A pandemic couldn’t stop TCU from recognizing faculty excellence and welcoming a new semester at the 2020 Fall Convocation on Tuesday.
In a typical year, TCU’s convocation entails faculty members in large purple robes and a large community gathering, but this year’s event was moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19.
Chancellor Victor Boschini and Provost Teresa Dahlberg recognized faculty excellence during the ceremony.
“I commend all of our faculty and staff today for the extraordinary work done to stay connected to our students and ensure academic excellence,” Boschini said.
The Deans’ Awards recognized excellence in research and creativity in teaching. Boschini named the following award recipients, each receiving a $2,500 award:
- Dr. Greg Friedman, the chair and professor of the mathematics department in the College of Science & Engineering
- Dr. William Gibbons, an associate professor of musicology in the College of Fine Arts
- Dr. Abbie Shipp, the chair and professor of the management & leadership department in the Neeley School of Business
The Deans’ teaching awards recognized three individuals who were voted on by their peers for excellence in teaching. Each recipient also received a $2,500 award:
- Jean Marie Brown, an assistant professor of professional practice and the director of student media in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication
- Dr. Cynthia Savage, an associate professor of professional practice and the associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Education
- Dr. Carol Thompson, a professor of sociology and anthropology in the AddRan College of Liberal Arts
Boschini awarded the $3,000 Wassenich Award for mentoring in the TCU community to the department chair of biology, Dr. Giri Akkaraju.
The awards continued as the chancellor named Adam McKinney, an assistant professor of dance, the 2020 recipient for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. McKinney, who received a $5,000 cash award, was recognized for his work in addressing racial injustice in the community.
In addition to the distinguished faculty awards, Provost Dahlberg welcomed 38 new full-time faculty members to the university.
New academic deans were also welcomed: Dr. Sonja Watson, the dean of AddRan College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Frank Hernandez, the dean of the College of Education; and Tracy Hull, the dean of the Mary Couts Burnett Library.
Dr. Babette Bohn, a professor of art history, received Boschini’s 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award as a Creative Teacher & Scholar. Bohn received a cash award of $25,000 for the honor.
Boschini commended Bohn on her “exemplary” work as both a creative teacher and scholar for the university. Bohn has taught 23 courses during her time at TCU.
“If we were in person, I’d ask you to join me in a round of applause for this distinguished group,” Dahlberg said. “Instead we’ll applause from wherever we are.”