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Press Releases

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Three Receive Distinguished Faculty Awards

SALISBURY, MD---From the author of a book on one of the most intriguing women in American politics to a dedicated advocate for mathematics teachers to a mentor credited with helping students fulfill their dreams, this year’s Salisbury University Distinguished Faculty Award recipients represent SU’s best.

Honorees must demonstrate outstanding achievement in three areas: teaching, service and professional development including scholarship and research. This year's winners are Dr. Homer Austin of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences; Dr. James McCallops of the Department of History; and Dr. Nomsa Geleta of the Department of Education.

Since coming to SU in 1997, McCallops has been a leader in the development of the University’s gender studies program. His ability to make historical information relevant to students’ lives has earned him accolades.

“A number of students say they ‘hated history’ until they took Jim’s history class, but now they enjoy it,” said Dr. Augustine DiGiovanna in presenting the awards. “Students comment that ‘his lectures sound like stories instead of just reading out facts.’”

Along with his teaching and publishing credentials, which include the 2003 book Edith Bolling Galt Wilson: The Unintended President, McCallops is known for his leadership in the University Senate and Academic Policies and University Curriculum committees. He has also tackled some of the most difficult diversity issues on campus as a leader and trainer for the Horizons Program, which promotes equality for gay and lesbian members of the community.

Austin teaches an unusually diverse set of undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics and math education. He also serves as the Mathematics Department’s liaison for Education Department programs for math teachers. He also promotes the University through presentations at national meetings and papers published in national and international refereed mathematics journals.

He is a principal investigator and ongoing director of a competitive $500,000 National Science Foundation grant for middle school teacher education in mathematics through the Allied Delmarva Enhancement Program for Teachers. He is also a main developer, director and instructor in SU’s Master of Science in mathematics education degree program.

“How he does it is best described as his being ‘a master teacher and mentor,’ ‘masterful at motivating and encouraging students’ and ‘a master academic advisor,’ especially for secondary education mathematics programs,” DiGiovanna said, quoting students and faculty.

Geleta has earned a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship and service.  She is described by her students as “inspiring, a cheerleader for student’s success, who goes beyond the call of duty.”  Her colleagues commend her for her leadership and her talent to make collaborative connections, as evidenced by her role as the coordinator of a collaborative Master of Arts in Teaching degree, and most notably, her leadership of the Teacher Education Service Learning Consortium. Involving 15 faculty members from three institutions, the consortium’s work resulted in a book and course transformation.

Her passion for social justice is demonstrated by her numerous presentations which focus on cultural competency/diversity and service learning at international, regional and local conferences.  She has secured $550,000 in grants, two publications and service to 14 councils and committees.

An alumnus notes, “I am an eighth-grade math teacher today because of her faith in me to achieve and fulfill my dreams.”

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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