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At the end of the spring semester, the College of Arts and Letters presented three faculty members with $1,000 awards recognizing achievements in teaching and creativity. Recipients of this year's awards were Timothy Seibles, Ken Daley and Kathryn Finney.

The Robert L. Stern Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Seibles, assistant professor of English. In his nomination letter, Jeffrey H. Richards, chair of the English department, wrote, "Ever since his arrival, Tim has had the ability to motivate and energize his students . . . students who have never seen him or heard of him before, nonmajors, nonpoetry lovers, can get excited in about five minutes when Tim takes charge. It is quite something to watch. He has an amazing capacity to reach students where they are."

Richards also stated that his "passionate commitment to making something lively happen in the classroom is always there," noting that several seniors have identified Seibles as the best teacher they had at the university. Students comments included the following: "passionate and enlightening," "very enthusiastic," "an inspiration to me" and an "open-minded, motivated teacher."

Seibles has taught at Old Dominion since 1995. He has published four books of poetry, "Body Moves" (1988), "Hurdy-Gurdy" (1992), "Kerosene" (1995) and "Hammerlock" (1999), as well as one chapbook, titled "Ten Miles an Hour" (1999).

He directed the Literary Festival in 1997 and 1998.

Daley, professor of art, 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.

In a nomination letter, Tanja Softic, whom Daley served as graduate mentor in 1992, wrote that he is "an artist of exceptional aesthetic merit as well as intellectual depth. The conceptual development of his work testifies to the mind that is never at rest."

She added, "As a graduate mentor, he has helped me think about my work outside the confines of the particular media. He has a unique ability to instill the sense of intellectual accountability as well as the reverence for the technical process in his students without constraining their creative energy."

Carla M. Hanzal, curator of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, who has worked with Daley on several projects describes Daley in her nomination letter as "impressive in his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise with a rare generosity of spirit."

Well-known for his printmaking and neon sculpture, Daley has had his work exhibited locally at the Cristallo Art and Glass Studio in Williamsburg, the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach, the d'Art Center in Norfolk, The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News.

Daley, who currently serves as chief departmental adviser for the art department, has taught at Old Dominion since 1965. He holds an M.F.A. degree from Yale University's School of Art and Architecture.

The College of Arts and Letters also presented its Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award to Kathryn Finney of the Department of Communications and Theatre Arts, where she has served as an adjunct instructor of dance since 1996, teaching advanced ballet, advanced jazz and beginning modern dance.

In their nomination letter, Marilyn Marloff, associate professor and coordinator of the dance program, and Thomas Socha, acting chair of communication and theatre arts, wrote, "Kathryn choreographs every semester for the University Dance Theatre concerts. She usually makes a dance for many students and often performs in the concert as well.

"In addition, she helps to mentor students through their own choreographic projects, attending their rehearsals and faculty showings, and participating in feedback sessions. This extra attention to the students and the program is invaluable. Our small budget cannot provide compensation equal to the amount of time, energy and loving attention she devotes to the dance students."

They added, "Kathryn Finney's involvement as a part-time faculty in dance has helped our program feel 'bigger.'"

This article was posted on: June 12, 2000

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