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Faculty Teaching Awards

On May 18, 2016, the Faculty Excellence Awards Team made its final review of applications and nominations for awards funded through the Endowed Faculty Excellence Fund. The College is fortunate that the Board of Trustees, on the team's recommendation, established this fund to support and reward faculty excellence. Embracing shared governance and on behalf of the team, Iona is pleased to announce team’s recommendations regarding these awards for this year.

Below is an overview of each award category, the amount of money dedicated for each category, and includes the names of individuals recommended for each award.


The purpose of the Master Teacher and Lecture Award is to recognize and showcase the talents of a senior faculty and junior faculty member who is known throughout the Iona community as one of the finest instructors in the College. The awardees receive a plaque and a $1,000 honorarium presented at Fall Convocation. The awardees also have the honor of giving a presentation to the Iona community during the Fall 2016 semester.

  • Senior Master Teacher and Lecturer: Dr. Christina Carlson, English Department
  • Junior Master Teacher and Lecturer: Dr. Rachana Umashankar, Religious Studies Department


The purpose of the Academic Innovation Grants Program is to provide additional opportunities for the development, dissemination and implementation of creative ideas in pedagogy and classroom experience, use of digital learning, curriculum development, scholarship, student support/success, and other entrepreneurial activities. The intent is to support academic excellence through innovation, within a variety of academic disciplines, by providing resources and incentives for start-up activities that are aligned with or contemplated within the strategic plan.
This year, $18,000 has been dedicated to support Academic Innovation Grants. Six awards of up to $3,000 each have been allocated.

  • George De Feis, Management Department“
    • Creating Civic Engagement and Public Values”
  • Elda Buonanno Foley, Foreign Languages Department
    • New Course development “Impacting the Global Community: The Made in Italy Case”
  • Scott Cleary, English Department
    • The Field of Imagination: Thomas Paine, Poetry, and the Pain ICT
  • Yourha Kang, Biology Department
    • Develop a service learning course on digital initiatives.
  • Jeanne Matich Maroney, Social Work Department
    • To create and formulate a justice-themed Columba Cornerstone section in the learning paradigm of the flipped classroom.
  • Michelle Veyoda, Speech Communication Studies Department
    • A service and practical based approach to the audiology and aural rehabilitation sequence for undergraduate students at Iona College.


The mission of the Iona College Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is to foster student-faculty collaborations on scholarly and creative projects that take place during the summer. The SURE Program provides students with an in-depth experience of working as a junior collaborator with a faculty member on a project of the faculty member’s choosing, with the understanding that the students will be credited as co- authors of any juried presentations, publications, or creative works or performances resulting from SURE projects. Both faculty and student participants receive summer stipends to support their work on SURE projects.
For Summer 2016, $21,000 from the Endowed Faculty Excellence Fund was allocated to support SURE projects. Five awards of $5,250 each were allocated. Each award supports a student-faculty pair working collaboratively on a summer research or creative project that is projected to result in a juried conference presentation, publication, exhibition or performance shared by the student and faculty member. Each faculty member receives a stipend of $2,700, and each student receives a stipend of $2,500 for his or her work on the team's SURE project. The resulting scholarship will be completed by October 1, 2016.
SURE Grants have been awarded to:
Faculty: Luke Brooks-Shesler, assistant professor, Psychology
Project Name:The Effect of Psychological Safety on Group Conflict and Innovation
Student: Allison Beckmann; Major: Psychology
Faculty: Min Jung Kim, assistant professor, Speech Communication Studies
Project Name: Improving Productivity after Traumatic Brain Injury
Student: Victoria Pineyro; Major: Speech Language Pathology

Faculty: Kathleen Kristian, assistant professor, Chemistry
Project Name: Synthetic and Mechanistic Investigation of Copper Complexes that Bind Nitrogen Oxides
Student: Gessel Molina; Major: Chemistry
Student: Erica Zhen; Major: Chemistry

Faculty: Walter Krawec, assistant professor, Computer Science
Project Name: Security of Quantum Key Distribution Protocols against Practical Attacks
Student: Eric Geiss; Major: Computer Science