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Fairmont State University Faculty Awards and Faculty Grant 2023-2024: Innovation In Teaching

Past (Straight) Award Winners

Pamela Huggins (2008-2009)

Rebecca Giorcelli (2010-2011)

Denice Kirchoff (2011-2012)

Julie Sellers (2012-2013)

Constance Edwards (2013-2014)

Paul Reneau (2014-2015)

Leisa Muto (2015-2016)

Amanda Metcalf (2016-2017)

Jan Kiger (2017-2018)

Andreas Baur (2018-2019)

Theresa Jones (2019-2020)

Jim Davis and Ashley Shroyer (2020-2021)

J. Robert Baker (2021-2022)

Kellie Cole (2022-2023)

Robert Niichel (2023-2024)








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Please make sure you have reviewed the eligibility, criteria, and deadline.


Please direct any questions about the awards to the Faculty Development Committee Chair Brian Blackwood

Award for Innovation in Teaching

Innovation in Teaching Award 

Purpose and History

     Previously, this was an endowed fund established with the Fairmont State Foundation through the generosity of David and Carol Straight. They no longer fund this award, so the name of the award has been changed.


     The award is intended to honor or encourage outstanding and innovative teaching by faculty at Fairmont State University. Full-time faculty are eligible for nomination who have not been the recipient of the Straight Award in the past five years and who have at least 3 years of service to Fairmont State University. 



Nomination Process

     The nominator should complete and submit the electronic nomination form explaining specifically why the faculty member deserves consideration for the award.  No anonymous nominations will be accepted, however, the nominator can choose whether his/her name will be disclosed to the nominee.  The committee will ask faculty members who have been named if they will consent to the nomination.

Nomination Deadline

     Friday, December 1, 2023

Selection Criteria

The committee hopes to obtain from each applicant, specific information about each nominee’s outstanding achievements in one or all of the following areas:

  • Innovative course design or redesign to support progressive, evolving, student-centered pedagogy which prepares students for a rapidly changing technologically advanced world
  • Willingness to go out and learn "new tricks," expanding their teaching strategies and demonstrating that they are lifelong learners themselves
  • Committed and caring engagement with students that encourages exploration, research, and use of their problem-solving skills
  • Notable scholarly or creative publication or products 
  • Leadership in university-wide endeavors to improve recruitment and retention of students.  

Application Process

     Those who have been nominated for the award and decide to move forward (to be considered for the award) are required to submit the following materials and agree to a classroom observation, either in person or from a recording.  Applications should be submitted to 

1. Application Letter (2 pages):

  • The most useful application letter is an essay and does more than merely list your accomplishment or reiterate your letters of support. The letter should make a clear and persuasive case for why the Faculty Development committee should give you this award. It should identify your strengths, practices, and talents in the areas listed under the Selection Criteria above.

2. Two Letters of Support

  • One peer letter
  • One Dean or Department Chair letter

The Faculty Development Committee will review the application essay letter and the letters of support.

3. They will also review a recorded class session, due by February 23, 2024.

The awardee will be notified prior to the Spring Faculty Awards Banquet, when the name of the recipient will be announced to the greater Fairmont State community.

Application Deadline

February 12, 2024