Fulbright College Announces 2024 Annual Faculty Teaching and Research Awards

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The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences on the U of A has named the 2024 recipients of a few of its prime annual educating and analysis school awards. Every recipient was chosen for his or her steady and noteworthy accomplishments inside their respective fields.

“These awardees are among the many most spectacular and devoted school members in our school, and every embodies the best trifecta of educating, analysis and repair,” mentioned Kathryn Sloan, outgoing interim dean of Fulbright School. “Every has positively impacted quite a few lives by means of their onerous work and dedication.”

“On behalf of your complete school, I lengthen a heartfelt congratulations to every recipient for this and all of their exceptional achievements,” Sloan added. “We eagerly anticipate their continued success and are excited to see what their future endeavors shall be.”


The school honors as much as three excellent lecturers yearly, and choice relies on a letter of nomination, educating evaluations and documentation in regards to the nominee’s educating actions.

The 2024 recipients embody:

Edmund Harriss, assistant professor within the Department of Mathematical Sciences

“Edmund Harriss understands the potential fantastic thing about mathematical sciences,” mentioned Matt Clay, chair of the Division of Mathematical Sciences. “His efforts encourage an interdisciplinary appreciation for the work of our division, and I wish to congratulate him on the achievement of this honor.”

Harriss has devoted his time on the college to quite a few collaborative analysis efforts, similar to creating mathematical artwork, together with two coloring books that includes math-centered designs. He typically collaborates with the College of Artwork and different faculties throughout the college, and his analysis additionally delves into digital manufacturing applied sciences. Moreover, Harriss has developed software program with purposes in Pc Numerical Management (CNC) and 3D printing for creative, architectural and academic functions.

“Harriss’ work expands the definition of arithmetic and works in the direction of a extra expansive understanding of the purposes of STEM fields,” Clay added. 

Brenda Magnetti, educating assistant professor, T.A. supervisor and fundamental Spanish program coordinator for the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

“Brenda Magnetti is integral to our Spanish program right here on the college,” mentioned Linda Jones, chair of the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. “Her dedication to tutorial excellence is outstanding, and our division has been significantly improved by her efforts.”

Magnetti’s analysis and educating pursuits embody a large, multifaceted exploration of training, specializing in the skilled growth of lecturers, curriculum design, tutorial methodologies and extra. She has taught all 4 fundamental Spanish programs and an array of further superior Spanish choices together with facilitating the net, self-paced variations of all these programs. 

“This Excellent Trainer award provides to Brenda’s ongoing historical past of excellence, together with earlier honors like Excellent Mentor and Recognition for Excellent Service as a Instructing Assistants Supervisor,” Jones added. 

Kelly Hammond, affiliate professor within the Department of History and affiliate director of the International and Global Studies Program.

“Kelly Hammond is an important element of each the Division of Historical past and the Worldwide and World Research Program, serving to to organize college students for careers in worldwide enterprise, authorities, training, diplomatic work and graduate college,” mentioned Ryan Calabretta Sajder, this system’s director. “Hammond’s educating excellence has impressed many.”

Hammond teaches quite a lot of programs about fashionable East Asia and is the creator of China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire: Centering Islam in World Battle II, with two further works in progress. 

“The Division of Historical past commends Kelly Hammond on her groundbreaking work each right here on campus and inside her discipline,” mentioned Caree Banton, chair of the division. “She is extremely deserving of the distinction of Excellent Trainer, and we’re desirous to see what the long run holds for her.” 


The respect is awarded to as much as three excellent researchers. Awardees are chosen based mostly on a nomination letter, the nominee’s analysis accomplishments documented in a one-page abstract of his or her analysis outlining its significance, a listing of 10 publications, supporting proof of remarkable efficiency in analysis, his or her curriculum vitae and an analysis by the departmental chairperson.

The 2024 recipients embody:

Ryan Neville-Shepard, affiliate professor and director of graduate research within the Department of Communication

“Ryan’s work inside the discipline of recent political rhetoric has supported our departmental efforts to bridge the fields of humanities and social sciences,” mentioned Ron Warren, former chair of the Division of Communication. “The popularity of Excellent Researcher displays Ryan’s dedication to the division and his work enhancing the definition of communication by means of his revolutionary efforts.” 

Neville-Shepard teaches an array of lessons in each rhetoric and politics, together with argumentation, political communication, presidential rhetoric, free speech and propaganda, and plenty of extra. Moreover, his analysis and works have been featured in distinguished publications like The Washington Submit, Politico, TIME Journal, USA In the present day and The Dialog.

“I am thrilled that the college is recognizing Ryan’s invaluable analysis, and all of us sit up for his continued contributions to the division and discipline of communication,” Warren added. 

Mahmoud Moradi, professor within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

“Mahmoud has spearheaded groundbreaking analysis within the discipline of bodily chemistry, considerably enriching our division,” mentioned Colin David Heyes, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Beneath his management, the Biomolecular Simulations Lab has repeatedly delivered excellent work, fostering collaborative endeavors amongst undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students.”

Moradi conducts revolutionary analysis on how proteins operate when their shapes are modified, uncovering how one can mimic these modifications utilizing detailed pc simulations of the molecular dynamics. His tutorial pursuits additionally span varied programs, together with a bodily chemistry lab, quantum chemistry, chemical kinetics and statistical thermodynamics. 

“Mahmoud’s work has been acknowledged repeatedly by each the Nationwide Institutes of Well being and the Nationwide Science Basis, and I do know this most up-to-date award will springboard his continued successes each inside the division and inside his better discipline,” Heyes added. 

Marsha Shobe, professor within the School of Social Work

“Marsha’s analysis spans the areas of kid, adolescent and household well-being, notably because it pertains to well being disparities for historically underserved populations and anti-poverty initiatives,” mentioned Johanna Marie Thomas, director of the College of Social Work. “Her work has a tangible impact not solely inside our program, however inside the bigger communities she helps.”

Shobe has performed research associated to well being behaviors and well being literacy amongst a number of low-income populations. She likewise has expertise managing a number of giant analysis and coaching grants, disseminating findings by means of peer-reviewed publications and shows, and collaborating with interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners. 

“Dr. Shobe has been integral to the training and coaching of a number of cohorts of graduate social work college students and practitioners, and her intensive work managing incoming grant funds has facilitated the graduate training of numerous of those social work alumni,” Thomas added. 


This award acknowledges excellence inside Fulbright School, honoring a distinguished teacher for his or her dedication to academic development. Recipients are fastidiously chosen based mostly upon letters of nomination from colleagues, authorities, friends and college students, as effectively as a complete assessment of their curriculum vitae and supplementary educating engagements.

The 2024 recipient is:

Matt Gerner, teacher within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“Matt’s work has been acknowledged by the U of A Doctoral Academy, the Nationwide Science Basis and the College of Arkansas, and I wish to commend him for the distinction of his Excellent Teacher distinction,” mentioned Colin David Heyes, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “His analysis into the fields of microelectronics and photonics has propelled the status of the division.”

Gerner leads an array of chemistry programs on the college, together with fundamentals of chemistry, honors and common sections of college chemistry and natural chemistry I and II. He has additionally developed an intensive database of chemistry tutorial and pattern drawback movies on his private YouTube channel.

“Matt has helped to facilitate a well-rounded chemistry training for numerous college students right here on the college, and our division has significantly benefitted from his devoted efforts,” Heyes added. 


This award acknowledges a school member’s distinctive contributions to the departmental or school advising program. Awardees are chosen based mostly on a letter of advice from somebody who’s acquainted with the candidate’s work as an advisor, together with letters of help from colleagues and former college students.

The 2024 recipient is: 

Leigh Sparks, educating assistant professor and assistant director of graduate programing for the Department of English

“I’ve been persistently impressed with Leigh’s dedication to our college students and her skill to encourage success from these round her,” mentioned Yajaira Padilla, chair of the Division of English. “Numerous college students have benefited from her dedication to her work and regard for all these round her.” 

Sparks’ analysis facilities primarily round literature written by incarcerated or re-entering populations, in addition to points referring to graduate advising within the humanities. Moreover, she teaches programs on American prisoners and returning residents, rhetoric and composition research, and American and world literatures. 

“Leigh regularly raises the bar for energetic school involvement in scholar affairs and has significantly improved our campus neighborhood by means of her dedication to analysis and educating excellence, getting ready college students for careers in a variety {of professional} fields,” Padilla added.


This award is given to a Fulbright School graduate assistant in recognition of their excellent contributions to the educating mission of the school and college. Awardees are chosen based mostly on a letter of nomination, a suggestion by the departmental chairperson, assessments of classroom visitations and different sorts of departmental assessment, his or her curriculum vitae, letters of help from school and friends in addition to present and former college students, a listing of programs taught on the college and a abstract of scholar evaluations for every course.

The 2024 recipient is:

A.G. Holdier, Ph.D. candidate and graduate assistant within the Department of Philosophy and the Public Policy Program.

“A.G. Holdier represents the way forward for our division and the school general,” mentioned Eric Funkhouser, chair of the Division of Philosophy. “His work on social and political epistemology, public coverage, and the intersection of ethics and the philosophy of language brings the traditional self-discipline of philosophy into modernity.”

Along with pursuing two Ph.D.s, Holdier is a member of the Conceptual Foundations of Battle Undertaking, the Machine Intelligence and Normative Principle (MINT) Lab and the Coverage Analysis Collaboratory. His work consists of tasks on algorithmic bias, context collapse and “faux information,” with a deal with sensible purposes of philosophical conclusions.

“A.G. Holdier is a changemaker within the Public Coverage program, and I commend him for this honor,” mentioned Brinck Kerr III, director of the Public Coverage Program.

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