The Office of the Provost and the Georgetown University Student Association recognized outstanding members of the university’s faculty and staff through a series of honors awarded at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.
Computer science professor Cal Newport, English professor Daniel Shore, security studies professor Christine Fair, physics professor Emanuela Del Gado and psychology professor Rebecca Ryan were recognized by the Office of the Provost with this academic year’s Distinguished Associate Professor awards after being nominated by department chairs, unit heads and academic deans.
The distinction recognizes associate professors who, at an early stage in their careers, have made remarkable achievements in research and teaching, according to the Office of the Provost’s official web portal.
Department chairs and units heads nominate candidates, who a team of university and endowed chaired professors judge. The team then forwards selections to Provost Robert Groves for approval.
Newport, whose most recent book, “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” was a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller, highlighted the value of Georgetown’s academic culture and students in his work.
“Georgetown’s intellectual culture, its values, and its fantastic students combine to make it an ideal academic home for my teaching and scholarship,” Newport wrote in an email to The Hoya. “I’m proud to be a part of this institution and honored that they selected me for this distinction.”
Shore, who is currently working on building “Six Degrees of Francis Bacon,” a digital representation of the Early Modern Social Network that allows users to identify connections and relationships between contemporary historical figures, lauded the university for supporting his endeavors.
“Georgetown has done a remarkable job of supporting my work, both in the classroom, where I get to explore difficult texts and pursue complicated ideas with brilliant and engaged students, and in the library carrel, where I get to try out new methods of inquiry and push the limits of disciplinary knowledge,” Shore said.
“I’m grateful that Georgetown has honored me for the work it has made it possible for me to do,” Shore said.
In addition to these recognitions, GUSA presented the annual Dorothy Brown Award, honoring a faculty member whose contributions show a strong commitment to the educational advancement of students, to biology professor Heidi Elmendorf on April 28.
Elmendorf, who was previously awarded the D.C. Professor of the Year Award on 2014 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, co-founded the biology of global health major in 2009 and also serves as director of the educational partnership between the biology department and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a Washington, D.C. public high school.
Elmendorf is also a finalist for the $250,000 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching sponsored by Baylor University. As a finalist, Elmendorf received $15,000, as well as $10,000 for her department. She will also present a series of lectures at Baylor and Georgetown during fall 2017.
In addition to nominating faculty members for the Dorothy Brown Award, students were also given the opportunity to nominate staff members for the three Staff Appreciation Awards, created last year and presented by GUSA on April 28: the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award, the Patrick Healy Award and the Unsung Hero Award.
Per an email sent by GUSA to the student body, the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award, first awarded in 2008, recognizes an individual who has influenced student life through programs and initiatives that support students and allow them to thrive on campus. The Patrick Healy Award is presented to an individual who has fostered inclusivity on campus, and the Unsung Hero Award recognizes a staff member who has shown outstanding commitment to serving Georgetown community without seeking recognition.