Three CHSS faculty honored with Presidential Awards for Faculty Excellence

by Anne Reynolds

Since 2017, the Office of the President of George Mason University has recognized outstanding faculty with President’s Awards for Faculty Excellence. These awards honor faculty achievement in the areas of teaching, social impact, diversity and inclusion, and research and scholarship. This year, the committee expanded the awards program to recognize faculty at different stages of their careers with separate awards.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud that three of its faculty members have were recognized with these awards after University Commencement this spring.

Lauren Cattaneo

Lauren Cattaneo, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, received the United Bank Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion, presented to a faculty member who has made extraordinary contributions in research, teaching, and/or service that directly advances diversity and inclusion within and outside the Mason campus.

In the nomination for the award, Dean Ardis and psychology department chair Keith Renshaw emphasized Cattaneo’s work in creating internships for undergraduate students to work in local organizations dedicated to addressing poverty; the “Inside Out” course that she created, which combines students from a university with students in a jail or prison; her selection as a Faculty Fellow for Diversity, Inclusion, and Well-being, where she created a course to help undergraduates navigate complex issues of diversity, identity, and inclusion; and her leading role as co-chair of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee within Mason’s ARIE Task Force.

David Weisburd portrait

David Weisburd, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, received the Beck Family Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Research. Given in recognition of his exemplary achievements and significant contributions to George Mason University, its students, and the larger community, the medal is presented to a faculty member whose contributions represent groundbreaking advances in their field.

In their letter nominating Weisburd for the award, Dean Ann Ardis, Associate Dean Jaime Lester, and leadership in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society stated that “Professor Weisburd embodies Mason’s mission of cutting-edge and socially-engaged research with real-world implications, and his contributions have been foundational to the discipline of criminology and to advancing crime prevention through police-community partnerships.” They noted his many contributions to the field: his pioneering research in crime and place, his extensive publications (over 200 scientific articles and more than 30 books), and his host of honors, including the 2010 Stockholm Prize in Criminology, lifetime achievement awards from the American Society of Criminology, the 2015 Israel Prize, and the 2022 Rothschild Prize in the Social Sciences.

Shannon Fyfe portrait

Shannon Fyfe, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and a fellow of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, was selected as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence in Research, presented to faculty members whose contributions represent groundbreaking advances in their field.

The nominating letter composed by philosophy department leadership and Dean Ardis stressed Fyfe’s outstanding work as an emerging scholar and public philosopher, touching on her research on morally complex and challenging issues, including genocide, hate speech, sexual violence, immigration, and mass incarceration; her contributions to the public debate on pressing issues such as the pandemic’s impact on the D.C. jail system and the availability of Covid-19 vaccines for children; and her extensive publications and work with the Scalia Law School and Mason’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Fyfe received the award for faculty members who received their first full-time appointment less than six years ago.