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Three honored with College's highest faculty awards

Professors (from left) Candace Howes, Jennifer Fredricks and Joseph Schroeder were honored April 6 with the college's most prestigious faculty awards.
Professors (from left) Candace Howes, Jennifer Fredricks and Joseph Schroeder were honored April 6 with the college's most prestigious faculty awards.

Professors Jennifer Fredricks, Candace Howes and Joseph Schroeder have been honored with Connecticut College's most prestigious faculty awards. The annual honors, presented at an April 6 award ceremony, recognize faculty excellence in research, teaching and leadership.

Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award

, associate professor of human development, received the 2011 Nancy Batson Nisbet Rash Faculty Research Award, presented annually to a faculty member selected on the basis of outstanding scholarly or artistic accomplishments. Fredricks has earned a reputation as a nationally and internationally recognized expert on research related to extracurricular participation and school engagement, and has presented invited papers on these topics in the U.S., Europe and Asia. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation to examine the effects of extracurricular participation on adolescent development. This prestigious fellowship - normally awarded to scholars at large research universities - provides funding for early career scholars working in critical fields of education. Fredricks, who joined the Connecticut College faculty in 2000, has published more than 25 journal articles and book chapters in leading adolescent and educational journals. One of her articles, "School Engagement: Potential of the Construct, State of the Evidence," is the most cited article ever written on school engagement. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Research in Adolescence and Journal of Youth and Adolescence and is involved in youth development organizations such as Girl Scouts, Team-Up for Youth and Up2Us. In a nomination letter, a colleague of Fredricks' wrote that she is "a vibrant and accomplished scholar who brings great energy and passion to her work. Her accomplishments redefine what is possible in a liberal arts research career, and offer inspiration to others seeking to thrive as researchers in this context. She is an outstanding scholar, teacher and citizen, and we are very fortunate to have her among our ranks."

John S. King Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Joseph Schroeder, assistant professor of neuroscience, is the recipient of the 2011 John S. King Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, established to recognize teacher-scholars with high standards of teaching excellence and concern for students. Schroeder, who joined the College faculty in 2004, specializes in the neurobiological mechanisms of psychostimulant-related behavior, animal models of Parkinson's disease and psychostimulant abuse and the role of vanilloids in the central nervous system. He has devised innovative ways to reinforce his students' understanding of the complex material they study, including an annual "Kids Judge Neuroscience" fair in which his students explain concepts to local children. A colleague who nominated him for the award noted, "He is among the most dedicated teachers I have known, and his students are devoted to him. He appreciates what it means to students to get to know their faculty personally and to feel supported in their efforts to advance their knowledge." Schroeder himself has said he provides an atmosphere in his classroom based on a foundation of mutual respect. "I do my best to create a non-threatening learning environment in which learning becomes a three-way endeavor: teacher to student, student to student, and student to teacher," he said.

Helen Brooks Regan Faculty Leadership Award

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. This year's honoree is Candace Howes, the Barbara Hogate Ferrin '43 Professor of Economics Education. Howes joined the faculty in 1995 and has served the College through her membership on several major elected committees, including those charged with effecting change in the College's leadership and governance procedures and those responsible for implementing critical faculty policies. She has also served as the chair of the Economics Department and on several search committees, the Environmental Model Committee and the steering committee of the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. In presenting her award, Dean of the Faculty Roger Brooks said, "As this listing of engaged citizenry attests, the number of committees that Professor Howes has served on and the faculty leadership positions that she has held are exemplary and reflect her deep commitment to participation in the life of our institution."

April 11, 2011