The College’s most prestigious faculty awards were presented at a May 7 ceremony honoring professors who display excellence in research, teaching and leadership.
Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award: Gary Parker, professor of Computer Science
The Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award was established in 1995 in memory of Nancy Rash, the Lucy C. McDannel ’22 Professor of Art History, at Connecticut College from 1972 to 1995. It is presented annually to a faculty member selected on the basis of outstanding scholarly or artistic accomplishments. Parker, with the College since 1999, specializes in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, evolutionary robotics, autonomous agent learning, genetic algorithms, multi-legged robots and interactive video games. He was recognized for his active research agenda and his commitment to mentoring the next generation of researchers.
Helen Brooks Regan Faculty Leadership Award: Andrea Lanoux, associate professor of Slavic studies
The Helen Brooks Regan Faculty Leadership Award is presented annually to a tenured faculty member whose outstanding service in a leadership role exemplifies the College's commitment to shared governance, democratic process and campus community development. Lanoux, on the faculty since 1999, specializes in Russian and Polish languages and literatures, gender studies in Slavic cultures, nationhood and nationalism studies, literary canon formation, and post-Soviet children's literature. She was commended for her efforts to build bridges with colleagues across campus, her success in transforming Slavic Studies into one of the most innovative foreign language departments on campus and her service to the College, including five years as chair of the International Commons Steering Committee.
Helen Mulvey Faculty Award: Afshan Jafar, assistant professor of Sociology
The Helen Mulvey Faculty Award is presented to an assistant professor who regularly offers classes that challenge students to work harder than they thought they could and to reach unanticipated levels of academic achievement. Jafar has been with the College since 2008, specializing in gender, globalization, colorism, transnational women's movements, nationalist and fundamentalist movements, and Muslim immigrants in the U.S. In nominating her for the award, a former student wrote that she “pushed us further than we had been to date; she helped us realize the wealth of understanding that a critical mind could achieve, and she managed to do so with humor and a seemingly bottomless knowledge of world issues.”