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Old Dominion University's College of Arts and Letters gave the following awards for the 2003-04 school year:

-- The Robert L. Stern Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Joanne Scheibman of Norfolk, assistant professor in the English department since Fall 2000.

"Students are clearly enamored of the depth of her knowledge," said Charles Wilson, chair of the English department, in his nomination letter. "Many have noted in her classes that she should dispense with the textbook and either lecture herself or write her own. Such comments underscore the fact that Dr. Scheibman's classroom contributions are substantive. Relying not just on sheer personality (which is very appealing, nonetheless), Dr. Scheibman brings rigor and intellectual complexity to her presentations."

Michael Pearson, also of Norfolk, director of the ODU creative writing program, was this year's recipient of the Charles O. and Elisabeth C. Burgess Faculty Research and Creativity Award. The award is given to a full-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Letters in recognition of consistent, high-quality achievement in scholarly or artistic endeavors.

Pearson "deserves this honor not only because of his extensive scholarly output but also because much of it was produced during his stint as director of the creative writing program," Wilson said. "That a busy teacher and administrator could achieve so much, given his various responsibilities, is nothing short of spectacular. Moreover, because of the scope of Dr. Pearson's work, he meets the criteria for both research and creativity."

The college also presented its Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award to Sondra Swift of the Department of English, where she has served as an adjunct instructor for several years.

Swift, also of Norfolk, "has consistently provided students not only excellent instruction in composition and literature, but also a delightful and energizing experience in the classroom," Wilson said. "Her dedication and skill reflect the best teaching in our department and in our college at any level. In fact, because of this excellence, the Honors College at ODU frequently requests her services, something that they only do with our best teachers."

The Dean's Awards for Distinguished Service to the college were given to Ken Daley of Norfolk, professor of art, and Janet Katz of Norfolk, associate dean of the college. All of the college honors, with the exception of the Dean's Awards for Distinguished Service, include a $1,000 award.

This article was posted on: May 11, 2004

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