Professors humbled, honored by donor support


At the Academic Affairs Award Recognition Luncheon, donors Clem (’84) and Robin (’83) Goodman sat down with the recipients of their generous faculty endowment. The meeting confirmed for them the commitment and high caliber of the JMU faculty and just how much more professors can achieve with private support.

Political science professor Kerry Crawford and biology professor M. Rockwell Parker both received the Goodman Faculty Fellowship Endowment for Excellence in Teaching award. The Goodmans’ endowment recognizes excellence in teaching and scholarly activity for the benefit of JMU students.

Upon receiving the award, Crawford responded, “It’s a tremendous honor and an unexpected one at that. I really enjoy what I do here at JMU. I love to teach and to have the opportunity to research topics that are important to me and to our community. To be able to integrate the two makes it a vocation I love, and to be recognized for that work is incredibly humbling and a great honor.”

Also at the luncheon, communication studies professor Melissa Aléman and geology and environmental science professor Kristin St. John received the Shirley Hanson Roberts (’56) and Richard D. Roberts Endowment for Faculty Excellence. One of Aléman’s students commented that her classroom was “a place where I could grapple with tough questions, receive open and honest feedback, and find true mentorship from a professor [who] really cares about her students.”

Two more donor-funded awards were presented at the luncheon. Psychology professor William Evans received the Alger Family Faculty Support Endowment, which is funded by Jonathan and Mary Ann Alger. Health Professions professor Elizabeth Richardson received the Ford Faculty Support Endowment for Excellence in Teaching, which was established by Jacob (’84) and Jane (’84) Ford. 

Pictured left to right: M. Rockwell Parker, Robin and Clem Goodman, and Kerry Crawford.

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Published: Monday, April 1, 2019

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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