Faculty Excellence Award

History: The Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) Excellence Award was first presented in 2006 from an endowment established made by Dr. Marilyn Bradbard, who served as the HDFS department head for 22 years, and this award continues to be supported by the generosity of many donors. The beginning of the award corresponded with the year of her retirement.

Purpose: The purpose of the award is to recognize faculty members who elevate the land-grant mission of the University and the Department in their work. Each tenet of the University’s land-grant mission, namely, teaching, research, and service/outreach, are interwoven into the HDFS mission. The award is given each year focusing on two of the three land-grant emphases. The order of the emphasis shifts in six-year cycles to ensure that the award is inclusive and values each part of our collective mission.

Eligibility: Tenured and tenure-track HDFS faculty are eligible to receive the award. Individuals must wait five years before being eligible to win again.

Nomination Process: Each year the awards committee, composed of the three previous winners of the award, requests nominations for the HDFS Excellence Award and provides a list of eligible faculty. Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and administrators are invited to submit a nomination based on the two emphases of that year. The committee will review the nominations and select a winner in consultation with the HDFS Department Head.



Past Recipients of the HDFS Faculty Excellence Award:

Past Recipients of the HDFS Faculty Excellence Award:
Year Award Emphasis
(see description below)
2023 Service/Outreach and Research Upcoming – Stay Tuned!
2022 Research and Teaching Dr. Ben Hinnant
2021 Teaching and Research Dr. Josh Novak
2020 Research and Service/Outreach Dr. Wendy Troop-Gordon
2019 Service/Outreach and Teaching Dr. Mallory Lucier-Greer
2018 Teaching and Service/Outreach Dr. Adrienne Duke
2017 Service/Outreach and Research Dr. Thomas Fuller-Rowell
2016 Research and Teaching Dr. Di Samek
2015 Teaching and Research Dr. Megan Haselschwerdt
2014 Research and Service/Outreach Dr. Brian Vaughn
2013 Service/Outreach and Teaching Dr. Ellen Abell
2012 Teaching and Service/Outreach Dr. Amy Rauer
2011 Service/Outreach and Research Dr. Joe Pittman
2010 Research and Teaching Dr. Greg Pettit
2009 Teaching and Research Dr. Stephen Erath
2008 Research and Service/Outreach Dr. Mona El-Sheikh
2007 Service and Teaching Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder
2006 Teaching and Service/Outreach Dr. Jennifer Kerpelman


Areas of Emphasis: The focus of the award rotates annually to reflect two of the three components of the land-grant mission, research/scholarship, teaching, and service/outreach.

Excellence in research/scholarship can include consideration of research productivity, published output, contribution to research reputation of the Department, grantsmanship, etc. Research accomplishments should reflect independent and programmatic scholarly activity appropriate to the nominee’s field and area of specialization. A reputation for excellence should be established or emerging among peers in the Department and should be attracting the attention and respect of professional peers.

Evidence of independent and programmatic applied and/or basic research includes: a sustained record of research publications in respected, carefully reviewed scholarly journals or book chapters and books, at least some of which are senior-authored and some of which are independent of graduate school mentors; evidence of efforts to obtain external funding; presentations at the national level; and invited participation in post-graduate programs, national meetings and symposia, patents and copyrights.

For faculty with extension appointments or more applied interests, publications may be published in peer reviewed journals that focus on informing practice or social policy. Extramural funding may support curriculum/program evaluation, development/testing of best practices, testing of the effectiveness of new resources (e.g., videos, web sites), and other applied research projects. Research-based curricula and/or training guides with substantial impact on the field provide evidence of the integrated nature of the candidate’s scholarly work.

Given the diversity of appointments individuals have, research activity may look different given the context of the position and the nominee’s faculty assignment. Research productivity should be considered a function of both quality and quantity.

Excellence in teaching includes and goes beyond the basic expectation of being well prepared and evidencing a mastery of subject matter fundamentals. Evidence of excellent teaching includes documentation of outstanding peer evaluations and exceptional student experience of teaching. This may be demonstrated through student evaluations of teaching, letters of support and evidence of impactful advising activities. Innovations in instruction, products related to teaching, and teaching grants also provide evidence of effective teaching. Excellence in teaching is also demonstrated by efforts towards continued growth as a teacher.

Excellence in service/outreach reflects contribution to the service needs of the unit and the campus as well as participation in the outreach mission of the institution. An individual exhibiting excellence in this domain should have some demonstrable service responsibility in the Department, the College and/or Auburn University. S/he should be participating in local, regional, or national committees of professional organizations and/or providing service to the local community as appropriate. An individual worthy of an excellence award would have an integrated program of outreach scholarship showing evidence of quality, impact, and dissemination of resulting programmatic products and expertise. Interaction with the wider community of outreach scholars should be visible, and a reputation for excellence among peers at Auburn and other institutions should be evident.