Distinguished Faculty Award winner named

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Faculty Senate Chair Don Holly has been named the winner of the 2021 Distinguished Faculty Award.

According to the Faculty Senate page, the award is one of the most prestigious honors available to Eastern faculty and “is presented each spring to the faculty member or department chair who best exemplifies achievement in teaching/performance of primary duties, research/creative activity, and service.”

Holly has worked at Eastern 16 years and he is a professor of anthropology. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Penn State University and master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology at Brown University.

Faculty Senate member Nicole Hugo announced Holly’s win and said all the nominations for the award were compelling.

“I think the other committee members can agree it was a lot of strong nominations that were brought forward,” Hugo said.

Teshome Abebe agreed with Hugo’s sentiment.

“I need to say the candidates were exceptionally good but this one just really stood out,” Abebe said.

Holly said the announcement was welcomed.

“I’m having a pretty rough week, that was a nice thing,” Holly said.

There were four other candidates for the award.

All members of the Faculty Senate approved Holly being named the 2021 Distinguished Faculty Award winner but one. Holly abstained from voting.

The short biography on the Faculty Senate website explains why Holly was selected for the award:

“His 16 years of commitment to EIU through his teaching, research, and service are demonstrated by his work in and out of the classroom. Dr. Holly’s service ranges from being active in Faculty Fellows to chairing numerous committees, such as vice-president search committees and Faculty Senate. His archaeological work in Newfoundland, Canada involves students in exhilarating discovery and hands-on learning opportunities. His contribution to general education has also been a part of the important work he has accomplished at EIU, as he continuously strives to engage students in critical thinking while informing students from across campus on a subject he is passionate about.  In addition, Dr. Holly has published two books, numerous journal articles, and research reports. He has also presented his work at multiple conferences and secured grant funding. Dr. Holly exemplifies the qualities of a distinguished faculty member for his enthusiasm for teaching, his dedication to service, and advancement of research.”

The subcommittee that selects the award winners of Faculty Senate is the Awards Committee.

The committee members are Todd Bruns, Abebe and Nichole Mulvey. Hugo is the chair of the subcommittee.

The award has been given since 1979.

The past five recipients of the award are the 2020 winner Rebecca Tadlock-Marlow (Counseling and Higher Education), the 2019 winner Newton Key (history), the 2018 winner Cary Aylesworth (Philosophy), the 2017 winner Lynne Curry (History) and the 2015 winner William Addison (Psychology).

One winner of the 2003 Distinguished Faculty Award, Luis Clay Mendez, has an award named after him, The EIU Luis Clay Mendez Service Award.

The 2020 recipient of the award was Dr. Sheila Simons.

The reason she won was explained in the brief biography on the award’s webpage:

“She has been very active on the EIU GSD (Gender and Sexual Diversity) Advisory committee, which has involved mentoring students and assisting with planning for an HIV testing clinic. She also works with SACIS (Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services) to offer training to staff and assist them with being able to see clients safely. During the COVID-19 pandemic she delivered information to the public and academic community through presentations and papers, spearheaded contract tracing on campus, and works to assist students and faculty with understanding proper procedures at EIU. Outside of EIU, she assisted with delivering food to older residents in the community and held community meetings to respond to questions regarding the virus. She puts students first by working to fundraise for scholarships and delivered needed items for students in quarantine. Her hard work and dedication to EIU and the community has been exceptional, particularly during a time of substantial disruption and concern.”

The past five recipients of the award are the 2020 winner Rebecca Tadlock-Marlow (Counseling and Higher Education), the 2019 winner Newton Key (history), the 2018 winner Cary Aylesworth (Philosophy), the 2017 winner Lynne Curry (History) and the 2015 winner William Addison (Psychology).

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]