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Faculty Senate Recognizes Teacher Excellence
8/20/2013

The University of St. Thomas Faculty Senate Awards committee recognized three faculty members for excellence in teaching, research and service for 2012-2013, during Faculty Study Day on Aug. 19.

Dr. Michele Simms, director for faculty excellence, is the recipient of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Excellence in Teaching Award. Simms, a 14-year University employee, has taught courses on business ethics, as well as courses in the Honors program and Catholic Studies program. Her research areas include ethics, business-public health partnerships, sustainability, and scholarship of teaching and learning.

“I am grateful for the opportunity this University has given me to teach in the business school and with colleagues in the Honors Program, Catholic Studies and Women’s Studies,” Simms said. “Teaching is an honorable profession. I am one of many at UST deserving of this award.”

Dr. Chris Evans, associate professor and chair of theology, received the Saint Edith Stein Excellence in Research Award. Evans, who has been with St. Thomas since 2007, teaches introductory theology courses including Teachings of the Catholic Church, as well as upper-level theology courses including Catholic Church: Origin, Structure and Mission. Currently, he is publishing critical editions of the last remaining Latin writings in the corpus of Hildegard of Bingen, who was recently named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.

“UST has a number of excellent scholars and departments that are highly regarded for their academic accomplishments, so I am truly grateful to receive this award that recognizes my own achievements as a member of the Theology Department,” Evans said.

Sister Paula Jean Miller, FSE, Director of Catholic Studies, was awarded the Joseph McFadden Excellence in Service Award. Sister Paula Jean has been with the University since 1999 and taught courses for both the Theology Department and the Catholic studies Department. This fall, Sister Paula Jean will begin teaching at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, Calif.

“I am surprised and honored to receive the Tip McFadden award,” Sister Paula Jean said. “Service has been emphasized in my life since my childhood, but most especially in my life as a Franciscan sister of the Eucharist, and then again through the Basilian tradition ay UST. I have been blessed to have been surrounded by people who believe in service and who honor it.”


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