Dr. Amorette Barber, associate professor of biology, was awarded the highest faculty honor at Longwood: the Simpson Distinguished Professorship. (Photo taken before Covid-19)
Dr. Amorette Barber, associate professor of biology, was awarded the highest faculty honor at Longwood: the Simpson Distinguished Professorship. (Photo taken before Covid-19)

Amorette Barber, who conducts pathbreaking immunology research on cancer-fighting T-cells and has mentored numerous students along their paths to careers in the sciences, was honored at this year’s Convocation ceremony with the highest faculty honor at Longwood: the Simpson Distinguished Professorship.

The Simpson Professorship carries with it research stipends and a reduced teaching load to conduct research. The award recipient is selected by the President in consultation with the provost.

Dr. Barber’s as beloved a professor as she is a researcher, and has included dozens of students in her groundbreaking research. We’re delighted to recognize her achievements and look forward to what’s to come from her laboratory in the future.

Dr. Larissa Smith, provost and vice president for academic affairs Tweet This

“For the past nine years, Dr. Barber has been a standout among faculty both in the laboratory and in the classroom,” said Dr. Larissa Smith, provost and vice president for academic affairs.  “She’s as beloved a professor as she is a researcher, and has included dozens of students in her groundbreaking research. We’re delighted to recognize her achievements and look forward to what’s to come from her laboratory in the future.”

In 2019, Barber received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, an honor reserved for only about 12 professors from across the state each year. At Longwood, she has previously won several additional awards, including the Junior Faculty Award (2014), Cook-Cole College of Arts & Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring (2015), Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award (2016, 2018) and the Provost’s Scholarship Award (2019), as well as the Virginia Academy of Science J. Shelton Horsley Award in 2015, the highest honor bestowed by the Virginia Academy of Science for original research.

The Simpson Professorship was established in 2015 through a generous gift from Murray S. Simpson Jr. and Cora S. Simpson to recognize and support faculty who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to pursuing outstanding scholarship resulting in publications, presentations, or creative work in the visual or performing arts. The Professorship carries a $5,000 summer research stipend and a $5,000 grant to support future scholarship.

The five professors who are receiving these awards this year come from a cross-section of our three academic colleges and are among the very best examples of masterful teachers.

Dr. Larissa Smith, provost and vice president for academic affairs Tweet This

Five other faculty awards are traditionally given at Convocation, underscoring Longwood’s commitment to faculty engagement with undergraduates. Faculty are nominated by their peers and chosen by an awards committee.

“Our faculty are committed to excellence in the classroom,” said Smith. “Each year we receive many nominations from deserving faculty who have made lasting impacts on student lives. The five professors who are receiving these awards this year come from a cross-section of our three academic colleges and are among the very best examples of masterful teachers. The entire Longwood community congratulates them all.”

This year the recipients of the faculty awards are:

  • Provost’s Scholarship Award: Mary Carroll-Hackett, professor of English
  • Maria Bristow Starke Faculty Excellence Award: Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust, associate professor of English
  • Maude Glenn Raiford Teaching Award: Dr. Kevin Doyle, associate professor of counseling
  • Maude Glenn Raiford Junior Faculty Teaching Award: Dr. Julian Dymacek, assistant professor of computer science
  • William David Stuart Leadership and Service Award: Ms. Heather Edwards, senior lecturer in French Literature and Language
  • Junior Faculty Award of Excellence: Dr. Haley Woznyj, assistant professor of management

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