Faculty Awards



Faculty Excellence Awards

2021 President's Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award

Christina Eubanks-Turner, Department of Mathematics, Seaver College of Science & Engineering*

2021 Rains Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Works

Yongsun Paik, Department of Management, College of Business Administration*

2021 Rains Award for Excellence in Service

K.J. Peters, Department of English, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts*

2021 LMU Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Jennifer Williams, Department of African American Studies, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts*

2021 LMU Extramural Funding Award

Wendy Binder, Department of Biology, Seaver College of Science & Engineering*

2021 Term Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award

  • Nancy Coster, Department of Accounting, College of Business Administration*
  • Rebecca Stephenson, Department of Educational Leadership, School of Education*

2021 Part Time Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award

  • Karina Johnston, Department of Environmental Science, Seaver College of Science & Engineering*
  • Armando Paz, Department of Marketing & Business Law, College of Business Administration*

*Bios below 

2021 LMU Ascending Scholar Awards

  • BCLA: Priscilla Leiva, Department of Chicana/o Studies
  • CFA: Daphnie Sicre, Department of Theatre Arts & Dance
  • SOE: Kyo Yamashiro, Department of Educational Leadership
  • SCSE: Kathryn Mouzakis, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry 

Retirement Honorees

  • Susan Barber, Department of Film/TV Studies, School of Film & Television
  • Lance Blakesley, Department of Political Science & International Relations, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
  • James Devine, Department of Economics, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts     
  • Richard Gilbert, Department of Psychology, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
  • Joseph Hellige, Department of Psychology, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
  • Mahmoud Nourayi, Department of Accounting, College of Business Administration
  • Richard Perle, Department of Information Systems & Business Analytics, College of Business Administration
  • Alicia Partnoy, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts
  • David Stewart, Department of Marketing and Business Law, College of Business Administration

Faculty Service Awards

Ten Years of Service

  • Anna E. Bargagliotti
  • Feryal Cherif
  • Deepa V. Dabir
  • Li Dai
  • Antonia Darder
  • Andrew T. Dilts
  • Brett Hoover
  • Gil P. Klein
  • Yanping Ma
  • Martha McCarthy
  • Adilifu Nama
  • Gene Park
  • Andrew J. Rohm
  • Joshua D. Spizman
  • Gustavo Vejarano
  • Yanjie Wang

Fifteen Years of Service

  • Han Dai-Yu
  • Elizabeth A. Drummond
  • Maire Ford
  • Anna Harrison
  • Velitchka Kaltcheva
  • Thomas Klein
  • Michelle Lum
  • Ruben Martinez
  • Annamaria Muraco
  • Kirstin Noreen
  • David Offenberg
  • Jeremy Pal
  • John Parrish
  • Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks
  • Nick Rosenthal
  • Marta Sanchez
  • Stephen Shepherd
  • Tracy Tiemeier

Twenty Years of Service

  • Stuart Ching
  • Jeffrey Davis
  • Jodi Finkel
  • Yvette Lapayese
  • Chun Lee
  • Robin Miskolcze
  • Jeff Phillips
  • Patrick Rago
  • Susan Scheibler
  • Brian Treanor
  • Kelly Younger

Twenty-Five Years of Service

  • Rebeca Acevedo
  • Cara Anzilotti
  • Jose Badenes
  • Evan Gerstmann
  • Patrick Shanahan

Thirty Years of Service

  • Judith Foy
  • Richard Hadley
  • Holli Levitsky
  • Debra Linesch
  • Yongsun Paik
  • Dean Scheibel
  • Janie Steckenrider
  • Nazmul Ula
  • Robert Winsor

Thirty-Five Years of Service

  • Marilyn Beker
  • James Devine
  • Richard Gilbert
  • Suzanne Larson
  • Ricardo Machon
  • Chuck Rosenthal
  • Ray Toal
  • Charles Vance

Forty-Five Years of Service

  • Thomas Reilly

Awardee Bios

Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award: Christina Eubanks- Turner

Christina Eubanks-Turner is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Graduate Director for the Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics program. Professor Eubanks-Turner uses innovative and active learning pedagogies and tailors each course to the interests, backgrounds, and lives of her students. Her department chair stated that “she is a recognized leader in incorporating activities that promote mathematical learning that connect to her research.” She has made significant contributions to curriculum development in the mathematics department, including the development and re-design a variety of courses, including Abstract Algebra for Secondary Teachers, Number Theory and Algebra for Teachers, and History of Mathematics. She was awarded a course transformation grant from the Office of Intercultural Affairs for her work on History of Mathematics, which transformed the course into one that provides inclusion of mathematics developed by non-European cultures, correcting the misconception that all mathematics has European roots.

As a dedicated mentor and powerful role model, Professor Eubanks-Turner has taught and mentored middle-school to graduate level students and is engaged through LMU’s First to Go, NOYCE Scholarship, ACCESS, and McNair Scholars programs, as well as through the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in Mathematical Sciences and Women in STEM. Professor Eubanks-Turner is involved in supporting students from the recruiting stages through career, determining the best pathway for student success, providing coursework and career mentorship, and networking students with LMU alumni. In this work, she embodies the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis by providing individualized guidance to help each student succeed in their educational goals. One recommender stated, “Christina is a dedicated instructor who cultivates a lively classroom experience that engages each and every one of her students.” Professor Eubanks-Turner’s ability to engage her students, her knowledge and experience in advising and mentoring students, her strength as a role model, and her commitment to access to education and career opportunities all make her worthy of the Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award. In the words of one of her students, “Not only does she help students learn the basic knowledge but elevates their creativity process through ideas and thoughtfulness.”

Rains Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Works: Yongsun Paik

Professor Yongsun Paik is a prolific researcher and is considered to be one of the foremost scholars in international business. Professor Paik has published approximately sixty articles in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Academy of Management Perspectives, and Journal of Business Ethics, in addition to several books, book chapters, and numerous conference proceedings. His scholarship has not only received thousands of citations but also earned him many recognitions, such as Fulbright Scholar, best paper awards, and research grants from influential institutions. These contributions have greatly enhanced LMU’s impact and reputation in academic research.

The promotion of justice has always been an integral part of Professor Paik’s research. Moreover, by enhancing our understanding of international markets, his scholarship is instrumental to the development of a global mindset. His investigation of national and organizational cultures and ethical decision-making has yielded valuable findings for the education of transformative global leaders. His Dean stated, “Professor Paik challenges us all to look at global relationships and partnerships in addressing some of the world’s most significant challenges.” 

In addition, Professor Paik is the principal investigator of the prominent Center for International Business Education (CIBE) grant that LMU has received from the U.S. Department of Education in 2018. The CIBE grant has provided funding for curriculum development, scholarly research, faculty development, and community outreach projects.  Under his leadership, the Center for Asian Business (CAB) has received grants from International Communication Foundation and the D. K. Kim Foundation to support student exchange and faculty research.  As the director of CIBE and CAB, Professor Paik has organized conferences and special lectures on trade, foreign direct investment, and sustainable development to advocate the common good of LMU and the greater community.  His leadership in both CIBE and CAB uses outreach, research, and teaching to inform that voice and influence others in a positive and mission-oriented way.

Rains Award for Excellence in Service: KJ Peters

KJ Peters is a Professor of English and Graduate Program Director in English. According to a colleague, “One is struck by the number of different kinds of service he has assumed and the striking differences among the different positions of service he has held.”  Among his leadership roles, Professor Peters has served as President of the Faculty Senate (2007-08, 2011), Vice President of the Faculty Senate (2005, 2011-12), Athletic Advisory Committee (chair since 2011), Freshman English Program Director (2001-13), the Board of Trustees Faculty representative (2008-14), and Graduate Director in English (2019-present). In these roles, Professor Peters has strengthened shared governance policies, transparent procedures, and learning opportunities for students. In additional committee service, Professor Peters assisted with curricular planning and assessment (e.g., the University Core Curriculum Committee), advanced faculty compensation and benefits (e.g., University Comprehensive Benefits Committee), coordinated analysis of space on campus (e.g., Space Allocation Task Force), and supported hundreds of student athletes (e.g., Faculty Athletic Representative).

As Graduate Director of English, Professor Peters enhanced the program’s digital marketing efforts and streamlined the curricular offerings, and as Director of Irish Studies, he organized several high profile and well-attended events that addressed cultural, political, and economic issues. Professor Peters has supported the professional development of the English Teaching Fellows and mentored dozens of English graduate students in their capstone projects. He is also a consummate collaborator, who works to address the needs of students and faculty, foster inclusive dialogue that builds consensus, and promote the common good. As a demonstration of his dedication to service, and only part way in his notable career, Professor Peters was awarded the John Popiden Award for lifetime service in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. In looking at the variety of service he has performed, one colleague says, “He is ‘old school’ in the best sense—for him, the values and life of higher education are a vocation rather than a profession.” 

 LMU Award for Excellence in Intramural Funding: Wendy Binder

Professor Binder is a highly-accomplished teacher-scholar whose interests lie at the intersection of paleobiology, ecology, animal behavior and functional morphology, all under the greater umbrella of evolutionary biology. Professor Binder’s recommenders describe her as “exemplary in her field” and note that “foundational questions in evolutionary biology requires persistence, keen critical analysis, and original thought, in addition to fruitful collaboration.”  Professor Binder has been awarded a number of research and education grants.  In 2018, she was awarded $742,323 from the National Science Foundation for her research project titled “Collaborative Research: Chronology and Ecology of Late Pleistocene Megafauna at Rancho La Brea.”  Through this prestigious award, Professor Binder has developed a strong collaboration with LMU undergraduates and researchers from several institutions looking at the field of functional morphology of both extinct and extant genera. One of her recommenders stated, “Wendy has a tradition of collaboration, which reflects the respect researchers have for her work and her dedication to servicing all elements of her grants.” The project supported by this NSF grant will also have significant community outreach in the greater Los Angeles area through the La Brea Tar Pits museum and across the country through the creation of educational content for high school teachers that will be available online.

Professor Binder is passionate for teaching and mentoring, and she involves students in research opportunities at an advanced level.  One recommender stated that she “functions as a research mentor for the students, who, once trained, take full ownership of their project and are held accountable for data collection and interpretation. Wendy’s students have presented their results at local, regional and national conferences. Furthermore, as Wendy is a research associate at the Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits Museum), she is able to provide her research students with unprecedented access to the specimen collection at the Page – typically unheard of for undergraduate students.”  As lead principal investigator of a collaborative group, Professor Binder’s grant and associated research brings recognition to LMU and Seaver College.

LMU Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Jennifer Williams

Professor Jennifer Williams is an Assistant Professor in African American Studies and recent committee chair for the Intercultural Faculty Committee. Their commitment to LMU shined even more in the wake of the pandemic and the ongoing crisis of institutional and systematic racism. They have tirelessly given their expertise and used their skillset to better guide LMU during these crises. They have taught Introduction to African American Studies, African American Research Methodology, and African American Literature, as well as a new course called Black Queer Theory.  One recommender stated that Black Queer Theory “covered some very complex topics such as the constructions of gender, sexuality, sex, and relationships of Africana people. It also included various theoretical frameworks of Queer and/or Quare Theory that Professor Williams explores in their own research.  Courses such as these provide students with an academic framework to make sense of many extremely relevant and complex current events, which is precisely what a teacher-scholar should do.” LMU students are grateful for their contributions to the curriculum and are glad to have taken their courses.

As one recommender stated, their “leadership has benefitted every corner of LMU” as they tackle their coursework along with a leadership and research filled agenda. Just this past year alone, they have served as Chair of the Intercultural Faculty Committee, Liaison to the Intercultural Advisory Committee, Co-coordinator for an Anti-racist and Decolonial Pedagogies Faculty Learning Committee, and many more. The Dean stated, “Prof. Williams has fostered critical and constructive dialogue to raise awareness, challenge assumptions, and empower faculty to revise and reframe their pedagogical strategies.”

Term Faculty Distinguished Teaching Awards: Nancy Coster and Rebecca Stephenson

Nancy Coster

Nancy Coster is Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Accounting in the College of Business Administration.  Professor Coster states in her narrative essay that she has enjoyed teaching over 150 students per year and her reward for doing so “is seeing the light come on for the struggling student, seeing the smile on a student’s face because they have accomplished a goal or because today is just a good day, or even hearing a ‘thank you’ years after a student has left my class.”  Professor Coster’s recommendations were uniformly strong.  Her colleagues referred to her as “the heart of our department” and emphasized her efforts to mentor and motivate her colleagues as well as “to raise the bar on weaving magis and cura personalis into our students, colleagues, and community.”    Finally, one of her students shared that “Professor Coster was not only dedicated to helping me out in Financial Accounting, but also in life” ... “She was also genuinely concerned that we weren’t getting the sufficient amount of social interaction with other students in the class due to the online nature of remote school.  She was more than just a professor to everyone — she was a genuine friend”.

Rebecca Stephenson

Rebecca Stephenson is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in the School of Education and Managing Editor of the Journal of Catholic Education.  As a LMU alumna (Master of Arts in Teaching Communication Arts 2003), Professor Stephenson states in her narrative essay that she wants “to  be  the  kind  of  teacher  I  would  want  to  have  as  a  student” and that this includes “communicating  high  standards  for  all  students,  reshaping  curriculum  to raise  critical questions about social conditions,  acting  as  facilitator of student learning, and  making concerted  efforts  to  honor  and  uplift  students’  existing  knowledge,  experiences,  and  positionalities.”  According to a faculty colleague, Professor Stephenson is “by far, one of the best educators in the SOE.” Her department chair highlighted her work on curriculum development, including the redesign of the research methods core courses with her colleagues to adapt to the online format for the recently approved Ed.D. Program, as well as her work to update her courses with intentionality on including readings and activities focused on diversity, equity, and full inclusion. In addition, Professor Stephenson has served on 32 dissertation committees, including as committee chair, and her Dean remarked that Professor Stephenson’s support of doctoral students of color “has been particularly powerful.”

Part-time Faculty Distinguished Teaching Awards: Karina Johnston and Armando Paz

Karina Johnston

Karina Johnston is a Senior Lecturer for the Environmental Science Program in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering and Director of Programs for LMU’s Coastal Research Institute.  Professor Johnston states in her narrative essay that “I teach with hope, and my students are foremost in importance in my focus and philosophy,” and that “For students to achieve long-term value from a college course, they need to feel empowered over their education, inspired to learn, and feel the desire to apply the learning outcomes from the course in their adult lives. I believe that it is our responsibility as teachers to assist students both in their understanding of the world and in their personal development.”  Her department chair and Dean cited Professor Johnston’s Real-World Service Project, in which students connect to the environment or sustainability directly via hands-on engagement activities, as one example of how her courses are solution-oriented.  Given this emphasis on connecting course content to the real world, a colleague stated that Professor Johnston’s students “learn more than just ‘facts and figures.’ They understand how dealing effectively with environmental issues will enhance sustainability, promote environmental resources, and make their communities more resilient in the face of climate change.”  Finally, a former graduate student stated: “Karina has the ability to influence…bright, talented students who want to learn, and she helps them do just that. She truly goes above and beyond in her role as a teacher. She offers real-world applications that help students connect subject matter with their own lives, and by doing so, she inspires students to learn… learning like this extends beyond classroom knowledge and instills a lifelong desire to learn in every student she encounters-myself included.”

Armando Paz

Armando Paz is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Marketing & Business Law in the College of Business Administration.  As a multiple LMU alum (Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, Doctorate in Business Administration), Professor Paz states in his narrative essay, “I believe a good teacher ensures that the academically weakest student learns the objectives with at least an ‘average’ understanding (a Good Shepherd approach), while at the same time challenges the most gifted students”.  He goes on to say that as professors, “we are role models wherever we go. We are trying to educate the whole person and teaching is not limited to the classroom. When students see me volunteering at LMU's Special Games, it reinforces our Jesuit creed that we are ‘men and women for others’.”  A colleague, his department chair and Dean also remarked on Professor Paz’s “mission-driven teaching and services to our department and LMU community.”  Finally, one of his students shared: “The influence that Professor Paz has had on my path not only through school, but my future career path cannot be overstated. When I arrived in his first class, I did not really know what I wanted to do after college but by the end of just a short five-week course, I knew I was interested in law. His passion for the subject inspired a passion in me that I had not had before.”