Fulbright College Announces 2015 Winners of King, Nolan, OMNI Awards
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas has selected the recipients of three endowed faculty awards. Angela LaPorte, associate professor of art, was recognized with the John E. King Award for Outstanding Service, Beth Schweiger, associate professor of history, was given the Nolan Faculty Award, and Caree Banton, assistant professor of history and African and African American studies, won the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Faculty Award.
The King Award was proposed and endowed by Fulbright College faculty members to recognize colleagues who exhibit exemplary service to the campus and community. They named the award for King, a professor of social work, as a tribute to his “leadership and extraordinary ethic and record of good deeds.”
LaPorte has developed a new course in art education called Teaching Art to Special Needs Adults, which included partnering with an off-campus organization. She also worked with the Italian school system to create a teaching program.
“Her service is integral to her teaching as she is a mentor to each one of our BFA students graduating with a degree in Art Education, who in turn go on to teach in our region and beyond,” according to a nomination letter. The letter went on to note that she is “an exemplary model of scholar, researcher, and colleague combined.”
The Nolan Award was endowed by the William C. and Theodosia Murphy Nolan Foundation to support the career advancement of faculty members who provide the highest quality teaching research and service to the college.
Schweiger created and administered a diversity workshop for graduate assistants that resulted in the department’s first handbook for graduate assistants. She helps prepare students for careers in higher education through professionalization workshops such as preparing academic job letters, creating Curriculum Vitae, participating in mock interviews and conducting job talk simulations.
In a nomination letter, Schweiger was described as a person whose “qualities as an unparalleled proponent of graduate education shine most in her personal and professional relationships with her graduate students,” and as someone who “begins mentoring from the very first email or contact she has with the student.”
The OMNI Award was created to “promote the study and teaching of peace and nonviolence in accordance with the insights of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator J. William Fulbright.”
Banton, a native Jamaican, specializes in Caribbean history, abolitionists, race and development studies. She was chosen as a faculty mentor to lead students on a study abroad trip to Vietnam, and her courses speak to the promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence.
According to a nominator, Banton has been “an excellent role model for young African American students.” The letter also points out that she provides her students “with the analytical tools to dissect categories of race,” and her classes reinforce that all people “possess agency and employ creative and life-affirming strategies to shape their societies.”
About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 19 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
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