2015 Faculty & Staff Awardees

Dr. Esther Leerkes (HHS Graduate Mentoring Award)

ester-leerkes HHS recognizes and rewards faculty who demonstrate excellence in mentoring graduate students, by assisting them in clarifying and advancing their academic and professional goals. This year’s awardee, Dr. Esther Leerkes has a mentoring philosophy that encourages students to pave a path of their own interests, rather than follow identically in her footsteps.

Dr. Leerkes facilitates the networking with multiple faculty that allows students to follow their passion, while challenging them to engage in work that matters in the “real world.” And, she doesn’t stop mentoring students once they graduate. She continues to support her students as they begin their professional careers. Congratulations, Esther!

Dr. Donna Duffy (Community Engaged Scholarship Award)

donna duffyDr. Donna Duffy is this year’s Community Engaged Scholarship awardee. As Director of the Program for the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity, she engages students in the work in ways that contribute to their education, partners with the community to conduct research that is important and timely, and disseminates evidence-based knowledge to improve practice.

Dr. Duffy is a collaborator and educator at heart providing our students with wonderful opportunities to participate in research and educational initiatives with a range of community partners. HHS congratulates Dr. Donna Duffy in the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness as this year’s Community Engaged Scholarship Awardee.

Dr. Catherine Scott-Little ( HHS Teaching Excellence Award)

catherine-scott-littleThe HHS Teaching Excellence Award is made possible each year by the Office of the Provost. The 2014-15 awardee, Dr. Catherine Scott-Little of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, is described by her nominator as one of UNCG’s very best teachers.

HDF Department Chair Dr. Mark Fine stated that in his four years at UNCG, he has never heard a comment that was anything but sterling about her teaching. An atmosphere of mutual respect in the classroom is evident in Dr. Scott-Little’s teaching. Students describe her as ‘awesome, positive, inspiring and encouraging’. Congratulations!

Prof. Karen ‘Pea’ Poole ( Mary Frances Stone Teaching Excellence Award)

Pea PooleThe Mary Frances Stone Teaching Excellence Award was established to honor a faculty member who displays teaching excellence in the School of Home Economics, now the School of Health and Human Sciences. Prof. Karen ‘Pea’ Poole, Department of Kinesiology, is the 2014-15 awardee.

She was described by her Chair as someone who is an exceptionally strong and effective teacher who loves to teach and is able and willing to teach a breadth of courses in the department. Students are very complimentary of her teaching and appreciate her approachability, patience, encouragement, constructive feedback–and, especially her sense of humor! Students know that Pea loves what she does!

Dr. Sharon Morrison ( Gail Hennis Graduate Teaching Award)

sharon-morrison The Gail Hennis Graduate Teaching award is available for faculty in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Community and Therapeutic Recreation, Kinesiology and Public Health Education. Dr. Hennis was a long time faculty member in Kinesiology and former Assistant Dean of the Graduate School. This year’s awardee from the Department of Public Health Education was described by her chair as a dedicated professor who challenges her students to learn. She sets a high bar, and then helps students reach it. In her class, students must engage with the subject matter, but also with people.

This focus mirrors what public health education practice is all about – meeting people
where they are and helping them achieve the health they desire. HHS congratulate Dr. Sharon Morrison, this year’s Gail Hennis Graduate Teaching

Dr. Roger Mills-Koonce (Junior Research Excellence Award)

roger-mills-kooncesThe Junior Research Excellence Award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in research and potential for growth as a scholar. Dr. Roger Mills-Koonce, this year’s awardee, has accomplished more in the two years since coming to UNCG than most would accomplish in a decade.

He is a talented and prolific researcher tackling topics of high relevance to children and families. Dr. Mills-Koonce is committed to supporting the research endeavors of other faculty and students and has become an active and highly sought after mentor to UNCG students.

Susan Calkins (Senior Research Excellence Award)

susan-calkinsThe Senior Research Excellence Award recognizes faculty who demonstrate excellence in their research. Dr. Susan Calkins, this year’s awardee, has been described as a prolific researcher and excellent collaborator who has worked tirelessly to enhance the research environment of UNCG. She is an internationally recognized expert on emotion regulation across childhood and into young adulthood.

Dr. Calkins’ highly productive and impactful research provides students and junior colleagues with rich and meaningful opportunities to engage in research with her. She launched the Child and Family Research Network (CFRN) which is probably the most active research network on campus with 184 active members representing every unit on campus.

Verna Leslie (Outstanding Staff Award)

The HHS Outstanding Staff Award recognizes a member of the staff in HHS who provides outstanding leadership and service to our School that goes beyond the normal scope of their responsibilities.

This year’s awardee epitomizes thosequalities. Her nominator said that what differentiates her is her unwavering devotion to duty, her willingness to work over and above what is expected, and her innovation. Her experience, knowledge and work ethic make her the “go-to” person in the office. HHS congratulates Verna Leslie in the HHS Office of Research as this year’s awardee!