Kelly Receives Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award

Posted: February 15, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

T. Mills Kelly
T. Mills Kelly
Photo by Eric Goodman

T. Mills Kelly, assistant professor of history and art history and associate director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM), will receive a 2005 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award (OFA), the commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities. Kelly was the first honoree in the new category of Teaching with Technology. Gov. Mark Warner will recognize Kelly and 11 other educators in a ceremony in the Richmond State Capitol this morning.

Kelly’s research interests and teaching methods have incorporated technology for many years. In 1999, he was a Pew National Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and studied the way technology affects student learning in history courses. He is currently on academic leave for the spring semester and will be a research scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars during the summer. His research focuses on how collaborative programs such as weblogs and WebCT assist student learning.

A professor at Mason since 2001, Kelly is codirector of two of CHNM’s projects, World History Sources and Women in World History. These two projects use primary source documents and scholarly reviews of web sites to help students and teachers of world history. World History Sources went public in March and already has had more than 3 million hits by more than 90,000 unique visitors.

In 2003, Kelly won a Technology Across the Curriculum Grant to develop the Western Civilization Webography Project at Mason, in which he uses a database to teach students to choose appropriate web sites for their research in the Western Civilization survey course. Their ratings of the web sites are posted, along with a review, on the Webography project web site for others to use. Students and teachers from all across the United States are now using the Webography Project for their own studies.

“The Internet is a fabulous tool for learning,” says Kelly. “But we have to teach students to use it, just as we would teach them to use the library.”

Kelly received his PhD in History from George Washington University. He was the chair and on the board of directors for the Civic Education Project from 1996-2002, and is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Association for the Study of Nationalities, and the Czechoslovak History Conference.

“I was obviously delighted at the award for Mills,” says Provost Peter Stearns. “He’s nationally known as a leader in history teaching and learning, and he’s done terrific things here for the history program in general education and for the uses of new media. And he’s a nice guy to boot. A well deserved honor.”

The Outstanding Faculty Awards were developed to recognize excellence in teaching, research, and service among the faculties of Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. Each OFA honoree will receive a stipend of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which administers the OFA program. The awards are sponsored by the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Dominion corporation.

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