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Four CAHSS Faculty win 2021 Faculty Awards

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College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Announcement  •

The University of Denver honored seven professors for their outstanding research and scholarship, commitment to their students and exceptional teaching in 2021. Four of the seven are faculty in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. The 2021 award winners were selected based on nominations from colleagues and students and presented with their awards in a ceremony this week. Congratulations to all the winners. The CAHSS winners are listed below.

Distinguished University Professor Award

The 2021 Distinguished University Professor Award has two recipients this year: Deborah Avant and Lynn Schofield Clark. This award is the highest faculty honor presented at the University of Denver and recognizes their career achievements. The Distinguished University Professor Award is based on scholarly productivity, national and international distinction in a field of research, and work that makes a positive impact on society.

Distinguished University Professor Lynn Schofield Clark

Schofield Clark is a professor in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS),  chair of the Media, Film and Journalism Studies department, and director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media. She has taught at DU since 2006 and has published four award-winning books, three edited volumes, 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and 40 book chapters. Her peer-reviewed research has been cited nearly 4,000 times.

“Her sophisticated research,” her colleagues says, “has continually been at the cutting edge as digital technologies affect how media are made, used and distributed, and her work has shaped how we understand the impacts of such changes on children, families, journalism, religions, communities and democracy in intersecting contexts of race, ethnicity, class, gender and nation.”

Along with her work at DU, Schofield Clark is serving as president of the international Association of Internet Researchers, the largest scholarly association of internet researchers in the world. Additionally, she holds visiting fellow and visiting professor appointments at Sodertorn University in Sweden, RMIT in Australia and the University of Copenhagen.

Distinguished Scholar Award

Distinguished Scholar Lawrence Golan

Lawrence Golan, a professor in the Lamont School of Music, has been named the 2021 Distinguished Scholar. This award recognizes unusually significant and meritorious achievement in professional scholarship, as evidenced by publications and their enhancing effect on classroom teaching.

In addition to teaching classes in orchestral conducting, Golan is also the orchestra and opera conductor in Lamont and chair of the Ensembles and Conducting Department.

Golan’s creative activity also extends beyond his 20 years of work at the University. Since 2010, he has served as the music director and conductor at the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Yakima, Washington. In 2013 he became the music director and conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. And since 2014, he has been the music director and conductor of the York Symphony Orchestra, a fully professional ensemble located in York, Pennsylvania.

Golan is a 10-time American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award winner, five-time Global Music Award winner, three-time American Prize winner, three-time Downbeat Magazine Award winner and two-time Prestige Music Award winner. In 2017, Golan and the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra won first place in the Ictus International Music Competition.

Faculty Service Award

Faculty Service Award Winner Sarah Watamura

Sarah Watamura, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology in CAHSS, has earned the 2021 Faculty Service Award. This award is given to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding service to the University, the community or the profession.

For more than a year, Watamura has volunteered her leadership and organizational skills to lead a vast communitywide COVID response network that has kept DU open and garnered national fanfare for its application of home-grown science and technology. As the University’s COVID coordinator, Watamura has worked closely with city and state public health and epidemiology teams and also campus and neighborhood stakeholders, University leaders, concerned families, students, and legions of scientists and professionals to ensure safe COVID operations.

In nominating her, colleagues wrote, “Her capacity to motivate and unite people is truly extraordinary — we have never seen anyone facilitate relationships more deftly. She is a gift to her home department and has brought the same talents to bear as the DU COVID Coordinator. She is the only psychologist to hold such a position and her background makes her more effective in every possible way.”

Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award

Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award winner Oriol Casañas

Oriol Casañas, an adjunct faculty member in the Center for World Languages and Cultures in CAHSS, is the recipient of the 2021 Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching Award. This award recognizes excellence in teaching by an adjunct faculty member.

For more than 25 years, Casañas has been teaching in the first-year Spanish program. His collegiality is a characteristic that many colleagues highlighted in their nomination letters. Faculty members appreciate Casañas’ willingness to share his teaching methodologies and offer feedback upon request. Colleagues also appreciate how available he is to offer technical support for newly hired instructors navigating the challenges of using new technology. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Casañas’ willingness to help and his technical expertise were critical for the smooth transition to online platforms. One colleague writes, “I have seen his constant effort, his punctuality, his willingness to support other colleagues regardless of rank or position, his creativity designing new activities, his capacity to develop a friendly relationship with students, everything done with accuracy and generosity—two virtues that I think are only possible when someone really loves what he does.”