Scholars, staff honored with Chancellor’s Awards at annual State of the University

UMSL Chancellor's Award for Excellence recipients

UMSL Chancellor Thomas George recognized six outstanding faculty and staff members with a Chancellor's Award for Excellence Wednesday at the annual State of the University address. Pictured (from left) are: Finn-Aage Esbensen, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Youth Crime and Violence; Tim Farmer, professor of accounting; Jennifer Siciliani, associate teaching professor of psychology; Chancellor George; Tina Saunders, senior academic advisor in the College of Nursing; Carolyn Jones, administrative associate in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Languages; and Antonio Clay, mail carrier in the Office of Mail Services. Amy Zanne (not pictured), assistant professor of biology, received the Gerald and Deanne Gitner Excellence in Teaching Award.

University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Thomas George recognized six outstanding faculty and staff members with a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and awarded a new faculty member with the Gerald and Deanne Gitner Excellence in Teaching Award. The faculty and staff were honored Wednesday during the chancellor’s annual State of the University address at UMSL.

The faculty recipients are:

Finn-Aage Esbensen, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Youth Crime and Violence, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity. Esbensen’s current research deals with longitudinal evaluation of Gang Resistance Education and Training, a school-based gang prevention program taught by law enforcement officers. This five-year study is taking place in seven cities across the United States and surveys the same 3,800 students each year as they progress through the school system.

Tim Farmer, professor of accounting, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Farmer is chairman of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Department of Accounting Scholarships Committee and the Senate By-Laws & Rules Committee. He’s a member of the Faculty Senate and University Assembly, the Master of Accounting admissions committee and the College of Business Administration Faculty Policy Committee. He also serves on the campus’s Access to Success steering group, the Marketing Task Force, Gender Task Force, Human Resources Interdepartmental Partnership and Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.

Jennifer Siciliani, associate teaching professor of psychology, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence to a non-tenure track faculty member. Siciliani is the director of academic advising for the Department of Psychology and is the chairwoman of the department’s curriculum and instruction committee. She currently serves on many university committees, including the Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, the College Standing Committee for Academic Advising, the Student Conduct Committee, Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference Committee, First-Year Experience Committee and the General Education Committee.  She teaches courses on research methods, human sexuality, drugs and behavior, and history of sex.

The staff recipients are:

Tina Saunders, senior academic advisor in the College of Nursing, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for administrative/professional. As the college’s lead undergraduate advisor, Saunders demonstrates great communication skills. As chairwoman of the campus’s Academic Services Committee, she has taken on the job of leading the development of an advising handbook for advisors and another for students for the UM System’s Access to Success project. Translating the necessary information for professional advisors across campus is often as challenging as translating it for new students.

Carolyn Jones, administrative associate in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Languages in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for office/technical. Jones daily assists both faculty and students in the department with various activities, always ensuring things run smoothly. She’s professional and pleasant, and cares a great deal about doing a good job. Jones has worked hard at mastering the intricacies of the system and always completes tasks with a smile. She’s the first to offer up assistants or find the correct answer for any problem.

Antonio Clay, a mail carrier in the Office of Mail Services received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for service/maintenance. Clay is known by his coworkers as being a very involved employee. He can been seen at many campus events and is always involved with faculty, staff and students. Clay prides himself with ensuring that all mail is delivered and sent out on time. He is the first to jump in when the department is shorthanded and is always ready to take on additional task to assure things in the UMSL mailroom run smoothly.

Also during the State of the University, Amy Zanne, assistant professor of biology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, received the Gerald and Deanne Gitner Excellence in Teaching Award. Zanne studies ecological, evolutionary and biogeographic determinants of species distributions. She does this by measuring physiological, morphological and anatomical functional traits across many species. She has been with UMSL since 2008.

The Gerald and Deanne Gitner Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes and honors early career faculty for outstanding and innovative teaching.


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