Faculty celebrated with first annual awards

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From top left to bottom right: Faridah Pawan, Barbara Dennis, Jessica Lester, Lynn Gilman

Four faculty members at the IU School of Education have been honored with inaugural faculty awards, given for their commitment to research, partnership, international engagement and equity.

Recognizing our faculty for their various contributions and expertise is a practice that I value very much. Our staff and faculty awards are just one of the many ways we should recognize excellence throughout our School of Education.

Creating a legacy that will be celebrated by all within the school of education and our community is important. These awards will highlight areas of excellence across different focuses that are central to our values and mission. I celebrate each recipient and their contributions.

– Dean Lemuel Watson

Each recipient will receive an award of $1,000.


Award for Outstanding International Engagement

Faridah Pawan

Faridah Pawan
Professor in Literacy, Culture and Language Education

Criteria for this award included the significance of the nominee’s practice, engagement, research, external partnerships and other collaborations, and how that work advances the School of Education’s research and teaching.

“Faridah Pawan’s application revealed a clearly sustained commitment to international engagement of considerable depth and breadth. Her work is guided by a well-articulated socio-cultural theoretical framework,” said Ana Maria Brannan, Professor and committee member for this award. “Dr. Pawan has a long-standing record of international research, teaching and service. Her work has led to tangible results that are manifested in several areas.”

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Award for Outstanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Achievement

Barbara Dennis

Barbara Dennis
Professor in Counseling and Educational Psychology

The award recognizes a faculty member who works to increase diversity, equity and inclusion by improving programs, departments and/or the school climate, efforts to enhance the success of students, staff and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds or enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the community.

“Barbara Dennis was selected for the inaugural diversity, equity, and inclusion award because her commitment to DEI is evident across all of her work. She has worked with multiple communities to accomplish goals that are co-crafted between her and the community she serves,” said Erik Tillema, Associate Professor and committee member for the DEI award. “In all of her endeavors, Barbara interrogates her own positionality and power (e.g., Whiteness, western ideology, gender identity, etc.) as part of how she achieves praxis in her work with these communities. She also has had a significant impact across the college on students who take her methodology courses on critical ethnographic research. As a committee, we were very pleased to recognize all the ways that Barbara has worked, and will continue to work, for diversity, equity, and inclusion in her career.”

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Award for Outstanding Research

Jessica Lester

Jessica Lester
Associate Professor in Counseling and Educational Psychology

The purpose of the award is to recognize IU School of Education faculty who have demonstrated a record of outstanding research achievements, including publications, national or international recognition and impact of research.

The entire committee was impressed with all of the nominees and it was very difficult to pick from the esteemed group,” said David Rutkowski, Associate Professor and committee member. “The sheer amount of publications eventually helped the committee choose Jessica Lester as the first awardee of the research award. The committee agreed that each of the amazing nominees could have easily won the award.”

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Award for Outstanding Partnership and Collaboration

Lynn Gilman

Lynn Gilman
Clinical Assistant Professor in Counseling and Educational Psychology and Director of the Center for Human Growth

This award is intended to recognize outstanding efforts of School of Education faculty to develop, maintain and grow collaborative partnerships with external entities that lead to and expand the impact of the School’s research, teaching and service mission. 

“The committee was impressed with the extensive partnerships created and developed by all of the nominees and they each deserve our recognition. In the end the committee felt that Lynn Gilman's work was so extensive and critical to the School of Education’s missions that she should be recognized with this honor,” Rutkowski said.

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