And the award goes to…

SHU honors top faculty researchers, Teacher of Year

Every year a distinguished board of judges and critics determine the most prestigious performances in cinema. The Academy Awards are watched by millions as they admire the work these artists put into their craft and how they influence the public.

Seton Hall had a similar event this past Tuesday to recognize its own stars, as they honored the most prestigious faculty and research happening at SHU.

The Researchers of the Year Awards were presented to 10 top researchers at the University. Each researcher received a $2,500 stipend and a grant award. The top Researcher of the Year award for the whole University was awarded to Dr. Margarita Balmaceda of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations who also received an additional stipend. Finally, the main event, the Teacher of the Year Award, was given to six professors across campus. The overall winner and first ever University-wide Teacher of the Year Award was given to Dr. Martin Edwards of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations.

Like the Academy that chooses the best performances of the year, SHU has a board of judges that come together to gather all of the information about the nominees and choose the most distinguished honoree. The board consisted of 18 faculty colleagues who served as judges. They were in charge of reviewing the student recommendations, colleague recommendations and research of each nominee to eventually decide who should be recognized as Teacher or Researcher of the Year.

This year’s reception was held in the Chancellor’s Suite with a rather intimate setting. While there was no red carpet, Associate Provost Dr. Gregory Burton offered the attendees a warm welcome, emphasizing why honoring the teachers of our community are so important.

Provost Larry Robinson emphasized that it is the work that the faculty does that makes a university.

“As mentors, both students and faculty are indebted to them,” said Robinson.

Adjunct Teacher of the Year Award included five nominees all from the College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Leo Bottary was the nominee from the Department of Communication and the Arts.

“When you consider being nominated for adjunct faculty of the year or for any award, obviously what you have is a lot of great work and people doing really great things,” Bottary said. “It shines a light on the quality of the instruction and research done here at Seton Hall.”

The over-all Adjunct Teacher of the Year Award was given to Professor Audrey Winkler from the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs.

Seven students wrote in on Dr. Edwards’ behalf for Teacher of the Year, as well as his colleagues, Ann Marie Murphy and Ben Goldfrank. Dr. Edwards emphasizes that this is an event and an award that we should value.

“Students come to Seton Hall to be excited and challenged in the classroom and everyone thinks back to a class that they had that caused them to think about the world differently,” Dr. Edwards said. “I’m honored to be part of a culture that takes teaching seriously at a time when much of American higher education does not.”

Professor Deirdre Yates, chair of the Department of Communication and the Arts, served as a judge last year and attended the event this year.

“The heart of the University is professors, from full-time to adjunct,” Yates said. “The more opportunity we have to thank them the better.”

That concluded this award season. Be sure to tune-in next year and write letters on behalf of the faculty that have enriched your time at SHU.

Siobhan McGirl can be reached at

Author: Siobhan McGirl

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