Six outstanding faculty members to be honored at virtual convocation

Faculty Convocation 2020 will look different than in previous years. The virtual ceremony will ta... [View Image] Faculty Convocation 2020 will look different than in previous years. The virtual ceremony will take place Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. (File photo)
Faculty Convocation 2020 live stream

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Six Virginia Commonwealth University faculty members will be recognized for scholarship, teaching and distinguished service at the university’s annual Faculty Convocation on Sept. 10.

Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., will preside over the virtual ceremony at 3 p.m. A livestream of the event will be available. 

Peter F. Buckley, M.D., interim senior vice president for VCU Health Sciences and interim CEO of the VCU Health System, will give closing remarks.

Here are the 2020 award recipients. Convocation honorees, clockwise from top left: Nicholas P. Farrell, Maryanne M. Collinson, Linda E. Zyzniewski, Peter Avery Boling, Katharine Moore Tibbetts and Ray W. Shepherd. [View Image]
Convocation honorees, clockwise from top left: Nicholas P. Farrell, Maryanne M. Collinson, Linda E. Zyzniewski, Peter Avery Boling, Katharine Moore Tibbetts and Ray W. Shepherd.

Nicholas P. Farrell, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, College of Humanities and Sciences

University Award of Excellence

Farrell is an internationally recognized expert in the area of anticancer drugs. Educated in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada, he has published over 300 papers and reviews and is the recipient of more than 60 patents. He received the VCU Distinguished Research Scholarship Award in 2003 and was named a University Professor in 2017. 

Maryanne M. Collinson, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, College of Humanities and Sciences

Distinguished Scholarship Award

Collinson is a mentor to early career faculty members. Her research focuses on inorganic and materials chemistry as well as nanotechnology, and her work is cited more than 200 times per year. She led the chemistry department’s Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Committee from 2005-17. 

Linda E. Zyzniewski, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences

Distinguished Teaching Award

Zyzniewski has been a professor in the Department of Psychology for 18 years. During that time, she has created innovative psychology curriculum and experiential learning opportunities for students. She headed an effort to offer special courses to junior and senior psychology majors and helped improve the learning environment for graduate teaching assistants.


Faculty Convocation


When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 3 p.m. | Watch: http://go.vcu.edu/convocation | Learn more: Read about this year's honorees in the 2020 Faculty Convocation event program

Peter Avery Boling, M.D., School of Medicine

Distinguished Service Award

Boling has focused his career on serving the medical needs of older adults and mentoring young medical students. He developed curriculum for medical students who have an interest in geriatric medicine and created the annual Forum on Aging and a Geriatric Student Interest Group. Boling played a key role in championing changes to the American health care system that modified payment policies for at-home visits, something that greatly benefits older patients. 

Katharine Moore Tibbetts, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, College of Humanities and Sciences

Outstanding Early Career Faculty Award 

Tibbetts has quickly established herself as a leading researcher and respected teacher. After just five years in the Department of Chemistry, she has established a state-of-the-art laboratory and assembled a cohesive research group. Her work investigates how light both breaks and makes chemical bonds, and her lab has hosted multiple high school students since 2017.

Ray W. Shepherd, M.D., School of Medicine

Outstanding Term Faculty Award

Shepherd is regarded as a leader in the field of pulmonology and played a key role in the creation and growth of the interventional pulmonology program at VCU. He has given lectures in the United States and internationally. Shepherd was previously awarded VCU Health System’s Distinguished Clinician Award and teaches pulmonology to students at all levels. 

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