King Haggar Haggerty Awards Ceremony honors faculty

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Dr. Crider and Dr. Davis were both honored at the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Ken Starzer.

On Jan. 18, approximately 125 University of Dallas faculty members gathered both in person and online for the King Haggar Haggerty Awards Ceremony. The ceremony was an opportunity to recognize outstanding professors, highlight research accomplishments by faculty and announce sabbaticals and emeritus status. 

“It’s a time when the vocation that we all have to teach is recognized and celebrated in common,” said Dr. John Norris, associate provost and associate professor of theology. “It’s a really good way to start the semester.”

The King and Haggar Fellowships were instituted in 1985 under the leadership of President Robert Sasseen and Provost Jack Paynter. “Bob and Jack were really an important part of the process by which UD really maintained and expanded its excellence in academics,” said Norris.  “They both had a really high concern for the excellence of the faculty … that they would have the money and the time to be able to do research to make themselves excellent.” 

Selected by the Faculty Development Committee from faculty nominations, the Haggar Fellowship honors a junior faculty member and the King Fellowship honors a senior faculty member. The 2022 King Fellow Award was presented to Dr. Scott Crider, professor of English. The Haggar Fellow Award was presented to Dr. Kathryn Davis, associate professor of English. 

“It’s a great honor. The faculty at the university is quite gifted, and so it’s quite humbling to be recognized from such a group,” said Crider. “It was especially heartening to be recognized the same year as Professor Davis, who was a student of mine back in the day.”

The Haggerty Excellence in Teaching Awards were determined by student and alumni votes. “These are faculty who energize the campus and inspire students,” said the award ceremony program. 

The 2022 Haggerty Excellence in Teaching Award recipients are Dr. Jeffrey Lehman, professor of humanities, Dr. Jon Paul Heyne, assistant professor of history, Dr. Jonathan Culp, associate professor of politics, Dr. Jonathan Dannatt, assistant professor of organic chemistry, and Dr. Renita Murimi, associate professor of cybersecurity.

The ceremony also announced retirements and emeritus status. Colleagues honored retiring professors Dr. Sue Conger, professor of technology management, Dr. Mike Cosgrove, professor of economics, Dr. Blake Frank, associate professor of management, Dr. Robert Kugelmann, professor of psychology, Dr. David Pope, associate professor of biology, Dr. Sally Hicks, professor of physics and Dr. Samuel Weston, assistant professor of economics. 

24 faculty members were awarded Haggar Scholar Awards which support academic research, and 12 faculty members were awarded sabbaticals.The awards are a testament to UD’s dedication to intellectual caliber and admiration for faculty by both peers and students. 

“It’s my favorite faculty event every year,” said Crider. “You see what your colleagues have been writing, what they’ve been presenting on … it’s a wonderful event for discovering the real excellence and productivity of the faculty.”

“Pat Haggerty instituted the Excellence in Teaching awards because he wanted to award faculty who are beloved by the students,” said Norris. “I’d just encourage current students to vote and when you become alumni, make sure that you participate as well.”

Although the awards ceremony is a faculty event, the teaching awards provide an opportunity for students and professors alike to enter the spring semester with renewed gratitude for the art of teaching. They are a reminder that the highest award one can receive in life is the joy that stems from an authentic pursuit of wisdom and virtue.

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