Pamplin Faculty Awards

Augusta University-wide Awards

You can read a list of all the Augusta University Outstanding Faculty Awardees and hear a short message from Dean Green to the Pamplin Awardee on Jagwire.

Read the Jagwire story

Dr. Seretha Williams 

Seretha has truly had an outstanding year, in teaching, research, and service. In addition to chairing the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, Seretha has spearheaded the College’s initiatives in digital humanities, was one of only three faculty members in the College to receive a University RSCA Summer Award for 2020, has continued her record of teaching excellence, and has been extraordinarily productive in her research (with a new book under contract). She has been the model of senior faculty leadership, and is greatly deserving of this recognition.

Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Faculty Awards

The following awards were developed to advance faculty recognition in accordance with our Pamplin Strategic Plan and were shaped by recommendations from the Pamplin College Promotion and Tenure Committee. This will be the second year we have conferred these awards. Thanks to all of you who were involved in this process. While the nature and number of these awards may evolve over time, we are delighted to be able to award them for the second time to very deserving recipients.

Dr. Giada Biasetti

From Dr. Biasetti’s nomination:

  • Dr. Biasetti’s Spanish Translation and Interpretation class has long been popular with our students, in part because Dr. Biasetti embraces experiential learning in that and other classes. Dr. Biasetti originated an interdisciplinary service learning project in her Spanish translation class that grew into a partnership with the Institute for Transportation at ISU, resulting in a Spanish-language e-zine for transportation professionals. Since joining the AU faculty, Dr. Biasetti has continued to publish and present on translation pedagogy and experiential learning in language courses, and she has used her expertise to develop hands-on projects to bring translation theory into practice.
  • In addition to the translation produced by that class, Dr. Biasetti’s composition students also had a unit on literary writing, and they produced short stories in Spanish. Rather than responding to those stories with a typical professorial evaluation, Dr. Biasetti worked as literary editor for them, again using an iterative process to preserve the students’ ideas and aims while producing the best literary writing in Spanish. Both of these class projects required significant time on Dr. Biasetti’s part.
  • Throughout the semester, Dr. Biasetti worked with a nonprofit publishing company, Articoli Liberi, to publish the students’ work. Articoli Liberi provides copies of all of their books to students worldwide, and they have donated 100 books for students at AU and in local high schools. Dr. Biasetti, in this and so many other ways, transforms students into practitioners, directing their learning and giving them confidence. Her students shine, and that is the best measure of Dr. Biasetti’s excellence as a teacher.

Jennifer Onofrio

 From Professor Onofrio’s nominations:

  • Professor Onofrio has been a member of the faculty for over twenty years. During these years she has served this university in several capacities and she has been a highly active and accomplished professional artist as well as an outstanding and dedicated instructor.
  • Nominating Jennifer Onofrio is based on the excellent quality of her artwork and her recent research activities. Over the past few years, I have witnessed Jennifer’s serious commitment to her sculpture and her studio practice.
  • This past academic year has been an outstanding one for Jennifer in terms of exhibitions.  She has three major solo exhibitions this year. In light of the fact that these are exhibitions of sculptural work, one realizes what an outstanding achievement three solo exhibitions in one year is.  Each exhibition involved new pieces. 
  • Her shows are:  Reliquaries at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City, a premier gallery in the Midwest representing artists of international stature… it signifies that Jennifer’s work is of the highest quality; Common Ground at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley; and Within Without at the Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota.  Her work was also included in the group show Defining the Art of Change at the Center for Contemporary Political Art in Washington, D.C. 
  • Professor Onofrio is a highly respected, active visual artist among her peers in the art world.

Dr. Melissa Bemiller

Dr. Bemiller has set a record for Pamplin faculty in obtaining external grant awards. In two back-to-back applications, she has brought in more than $600,000 in funding to support her research. This is all the more remarkable given that she is still an untenured assistant professor. With such significant accomplishments at such an early stage in her career, Dr. Bemiller deserves recognition for these successes in grant-writing.

William A. Bloodworth, Jr. Awards

Brandon Huff, Lead Groundskeeper

Brandon began his employment with Augusta University in October 17, 2016. His first job duties started as an entry level Groundskeeper. Since 2016, Brandon has expanded his job duties and responsibilities in the Landscape/Grounds Shop. Brandon was promoted to a Lead Groundskeeper on 1/22/18 and has become a great employee of that role. In addition to doing the normal maintenance, Brandon makes an effort to do new installations, repairs in-house to prevent the costs and delay of contractors and his overarching abilities has been his experience and dedication to event set-ups and working overtime at special events. Brandon is dedicated to maintaining the integrity and appearance of the Summerville campus. He consistently strives to improve aesthetics in our landscape. He has a good relationship with others in his shop and has a good relationship with Facilities Shops and assists them when needed. 
He is well respected by his coworkers and is a valued member of the Summerville Landscape/Grounds Shop. Brandon has had no safety issues and has very good attendance. He always lets his supervisor know several days in advance for using Annual Leave. He is very punctual and tries to schedule all medical and personal appointments after scheduled work hours.    
Submitted respectfully,
R. Scott Davis - Landscaping / Grounds Manager

Cyndy Epps, Department of Art and Design

It took a year to lure Cyndy Epps from Georgia Southern. But now she’s here. And she’s been a wonderful addition to our department. She’s talented, communicates well with students and works collaboratively everyone. She always goes beyond expectations helping students and contributing in departmental events. Her flexibility in teaching a variety of courses at a variety of times has helped us immensely. In addition to doing excellent work in the classroom, she’s also growing her CV by presenting at conferences and is Chair of a panel at SECAC next fall. Thank you Cyndy for all your hard work.

Augusta University RSCA Awards
  • Dr. Elizabeth Culatta, for her project, “Justice and Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault: Identifying Barriers to Mental and Physical Health Services”
  • Dr. Seretha Williams, for research on Margaret Walker’s unpublished manuscript Goose Island, under contract with University of Press of Mississippi
  • Dr. Spencer Wise, for research for his novel Holderness

Center for Social Science Research fellow for 2020-2021
  • Dr. Gregg Murray (Political Science)
  • Dr. Wendy Turner (History)

Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Awards for 2020
  • Dr. Tim Sadenwasser
  • Dr. Candis Bond
  • Dr. Debra van Tuyll
  • Dr. John Hayes
  • Dr. Dustin Avent-Holt
  • Dr. Christina Heckman
  • Dr. Lee Anna Maynard

American Journalism Historians Association Kobre Award

Dr. Debbie van Tuyll
The Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism history is American Journalism Historians Association's highest honor. The Kobre Award recognizes individuals with an exemplary record of sustained achievement in journalism history through teaching, research, professional activities, or other contributions to the field of journalism history. Congratulations to Dr. Van Tuyll on this lifetime achievement award!

  • Dr. Chris Bourdouvalis (Political Science) after 30 years of service  
  • Dr. Pedro Hoyos-Salcedo (Spanish) after 25 years of service (in December 2020)
  • Dr.  Jim Minick (Creative Writing) after 5 years of service