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Governor McAuliffe Recognizes Outstanding Faculty Award Recipients

by User Not Found | Feb 16, 2017


February16, 2017

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy Email:

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Contact: Gregory Weatherford Phone: (804)786-2323 Email:

- Governor Terry McAuliffe today recognized 12 Virginia educators as recipients of the 31st annual Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, research and public service. The annual Outstanding Faculty Award program is administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and sponsored by Dominion Resources.

“Supporting the outstanding educators who make up Virginia’s world-class higher education system is a crucial component of building the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The faculty members we honor here today have a proven track record of commitment to academic excellence and giving back to their shared communities, and it is my privilege to recognize each of them with the Outstanding Faculty Award.”     

The recipients, all faculty members from colleges and universities across the Commonwealth, were honored during an awards ceremony at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

“The 12 educators that we are recognizing play a pivotal role in the academic, social and economic success of the young people they teach and inspire,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “These individuals exemplify what it means to be an outstanding faculty member, and we thank them for their service to students, to their institutions, and to the Commonwealth.”

“We are fortunate that Virginia is home to some of the world’s great universities,” said Peter Blake, director of SCHEV. “The Outstanding Faculty Awards recognize faculty members who through their dedication to research, teaching and mentorship help make the Commonwealth such a great place to live and work.”  

The awards are being made through a $75,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources. Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion Resources.  

“This marks the 13th year Dominion has partnered with SCHEV to honor the Commonwealth’s outstanding faculty members,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “Each year, I am amazed by the dedication of these teachers and inspired by their efforts to help young people lead full, creative and productive lives.” 

The 2017 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award Recipients include:

Kelly June Bremner teaches theater at Emory & Henry College. She uses her artistic and organizational approach to develop and present new works. Her focus is on learning outcomes and teaching students the vital skills of communication and collaboration. 

John Gregory Brown is director of creative writing at Sweet Briar College, where he has lived and taught for 22 years. He is the author of four novels. He proposed and coordinated an International Writers Series that through the years has brought acclaimed writers from around the world to Sweet Briar.

Theresa B. Clarke is the Wampler-Longacre Eminent Scholars Professor of Marketing at James Madison University, where she has served as a faculty member since 2001. A pioneer in internet marketing strategy, Clarke is an accomplished researcher with three unique streams of inquiry: sales, digital marketing and marketing education. She has been named a 2008 Madison Scholar, the highest award for faculty at JMU for scholarship.

Stephen J. Farnsworth is professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington, where he has taught for 16 years and directs the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. During his time at the University of Mary Washington, Dr. Farnsworth has won three campuswide teaching awards. He is the author or co-author of five books and dozens of articles and book chapters on the mass media, the presidency and U.S. and Virginia politics.

Kevin Hamed is professor of biology at Virginia Highlands Community College, where he has taught more than 100 classes since joining the faculty in 2003. He is widely respected as a leading expert on Appalachian salamanders and celebrated for getting students out of classrooms and into nature; the resulting data have been used to facilitate change by state, federal and local organizations charged with making land-management decisions.

Margaret Leary is professor of IT and cybersecurity at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has taught for 19 years. She is the first recipient of the Dr. and Mrs. Edward Bersoff Endowed Chair Professorship at NOVA and also serves as the director, curriculum and co-PI, for the National CyberWatch Center, focused on increasing the cybersecurity workforce. She has assisted in developing cybersecurity courses including a Critical Infrastructure Security course that has been made available to community colleges across the nation

Caroline Parsons Lubert is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at James Madison University where she has served as a faculty member since 1999.  Her scholarly work is in aeroacoustics; her research recently has focused on modelling the turbulence-generated noise emitted during liftoff of the Antares rocket, which resupplies the International Space Station and launches from Wallops Island, Virginia.

Daniel A. Menascé is university professor of computer science at George Mason University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1992. His research is in the area of self-managed computer systems, performance modeling and analysis of computer systems, software performance engineering, distributed systems, and e-commerce technologies.

Xiang-Jin “X.J.” Meng is a university distinguished professor of biomedical sciences at Virginia Tech, where has been a faculty member since 1999. He is widely considered a leading scientist in the world in the fields of zoonotic virus diseases and vaccinology. He discovered the swine and avian hepatitis E viruses, which brought a paradigm shift to the field of human hepatitis E research and revolutionized the way scientists and physicians think about this important human disease.

Jennifer Grimsley Michaeli is assistant professor of engineering technology at Old Dominion University, where she joined the faculty in 2012 after 15 years of professional experience in shipbuilding and naval engineering. She has developed new undergraduate and graduate courses in naval architecture and marine engineering; enthusiastically mentors engineering students; and promotes advances in curriculum, lab infrastructure and collaborative partnerships across academia, the Navy and industry.

Anatoly Radyushkin is an eminent scholar and professor in the Department of Physics at Old Dominion University, where he has had a joint position with Jefferson Lab since 1992. He is an internationally recognized theoretical physicist, focusing on nuclear and particle physics. He has authored more than 120 publications in refereed journals, with total citations exceeding 11,000.  

Walter Smith is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, where he has taught since 2012. He directs a regionally focused research program that aims to understand how ongoing socioeconomic changes in central Appalachia impact biodiversity conservation, particularly for rare and understudied amphibians.


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