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Outstanding Faculty Awards

Outstanding Faculty Awards

Outstanding Faculty Awards (OFA)The Outstanding Faculty Awards are the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service.

Information on the nominations process can be found in the 2019 Outstanding Faculty Awards Guidelines, which can be viewed and downloaded via the link on the right side of this page. View prior years' OFA recipients.



2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards 

The State Council of Higher Education and Dominion Energy announced the recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards on December 6, 2019.

Since 1987, these awards have recognized faculty at Virginia’s institutions of higher learning who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and service. 

Nominees are selected by the institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. In all, 85 nominations were received this year. This group was narrowed to a field of 27 finalists and then to the 12 recipients.

Recipients come from campuses large and small throughout the Commonwealth and from two- and four-year institutions, private and public. Their fields of expertise range from biology to public policy. They have in common, however, the qualities honored by Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Awards: the highest level of scholarship, teaching, mentoring, public service and research. 

The 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards ceremony will take place during a March luncheon at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

2020 Recipients


Nicholas Balascio,* Assistant Professor of Earth Science, William & Mary
Amorette Barber, Associate Professor of Biology, Longwood University
Kent Carpenter, Professor of Biology, Old Dominion University
Cynthia R. Deutsch, Professor of Psychology, Central Virginia Community College
Kirsten Heidi Gelsdorf,* Professor of Practice of Public Policy and Director of Global Humanitarian Policy, University of Virginia
Ryan David Huish, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Virginia’s College at Wise
Timothy E. Long, Professor and Director, Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Virginia Tech
Cynthia Lum, Professor of Criminology, George Mason University
Diane R. Murphy, Professor of Information Management, Marymount University
Wing Ng, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Virginia Tech
Arthur Weltman, Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia
Jeremy Wojdak, Professor of Biology, Radford University

Additional resources: 

OFA Workshop Video

OFA Workshop Video

An Outstanding Faculty Award Workshop was hosted by SCHEV on April 14, 2015 to provide information and advice to institutions regarding how to prepare nomination packages.  SCHEV staff provided an overview of the award timeline, process and substantive criteria. This was followed by panel discussions that highlighted successful practices for preparing nomination packages and provided advice from reviewers and recent award recipients. The YouTube video is a 30-minute condensation of the most captivating moments of the three-hour event.

Here is a breakdown of the segments and location in the video:

  • Introduction by SCHEV Director, Peter Blake (0:00).
  • Explanation of how review panels are selected by Beverly Covington, coordinator of the OFA selection process (1:12).
  • Review of Boyer’s Principles of Scholarship, including how to demonstrate the award criteria within a nomination package, by Joe DeFilippo, Director of Academic Affairs and Planning.  (2:30).
  • Panel on Preparing OFA Nomination Packages (8:00):
  • Panel on Perspectives of Peer and Final Reviewers (17:00)
  • Panel on Reflections from Recent Award Recipients (22:40)
  • Wrap-Up (28:00)

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