2012 Distinguished Contributors

Picture of Mary Lowe and James Vela-McConnell
Mary Lowe, James Vela McConnell

Mary Lowe, associate professor of religion, for Excellence in Teaching

Of his colleaue, associate religion professor Jeremy Myers wrote, “Mary clearly deserves this award. I consistently hear students rave about her as an instructor. She has very high expectations of her students and she is exceptional at communicating these expectations, establishing a strategy for moving the students towards those expectations, and working extremely hard with her classes and individual students to help them meet those expectations. …Mary loves to teach and she works very hard to be an effective teacher.”

James Vela-McConnell, professor of sociology, for Excellence in Mentoring and Scholarship

Diane Pike, chair of the Sociology department, writes about Vela-McConnell: “For the past decade, Professor Vela-McConnell has worked closely and diligently with dozens students in URGO projects, McNair projects, social psychology independent studies, the service learning research in Soc 390, and as partners in the research in his most recent book. This particular area of strength in developing student learning through intense partnerships is exemplary both in quantity of students served and quality of the work produced. As a department and an institution, we benefit significantly from the effort and skill James shares with our students.”