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Faculty Senate Recognizes Teacher Excellence
The University of St. Thomas Faculty Senate Awards Committee awarded three faculty members for excellence in teaching, research and service for 2011-2012, during Faculty Study Day on Aug. 13.

Dr. Shannon Forbes, assistant professor of English, received the St. Thomas Aquinas Excellence in Teaching Award. Forbes, a nine-year University employee, has taught courses on 20th century modern British literature and theory, as well as Irish studies, and courses for the Women, Culture and Society program. Her latest research project explores the different modes of subjectivity and rhetorical purposes illustrated in contemporary Irish memoirs. Besides teaching and research, Forbes enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and three girls.

"It is nothing short of an extraordinary experience to be a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas,” Forbes said. “I am always learning from the UST community.  As I begin my tenth academic year at UST, I can honestly say not a day goes by that I don't feel incredibly thankful for the work I do here each day." 

Dr. Catherine Barber, assistant professor of education and director of research, is the recipient of the St. Edith Stein Excellence in Research Award. With the University since 2010, Barber teaches Research Seminar I – Proposal, and Research Seminar II – Study and Findings. Barber is a licensed psychologist with research in forgiveness and expressive writing, borderline personality disorder, and social and emotional learning in early education. Barber is also the Best Buddies club faculty advisor. Besides teaching and research, Barber enjoys traveling with her husband and 15-month-old daughter and catching the latest episode of her new favorite TV show, “Downton Abbey.”

“I am so grateful to the University for this award, and I appreciate our dean, Dr. Hutto, for nominating me,” Barber said. “I look forward to many more years of research and teaching at St. Thomas."

Dr. Jo Meier-Marquis, assistant professor and chair of psychology, received the Joseph M. McFadden Excellence in Service Award. Meier-Marquis, with UST since 2004, has taught courses on social psychology, experimental health, general psychology and foundations of statistical analysis. Her research focuses on parenting relations, health psychology and outcome evaluations of community outreach programs. Besides psychology, Meier-Marquis has a passion for the culinary arts and is known to share homemade treats in class. She also enjoys spending time at home with her three children.

“Like most of our faculty, I spend a fair amount of my time involved with service activities for our students, campus and wider community,” Meier-Marquis said. “The service commitments that I most enjoy allow me to collaborate with students, faculty and staff members throughout our campus community.  While I am honored to have won the service award this year, I do want to recognize the hard work of everyone involved in many of these labor-intensive service commitments.” 

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