Clarksville, TN – On Monday, August 17th, Dr. Maria Cronley, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Austin Peay State University (APSU), honored several outstanding professors during a virtual meeting with all APSU faculty.
The University’s top faculty honor, the APSU National Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award, was presented to Dr. Minoa Uffelman, professor of history.
Uffelman is a renowned scholar of southern history, and she has co-edited two acclaimed Clarksville Civil War diaries: “The Diary of Serepta Jordan: A Southern Woman’s Struggle with War and Family, 1857-1864” and “Nannie Haskins Williams: One Southern Woman’s Life of Rebellion to Reconstruction.”
Uffelman wrote a scholarly introduction of the history of food for the historic cookbook “Taproots of Tennessee,” and she has published 30 encyclopedia entries in 14 different encyclopedias about topics concerning the Civil War, agriculture, progressivism and women. She reviewed 30 books for numerous journals, and she has presented academic papers at 21 conferences and commented on panels at 14.
Previously, Uffelman has won awards for teaching excellence, outstanding academic advising and as faculty advisor of Phi Alpha Theta, which earned national Best Chapter Awards from 2008-2018.
On Monday, the University presented three tenure-track faculty members with the Socrates Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes professors who are known around campus for their ability to inspire and motivate students. This year’s recipients were Dr. James Church, associate professor of computer science and information technology; Dr. Dzavid Dzanic, assistant professor of history and philosophy; and Jennifer Thayer, assistant professor of business.
The University’s Richard M. Hawkins Award, presented each year to a faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional scholarly and creative behavior, was presented to Dr. Debra Wilson, associate professor of nursing. Wilson was the recipient of the 2017-18 American Holistic Nurse of the Year award in recognition of her outstanding innovations through research, teaching and promoting the science of holistic nursing.
Before coming to Austin Peay State University, she was already a renowned scholar of holistic nursing and psychoneuroimmunology, with more than 100 publications, more than 100 formal presentations and numerous keynote addresses. Wilson arrived at Austin Peay State University in 2017, and in that time, she has published 39 articles, two book chapters and two books. She is an active peer reviewer for 10 professional journals, and she has served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences and the Journal of Social Change.
Each year, the Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes a full-time faculty member whose service has enhanced or will enhance the quality of life in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area. Dr. Gail Robinson-Oturu, professor of music, received this year’s honor. Robinson-Oturu is a tireless advocate for diversity and always works to ensure the contributions of minorities are noted and celebrated.
She championed the music and legacy of Clarence Cameron White, an African-American composer and violinist from Clarksville who saw his opera, “Ouanga” performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. She helped have a historical marker honoring White erected at the corner of Second and Main streets, in addition to giving talks and performances of his work.
Robinson-Oturu is also a longtime supporter of the Clarksville Community Concert Association, having served as president of this federally recognized non-profit which brings high-caliber musical performances to the Clarksville community.