Faculty celebrated with awards, recognition

Alex Alvarez, Laurie K. Dickson, Anne Scott and Gioia Woods

Faculty known for their commitment to students and to the university received awards during a ceremony at the High Country Conference Center on April 24.

Bev Amer
Beverly Amer

Beverly Amer, principal lecturer for The W.A. Franke College of Business, received the President’s Award for Faculty and Academic Professionals from NAU President John Haeger. She was singled out to receive the award for her exemplary contributions to the NAU mission in at least three categories: creativity in teaching, creative use of technology, advising, assessment, recruitment/retention, collaborative research, diversity and service.

Amer also received the first University College Liberal Studies Faculty Excellence Award.

Haeger and Laura Huenneke, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, presented more than 50 awards, including faculty promotions, to those who demonstrate excellence in their profession throughout the year.

Among them were seven faculty members who were presented with the Teacher of the Year Award from their colleges, and others were recognized for promotion and tenure status.

Alex Alvarez, Laurie K. Dickson, Anne Scott and Gioia Woods also were honored as the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Fellows.

The three-year appointment recognizes the scholars’ impact on undergraduate learning and provides them the opportunity to develop and teach their “dream course.” They also become board members on the NAU Teaching Academy.

Alex Alvarez, Laurie K. Dickson, Anne Scott and Gioia Woods

Alvarez, professor of criminology and criminal justice, aims to engage students with deep learning. He designed a capstone project that enlists student teams to design exercises for elementary school students that teach them to problem-solve without aggression, bullying or violence. School principals critique the projects in early stages and Alvarez’s students eventually implement their designs in elementary school classrooms. The impact of his work extends the definition of achievement beyond NAU.

Dickson, associate vice provost for Curriculum and Assessment, works with students in a broad variety of learning contexts and in a range of course formats. Her expertise lies in gathering information on student learning as it relates to instructional practices and then studying those relationships in order to strengthen the learning. Her scholarship on teaching and learning has been disseminated in national and international publications and conferences.

Scott, professor of English and an Honors professor, has a multifaceted involvement with students that extends from the classroom and campus to the community, into the professional/scholarly world and also to international settings. Her scholarly teaching, compassion, encouragement, enthusiasm and commitment have been cited as integral to student success. One colleague describes her teaching and mentoring activities as “life-changing for many students.”

Woods is an associate professor of comparative cultural studies, and her efforts are marked by leadership in curriculum, campus initiatives and interdisciplinary conversations. She has been called “an inspiring force for pedagogical innovation and curriculum transformation,” and her teaching described as “deeply informed by her scholarship and by her conviction that students can develop analytic, interpretative and creative skills necessary to become culture-makers.”

A complete list of awards and promotions is here.