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RU Honors Outstanding Faculty and Staff at Convocation

RADFORD – The Radford University Foundation honored five outstanding faculty and staff members during the university's Convocation on Thursday.

The Radford University Foundation each year bestows awards upon teaching and administrative faculty whose performance has been exceptional.  Nominations are made by members of the RU community, and award recipients are recommended to President Penelope W. Kyle by the Faculty Awards Committee. Through the generosity of the Foundation, each award recipient receives a plaque and a monetary prize and has the privilege of consulting with a committee of colleagues to select an outstanding student who receives a scholarship in the award recipient’s name. 

Award WinnersProfessor of English Jolanta Wawrzycka (top right photo, with President Kyle and Provost Wil Stanton) received the Donald N. Dedmon Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. Wawrzycka was one of the first members of RU’s faculty in the humanities to fully incorporate technology into instruction, using digital portfolio projects to enhance student learning. Wawrzycka annually directs a popular and academically rigorous study abroad program to Ireland and Italy. She has an international reputation as an expert on the writings of James Joyce.

(For larger images of the photos at right, click on the individual photos.)

Mathematics professor Wei-Chi Yang (photo second from top) received the Radford University Foundation Distinguished Creative Scholar Award. Yang, who has been a member of the RU faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics since 1989, initiated the annual Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics in 1995 and also founded the international peer-refereed Electronic Journal of Mathematics and Technology.

Susan Van Patten (middle photo), associate professor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism, was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Van Patten joined the RU faculty in 1999 and has chaired the General Education Curricular Advisory Committee as RU has conceptualized and prepared for the implementation of a new core curriculum in fall 2009.

Associate professor of interior design Holly Cline (photo second from bottom), who came to RU in 1997, was the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Advising Award. During her twelve years at RU, students in the interior design program have come to know Cline as an outstanding instructor, an empathetic mentor, a strong student advocate and an outstanding professional role model.

Patti Williamson (bottom photo), advising coordinator in the Pre-major Advising Center, received the Distinguished Professional Advising Award. Williamson, who has been part of the RU community since 1988, nurtures students who are undecided about their majors and helps them find career paths that fit their talents and interests.

August 27, 2009
Contact: Chad Osborne (; 540-831-7761)

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