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Faculty Achievement Award Winners Recognized at Honors Convocation


Faculty Award winners are (from left) Rasoul Narimani, H. Steve Leslie, Alexandr Sokolov, Elizabeth Hood, Andrea Brown and Zahid Hossain.

JONESBORO – The six recipients of the 2021-22 Faculty Achievement Awards were announced during the annual Faculty Honors Convocation, a highlight of Convocation of Scholars. The event returned to the Grand Hall of Fowler Center, following two years in an online format.

“We truly value our faculty for their teaching, research, service and advising,” said Dr. Alan Utter, provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research. “You have exceeded expectations in all of these core responsibilities, and we would not be where we are today without your commitment and dedication.”

The awards, determined through a campus nomination and committee review process, are for significant and meritorious achievement in the respective categories and include monetary rewards.

Chancellor’s Medal for Research and Creative Activities: Dr. Elizabeth Hood

The recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Research and Creative Activities is Dr. Elizabeth Hood, Lipscomb Distinguished Professor of Agriculture. Provided by the Beck Foundation and Distinguished Alumnus Buddy Beck, this is the highest honor an A-State faculty member may receive. Hood, who has served on faculty since 2004, is a highly accomplished senior scientist. Dr. Michele Merritt, associate professor of philosophy, was a finalist.

Teaching Award, Tenure Track: Dr. H. Steve Leslie

Dr. H. Steve Leslie, assistant professor of business communication, received the Excellence in Teaching, Tenure-Track, Award. Leslie’s nominators noted his contributions to student retention in his college, where he is regularly lauded for his teaching prowess by both colleagues and students. Other finalists were Dr. Tonja Fillippino, associate professor of mid-level education, Dr. Sarah Labovitz, associate professor of music, and Todd Sanders, assistant professor of occupational therapy.

Emerging Faculty Scholar Award: Dr. Rasoul Narimani

The Emerging Faculty Scholar Award recognizes a pre-tenure faculty member for exceptional scholarly achievement. The recipient, Dr. Rasoul Narimani, assistant professor of electrical engineering, was commended for his peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals, a grant from the National Science Foundation, and diligence in promoting student research. The other finalist was Dr. Eric Scudamore, associate professor of exercise science.

Professional Service Award: Dr. Zahid Hossain

Dr. Zahid Hossain, associate professor of civil engineering, received the Excellence in Professional Service Award. Hossain was recognized for the significant positive impact he has made with the development and progress of the civil engineering program, his college, and its stakeholders, including professional communities. Dr. Amanda Mohler, assistant professor of occupational therapy, and Dr. Ed Salo, associate professor of history, were finalists.

Teaching Award, Non-Tenure Track: Dr. Alexandr Sokolov

Dr. Alexandr Sokolov, assistant professor of engineering management, was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching, Non-Tenure Track, Award. Sokolov brings a wealth of practical experience to the classroom, where he helps students learn to demonstrate their understanding of planning, organizing and problem-solving skills that provide value-added services in technical or management positions. Dr. Steven Riley, instructor in music, was a finalist.

Excellence in Advising Award: Andrea Brown

Andrea Brown, assistant professor of occupational therapy, received the Excellence in Advising Award.  Brown was commended for her ability to connect with students at all levels, from incoming students, and their families, to those entering professional practice, and for developing these individuals through her dedicated efforts as a faculty member. The other finalist was Dr. Tonja Fillippino, associate professor of mid-level education.