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The College of Arts and Letters has recognized six faculty members with awards for achievements in service, teaching, creativity and advising.

The Robert L. Stern Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Francis Adams, assistant professor of political science and director of the international studies undergraduate program.

According to Glen Sussman, chair of political science and geography, Adams is "a model for other instructors in the college. In class as an instructor and in the office as an adviser, he 'puts students first,' giving them the kind of personal attention they require."

Adams has served as lead faculty member for the college's Learning Community program, chaired numerous committees in support of doctoral students and served as adviser for several honor societies.
He "cares about his students and the quality of instruction they receive," said Sussman, who also noted that Adams consistently receives high student evaluations.

Adams has taught at Old Dominion University since 1995. His current research focuses on U.S. economic assistance to Latin America.

Lawrence Hatab, professor of philosophy, received the Charles O. and Elisabeth Burgess Faculty Research and Creativity Award, which is given annually to a full-time faculty member in the college in recognition of consistent, high-quality achievement in scholarly or artistic endeavors.

In a nomination letter, John Morreall, former chair of philosophy and religious studies, said, "Professor Hatab is well-known for applying the work of [German philosophers Nietzsche and Heidegger] to many topics that cross disciplines and different branches of philosophy."

Morreall continued his praise, saying, "He has labored to write in such a way as to break down barriers between the two main schools of philosophy (Analytic and Continental) ..."

Hatab has written four books. "Myth and Philosophy: A Contest of Truths," published in 1990, has been a source for many scholars over the last decade. His latest work, "Ethics and Finitude: Heideggerian Contributions to Moral Philosophy," has been called "unparalleled in its scope and clarity."

Hatab joined the faculty in 1976. His areas of specialization include 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy, ancient philosophy, and social and political philosophy.

The College of Arts and Letters presented its Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award to Martha Rollins of the history department, where she has served as a part-time instructor since 1996. She most recently taught a two-part course covering the history of the American Constitution.

"These courses," said Chandra de Silva, chair of the history department, "are a key element in the education of history majors who hope to go to law school."

Rollins has been employed with the city attorney's office in Norfolk since 1979 and currently holds the title of deputy city attorney. "The unique combination of legal and historical training that Dr. Rollins has enables her to offer a perspective to our students that we would find difficult to replicate," added de Silva.

Rollins previously taught European history at Old Dominion from 1967-73. In addition, she serves as president of Friends of the Library.

The Excellence in Advising Award went to Deborah Meltsner, senior lecturer of communication and theatre arts. Meltsner, who joined the department in 1981, maintains a comprehensive Web site dedicated to assisting students with communication majors or minors with the advising process.

In addition to coordinating advising for communication students, she serves as the lead teacher for her area's Learning Community program. A former speech pathologist, she teaches courses in presentation skills, as well as introductory courses in human communication.

Meltsner served as the director of the 1999 Film and Video Festival, and that same year was the recipient of the college's Outstanding Service Award. She is the faculty sponsor for the Communications Club and serves on many university and college committees.

Karen Gould presented Elizabeth Esinhart and Lucien Lombardo with the inaugural Dean's Awards for Distinguished Service. Esinhart, senior lecturer of political science and geography, is noted by colleagues for her accessibility to students.

"More often than not, as one walks the halls ... and passes Esinhart's office, she is consulting with a student," said Glen Sussman, her department chair.

Esinhart serves as chief departmental adviser for the political science and geography department, advising more than 70 students and also serving as pre-law adviser to students interested in a law career.

Esinhart, said department chair Glen Sussman, "conducts herself in a professional manner and has been successful in promoting the Pre-Law Association and in placing students in quality law schools in the region."

Lombardo, professor of sociology and criminal justice, is credited by colleagues as being a dedicated instructor and adviser.

Elizabeth Monk-Turner, chair of sociology and criminal justice, said, "Lombardo gave countless hours of his time to create an advising system worthy of recognition by the department, the college and the university. He knows the regulations inside and out and can solve any problem. He spends much of his own time counseling and advising all students and is willing to go out of his way to resolve any problems."

He is credited with developing departmental advising sheets, and played a key role in developing the concept of clusters Monk-Turner said.

All of the college honors, with the exception of the new Dean's Awards for Distinguished Service, include a $1,000 award.

This article was posted on: July 5, 2001

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