Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award is designed to recognize a faculty member who is engaged in the graduate education enterprise as an outstanding teacher, mentor, and scholar.


Nomination by Wednesday, February 23, 2022;
Materials by Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Email Nominations to: Dr. Ross Gosky  SUBJECT LINE: Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

General Information

The recipient will be selected in January and will be honored at the Graduate School awards reception in the Spring.

  • The monetary award of $1500 (if sufficient funding is generated by the endowment) will be administered in the Graduate School as an expense account.
  • The funding may be used for any non-salary expense related to performing the research or creative activities, including purchase of equipment and supplies, and travel for data collection or dissemination.
  • The recipient must spend the funds by May 15 in the year awarded.

Faculty Eligibility

The award winner should be noteworthy, performing well above the general level of good graduate faculty performance.

Accomplishments should include: graduate student mentoring in teaching, research / creative activities, and/or professional practice; sustained research or creative activities documenting currency in the discipline; and service to the graduate endeavors on campus. Please see the Faculty / Staff section of the Graduate School website for more detailed expectations. http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/facultystaff/.

Application Process

The application must have the support of the department chair and the nominator (or other senior faculty member in the nominator is the chair)

Selection Criteria

The award winner should be noteworthy, performing well above the general level of good graduate faculty performance.

Graduate Teaching - Outstanding teaching at the graduate level

  • Teaching should go beyond classroom performance
    • Thesis and/or dissertation supervision
    • Internship or product of learning supervision
  • Research mentoring
    • Note especially whether the nominee has included graduate students in his or her research—whether graduate students have published with the nominee
    • Have the nominee's graduate students participated in Research Day?
    • Have the nominee's graduate students made significant presentations at national and international conferences and meetings?
  • Teaching awards are somewhat helpful—but note that the UNC Board of Governors Award is specifically for teaching undergraduates, so that award should not carry much weight for this competition. Graduate mentoring awards more significant in this category.


  • Publications in peer-reviewed venues (pay attention to research productivity in the last two to five years, especially because this is an annual award)
  • External funding (all other things being equal, this should tip the scale in a nominee's favor, especially if the grant includes support for graduate students)
  • Patents, other intellectual property
  • Inclusion of graduate students in research projects and as co-authors when appropriate
  • Mentoring of graduate students for Research Day

Service to Graduate Education

  • Should be specifically service to graduate education
    • Significant weight should go toward the following
    • University-level service
    • Graduate program director, coordinator, or designated advisor
    • Graduate AP&P
    • University Research Council
    • Graduate Education Task Force
    • Graduate Committee, Strategic Planning Commission
    • Graduate School Committees
    • Participation in Graduate School events for students (orientations, workshops, etc)
  • Service at the state, regional, national and international level in organizations and initiatives directly related to the nominee's graduate program

Nominee CVs will be reviewed carefully to determine the faculty member's contributions to graduate education. Rank and length of service at Appalachian will be factored into the decision.

Sustained Research or Creative Production

  • C.V. that documents a long-term research agenda and significant research or creative productivity
  • Clear project description—either extending existing research or creative production or developing a new line of enquiry or creativity
  • Potential contribution of proposed project to the discipline or to the public understanding of the discipline
  • Clear plans for dissemination

All other things being equal, any of the following should be given extra weight in the following order:

  • External funding
  • Research fits into Appalachian's targeted research/creative areas: environment and energy; health and human services; Blue Ridge Parkway/Appalachian region; artistic production and performance; viticulture and natural products
  • Mentoring student research

Past Recipients

1991 Dr. Jane Lieberman, Language, Reading & Exceptionalities
1992 Dr. A. Thompson, Political Science & Criminal Justice
1993 Dr. Edwin T. Arnold, English
1994 Dr. Harry M. Davis, Finance, Banking & Insurance
1995 Dr. Dinesh S. Davé, Information Technology & Operations Management
1996 Dr. Edelma Huntley, English
1996 Dr. Peter Petschauer, History
1997 Dr. Thomas K. Keefe, History
1997 Dr. David C. Neiman, Health, Leisure & Exercise Science
1998 Dr. Edward T. Turner, Health, Leisure & Exercise Science
1999 Dr. Leroy G. Baruth, Human Development & Psychological Counseling
2000 Dr. Hunter Boylan, National Center for Developmental Education
2001 Dr. C. Kenneth McEwin, Curriculum & Instruction
2002 Dr. Douglas James, School of Music
2003 Not given
2004 Dr. Tim Ludwig, Psychology
2005 Dr. Sally Atkins, Human Development & Psychological Counseling
2006 Dr. Geri Miller, Human Development & Psychological Counseling
2007 Dr. Denise Martz-Ludwig, Psychology
2008 Dr. Betty Coffey, Management
2009 Dr. Gary Walker, Biology
2010 Dr. Jon Winek, Human Development & Psychological Counseling
2011 Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, Computer Science
2012 Dr. Doris Bazzini, Psychology
2013 Dr. Susan Staub, English
2014-2015 Dr. Sid Clements, Physics and Astronomy
2015-2016 Dr. Karen Caldwell, Human Development & Pschological Counseling
2016-2017 Dr. Darrell Morris, Reading Education and Special Education
2017-2018 Dr. Lisa Curtin, Psychology
2018-2019 Dr. Marie Hoepfl, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
2019-2020 Dr. Jay Fenwick, Computer Science
2020-2021 Dr. Shawn Bergman, Psychology