Faculty Excellence Awards

Faculty Excellence Awards Photo: Brandon Cruz

The College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah is dedicated to supporting a diverse and dynamic learning community that fosters continuous growth and development in teaching, research and service for all faculty members (tenure-line, career-line, adjunct, and visiting).

To recognize significant contributions to the College of Fine Arts, two faculty members are chosen each year to receive the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Awards. These awards recognize outstanding distinction in one of two areas: Teaching or Research. Criteria leading to a nomination may include innovative pedagogy, exemplary contributions to the educational process inside and outside the classroom, integration of student involvement with research opportunities, or excellence in creative or scholarly research.


To be eligible, faculty must have at least four years of teaching service at the University of Utah. Tenured, tenure-track, and career-line faculty are eligible. Recipients of other University-wide teaching awards must wait five years prior to being eligible for consideration for the CFA Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.  Faculty members who have received other University-wide honorary research awards within the past five years are not eligible for the CFA Faculty Excellence in Research Award (this does not include University-wide research grants).

Each award includes a $1000 honorarium, and recipients of the CFA Faculty Excellence Awards are honored at both the College of Fine Arts Convocation in the Spring and the Fall College of Fine Arts Faculty & Staff Reception.

Nomination Instructions for 2020:

Faculty Excellence Award Nomination Forms are submitted online. Nominators will need to fill out information about the nominee (name and department/school), and include a brief reason for their nomination.  Information about the nominator will be requested in case additional information is needed.  

Once nominations are received, there will be a chance for the chair/director of the academic unit to add their support to the nomination. After that point, the faculty nominees will be contacted and asked to provide additional materials: CV, Personal Statement, Letter of Support, and either Course Evaluations (for Teaching Awards) or Samples of Research (for Research Awards).  This information will be reviewed by the CFA Faculty Excellence Award Committee, and the committee will make award recommendations to the Dean.  

Timeline for Process:

  • Nominations open (Feb 1- March 1)
  • Support requests from Chairs/Directors (March 1-end of Spring Break)
  • Notification of finalists & consolidation of files (March 16-April 1)
  • Committee meeting (early April) 

If you know of an excellent faculty member in the College of Fine Arts and would like to nominate them for a Faculty Excellence Award, please submit your nomination here.


Former recipients: 

Excellence in Teaching: Sarah Hollenberg (Art & Art History)
Excellence in Research: Sarah Sinwell (Film & Media Arts)

Excellence in Teaching: Catherine Mayes (Music)
Excellence in Research: Wendy Wischer (Art & Art History)

Excellence in Teaching: Sandy Brunvand (Art & Art History)
Excellence in Research: Lien Fan Shen (Film & Media Arts)

Excellence in Teaching: Pamela Jones (Music)
Excellence in Research: Eric Handman (Modern Dance)

Excellence in Teaching: Tim Slover (Theatre)
Excellence in Research: Ed Bateman (Art & Art History)

Excellence in Teaching: Chris Lippard (Film & Media Arts)
Excellence in Research: Sarah Shippobotham (Theatre)

Excellence in Teaching: Pamela Geber Handman (Modern Dance)
Excellence in Research: Beth Krensky (Art & Art History)

Excellence in Teaching: Sydney Cheek-O'Donnell (Theatre)
Excellence in Research: Elena Shtromberg (Art & Art History)


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