April 7, 2021
Founders' Day Medal

UCF College of Arts and Humanities faculty members were honored at the 2021 Founders’ Day Honors Convocation on Wednesday, April 7. The annual ceremony, which took place virtually this year, honors UCF faculty and students for excellence across departments and disciplines. In recognition of outstanding teaching, advising, mentoring, research, professional service, librarianship and instruction, faculty are awarded research funding and encouragement to pursue their professional endeavors at the university.

This year, more than 20 arts and humanities faculty were honored at the ceremony. Luis Martínez Fernandez, professor of history, was named Pegasus Professor, joining six other professors in the college with the title: Julia Listengaren, José Fernández, Humberto López Cruz, Stella Sung, Jeffrey Rupert and Tison Pugh. This is the highest academic award a professor can receive at UCF for excellence in teaching, research and service.

Mel Stanfill was honored with a Reach for the Stars award, which recognizes highly successful research and creative activity accomplished by early-career university professionals. Keri Watson, associate professor of art history and director of the Florida Prison Education Project, was awarded the university award for excellence in professional service. A full list of faculty members who received college excellence awards, emeritus status or service awards is below.

Founders’ Day honors outstanding students as well. The dean of each college selects one undergraduate student every year to receive the Founders’ Award for exceptional work within their area of study. Students are also acknowledged for their theses and dissertations. This year, Ryan Polk was awarded the Founders’ Day Award and Jasara Hines received the Award for the Outstanding Dissertation for the College of Arts and Humanities.

The full list of 2021 Founders’ Day honorees from CAH include:

The College Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching

  • Cheryl Briggs (School of Visual Arts and Design)

The University Award for Excellence in Professional Service

  • Keri Watson (School of Visual Arts and Design)

The College Award for Excellence in Research

  • Duncan Hardy (History)

The College Award for Excellence in Faculty Academic Advising

  • Adele Richardson (Writing and Rhetoric)

The College Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

  • Francisco Fernandez-Rubiera (Modern Languages & Literatures)
  • Martha Garcia (Modern Languages and Literatures)
  • Duncan Hardy (History)
  • Alla Kourova (Modern Languages & Literatures)
  • Luis Martínez Fernandez (History)

Pegasus Professor

  • Luis Martínez Fernandez (History)

Professor Emeritus

  • David Brunner (School of Performing Arts)
  • Steven Chicurel-Stein (School of Performing Arts)
  • Walter Gaudnek (School of Visual Arts and Design)
  • Moshe Pelli (History)

Reach for the Stars Award

  • Mel Stanfill (English)

20-Year Service Awards

  • Sabatino Dibernardo (Philosophy)
  • Fon Gordon (History)
  • Anthony Grajeda (English)
  • Anna Maria Jones (English)
  • Thomas “Rudy” McDaniel (School of Visual Arts and Design)
  • Christopher Niess (School of Performing Arts)
  • Tison Pugh (English)
  • Claudia Schippert (Philosophy)
  • Steven Spencer (School of Visual Arts and Design)

30-Year Service Awards

  • David Brunner (School of Performing Arts)
  • Robert Rivers (School of Visual Arts and Design)

Student Awards

  • Founders’ Award
    • Ryan Polk (School of Performing Arts)
  • Award for the Outstanding Dissertation
    • Jasara Hines (Texts and Technology)