Barlow Awards Recognize Faculty Excellence
Patrick Furlong and Carrie Parks-Kirby are the 2009 recipients of the Barlow Award for Faculty Excellence at Alma College.
First presented in 1982, the Barlow Awards recognize faculty members for excellence in teaching; scholarly, creative or performing work; and college and community service. Recipients receive $1,000 cash grants.
Recipients are nominated by faculty, administrators, alumni and student Barlow Trophy nominees and reviewed by the Faculty Personnel and the Barlow Award committees. The president selects the awardees, who are presented at commencement.
Patrick Furlong, third from left, with students in England.
Furlong, professor of history, was nominated for the quality of his teaching and his commitment to research and service.
“His dedication to his students is exemplary,” wrote one of his nominators. “His lectures are not merely informative but witty as well, instilling in his students an awareness and grasp of the intellectual concepts and investigative procedures appropriate to their discipline of choice.”
Furlong balances a traditional teaching style with experimental approaches, such as team teaching an interdisciplinary course with Karen Ball on “Plagues and Peoples,” which combines lectures on medical concepts within historical perspectives and extensive class discussions based on case studies and academic journal articles.
“His history course in the United Kingdom deserves highest praise because it is one of the most scholarly and productive enterprises Alma College offers its students during Spring Term by providing them with opportunities for original research on World War II in the archives of the British Imperial War Museum,” wrote the nominator.
Furlong, a scholar of African history and fascism, continues to serve his discipline and his scholarly community by producing articles, book reviews and conference papers, “all evidence of his sound engagement with his discipline of which his students are ultimately the beneficiaries through his up-to-date teaching,” added his nominator.
Furlong joined the Alma faculty in 1993. He has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Carrie Parks-Kirby talks about her art at last fall's faculty show.
Parks-Kirby, professor of art and design, was recognized for her artistic creativity, teaching and devotion to her students. She teaches ceramics, sculpture, drawing and 3-D design.
“Her ceramics and drawings draw rave reviews, and she is now among a small number of ceramic sculptors whose works are included in the major pictorial anthologies of her field,” wrote one of her nominators. “The most persuasive proof of her imagination, energy and workmanship that inform her creations, however, lies in the fact that increasingly her work is being purchased by institutions and individual collectors of ceramic and drawings.”
Her breadth of artistic expertise informs her teaching and has broadened the scope of artistic media for her students.
“Exhibits like her teapot collection ... inspire her students to apply their creativity to other intellectual and artistic media, an appropriate endeavor for students attending a liberal arts institution like Alma College,” wrote a nominator.
Another nominator uses the word “generous” to describe her teaching.
“Working with ceramics is time and labor intensive, but Carrie willingly gives her students the many evenings and late nights that are needed to successfully complete their work,” wrote the nominator. “Beyond this, Carrie is generous in listening and counseling students as they work to complete their majors, think through their life plans, or simply want to talk.”
Parks-Kirby joined the Alma faculty in 1982. She has an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Barlow Awards are made possible by a gift from Joel Barlow to recognize faculty members who have “contributed the most, by their work and example, often at personal sacrifice, to furthering the education mission of the college.”
Posted: Fri, May 1st, 2009 at 9:28AM