kitsantas is coordinator of the educational psychology program in GSE and the program director of the university’s study abroad program in Greece. Her publications include works on the development of self-regulation, self-efficacy beliefs, student motivation, health promotion and behavior change, and peak performance. She has published in numerous scientific journals and is an active participant in many international student and scholarly organizations.

Smith teaches in the first-year program and in upper-level learning communities in theory and writing for new media. She has researched and/or produced more than 40 television documentaries and edited 6 books of historical essays. She also edits inventio, an online journal of creative thinking about teaching and learning, and reviews film, DVDs and U.S. television regularly for popmatters.com, an international online journal of popular culture.

Manchester has been a faculty member at George Mason for 29 years. He has served as the director of forensics, associate chair of the Communication Department, as well as its director of hiring and scheduling. Under his leadership, the Forensics Team finished in the list of “Top Five U.S. Teams” at the National Championships for 16 out of 18 years. He has more than 60 publications and professional presentations focusing on the areas of forensics education and performance studies to his credit.

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