Faculty Empowering Faculty: The Santos Innovation award

Karen Santos

Karen E. Santos, Ph.D., Founding Executive Director of the Center for Facuty Innovation

During the summer and fall of 2001 Karen implemented new programs designed to support faculty and academic unit leaders. The founding principle of the newly formed faculty development center was focused on holistic academic and professional development for the faculty at JMU. With this vision and strong support from faculty and administrators, Karen developed and nurtured a model of a faculty development built on the premise of mutual benefit as opposed to a model designed to mainly provide recipients with a service – this ground-breaking work led to the formation of the Center for Faculty Innovation.  The Santos Innovation Award celebrates Karen’s vision of the CFI where faculty empower faculty to support professional development experiences that fuel faculty innovations in teaching, scholarship, service, and leadership.

The Santos Innovation Award recipients

Each year, the Center for Faculty Innovation celebrates an instructional faculty member who has enriched the impact of the CFI mission to enhance academic culture through professional development experiences designed to encourage excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, and career planning for JMU faculty

Aaron Bodle picture

Aaron Bodle, Ph.D., Early, Elementary, and Reading Education.

2016 Santos Innovation Award Recipient

Aaron’s teaching, research, and service all seek to contribute to teachers, teacher educators, and theorists understanding of identity and diversity, power, national and global citizenship, civic efficacy, and social responsibilities. Critical global citizenship and democratic engagement lie at the heart of Aaron’s work as a teacher-scholar. Aaron has volunteered considerable time and energy toward strengthening CFI initiatives such as top-rated qualitative data analysis workshops and Scholarship consultations related to qualitative research.


Patrice Ludwig, Ph.D.

Patrice Ludwig, Ph.D., Biology

2015 Santos Innovation Award Recipient

Patrice’s contributions helped to support and enhance the jmUDESIGN and jmUDESIGN STEM institutes. She also used her talents to develop workshops during the academic year and for May Symposium Conference Days. Patrice empowers faculty through her work on the EPIC (Enhancing Pedagogy through Innovative Classrooms) committee and by demonstrating her spin on engaged learning experiences teaching in the EPIC classes. Her commitment to faculty is also evidenced by her passion for innovations in teaching that she brings to her faculty colleagues in the Biology Department and the nationally recognized Biology Scholars Program.

Christopher Mayfield

Christopher S. Mayfield, Ph.D., Computer Science

2014 Santos Innovation Award Recipient

Chris helped to support and enhance the jmUDESIGN institutes. His work in this area provided faculty with a thoughtful, well-designed, and mentored course design experience that ultimately enriched the learning experience for many JMU students. His commitment to faculty is evidenced by his willingness to listen and ability to offer constructive feedback.

Jamie Frye

Jamie Frye, Ph.D., ATC, Health Sciences

2013 Santos Innovation Award Recipient

Jamie’s contributions to the mission of the CFI, supported and enhanced the Peer Orientation and Development Groups learning communities for early career faculty. Her work in this area provided a crucial support opportunity for new faculty allowing them to have positive mentoring experiences, interdisciplinary relationship building and access to campus resources to support their career development at JMU.

to be replaced

Mary Gayne, Ph.D. History

2012 Santos Innovation Award Recipient

Mary’s contributions helped to spawn the Faculty Flashpoint Series, supported the hiring of a new assistant director for the CFI, and blended her strengths in teaching, scholarship, and service to the Peer Orientation Development Groups for new faculty.

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