College of Liberal Arts & Sciences announces 2015-16 faculty award winners

20160505-2_LAS Award Ceremony_IH_8At its end-of-year faculty gathering, the SUNY New Paltz College of Liberal Arts & Sciences distributed awards to exceptional faculty in two categories: Research and Creative Work and Teachers of the Year. The names of award recipients are etched on a plaque in the Jacobsen Faculty Tower Lobby, and awardees receive funding for professional development.

Please join the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in congratulating this year’s faculty award winners:

Research and Creative Work: Lisa Phillips, assistant professor, digital media & journalism

“As all who are familiar with Lisa’s scholarly work know, she adeptly connects the worlds of academia and the public sphere,” said Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences Laura Barrett. The awards committee noted that “she bridges the creative and scholarly divide adroitly, and thereby provides a great model for her students.”

Lisa Phillips is the author of Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession.

Research and Creative Work: Brian Obach, professor, sociology

“While Brian’s book is connected to the local area, it reaches well beyond our community,” said the awards committee. “His research, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, merits national interest, which has led to invited lectures at major institutions.”

Brian Obach is the author of Organic Struggle: The Movement for Sustainable Agriculture in the United States.

Teacher of the Year: Heather Hewitt, associate professor, women’s gender & sexuality studies and English

“Professor Hewitt teaches a wide variety of courses across two programs, and approaches everything she does with excellence and a marked spirit of generosity towards her students and colleagues alike,” said the awards committee. “The strength and number of her supporting letters of recommendation, peer observations and student evaluations of instruction speak to how well-respected and well-liked, and how professional and inspirational she is in her role as a teacher.

Teacher of the Year: Denise Oliver-Velez, adjunct faculty, women’s gender & sexuality studies and anthropology

Nominator Kathleen Dowley, coordinator of women’s gender & sexuality studies, described Oliver-Velez’s work as a black civil rights activist and HIV/AIDS researcher as “crucial elements of her extraordinary success in the classroom. As a scholar, teacher and lifetime activist, she brings much needed diversity to our program and to our worldview.”

More information about the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is available online.