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Fall Faculty Assembly 2020

At the onset of an extraordinary year unlike any other in Vanderbilt’s history, the university was proud to host a virtual Fall Faculty Assembly on Thursday, August 27. The milestone event, which can be watched in its entirety here, served to uphold the annual fall assembly tradition and celebrate Vanderbilt’s faculty members while also observing the health and safety protocols in place for this historic semester.  

The assembly featured Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, who made his first official address to his faculty colleagues, as well as the 2020-21 Faculty Senate Chair Catherine McTamaney. Together, they recognized faculty achievements while also looking ahead to the many opportunities likely to emerge during this period of unprecedented innovation and adaptation.  

During the assembly, many faculty members were honored for their exceptional contributions to teaching, service, research, scholarship and creative expression. In addition to presenting the fall faculty awards for research, Chancellor Diermeier also recognized those colleagues who recently reached the notable benchmark of 25 years of service, as well as recipients of spring 2020 awards, who had not yet been honored due to the asynchronous nature of the virtual Spring Faculty Assembly.  

As both Chancellor Diermeier and Catherine McTamaney noted, Vanderbilt’s faculty continues to make tremendous accomplishments. And the 2020-21 academic year has the potential to be the proudest moment yet for our faculty and university at large.  

Watch the full 2020 Fall Faculty Assembly


Faculty Awards

Spring 2020 Awards

Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching 
Celia Applegate, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History

Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching 
Alissa Hare, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry 

The Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award
Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences

Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award 
William Schaffner, Professor of Health Policy

Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award 
Marybeth Shinn, Professor of Human, Organizational and Community Development and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair 

The Joseph A. Johnson Jr. Distinguished Leadership Professor Award 
Lucius Outlaw, Professor of Philosophy  

Fall 2020 Awards

Chancellor’s Awards for Research

Jessica Clarke, Professor of Law 

Nicole Creanza, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences 

Jennifer Fay, Professor of Cinema and Media Arts and Professor of English 

Jonathan Metzl, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry and Professor of Medicine, Health and Society 

Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biomedical Engineering  

Chancellor’s Awards for Research in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Melinda Aldrich, Assistant Professor of Medicine 

Jeffrey Blume, Professor of Biostatistics 

Velma McBride Murry, University Professor and Lois Autrey Betts Professor of Education and Human Development and Professor of Health Policy  

Thomas Jefferson Award 
Geoffrey Fleming, Professor of Pediatrics

Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research 
James Crowe, Ann Scott Carell Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


25 Years of Service

The following faculty members were recognized for 25 years of Service to Vanderbilt University. For full information on the 25 years of service award winners, including biographies, please visit the Faculty Affairs website.

Mark Adams, Professor of Urology

Christopher Aiken, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

Linda Ashford, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Thomas Aune, Professor of Medicine

Jo-Anne Bachorowski, Associate Professor of Psychology

Timothy Blackwell, Rudy W. Jacobson Professor of Pulmonary Medicine

Jin Chen, Professor of Medicine

James Crowe, Jr., Ann Scott Carell Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

Sean Donahue, Sam and Darthea Coleman Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology

David Gailani, Ernest W. Goodpasture Professor of Experimental Pathology for Translational Research

Harry Gwirtsman, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

John Geer, Ginny and Conner Searcy Dean of the College of Arts and Science Professor of Political Science

Richard Hock, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

Becky Keck, Assistant Professor of Nursing

Catherine McGowan, Associate Professor of Medicine

Roger Moore, Principal Senior Lecturer in English

Amy Palmeri, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Education

Thomas Palmeri, Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Richard Peek, Jr., Mina Cobb Wallace Professor of Immunology

Richard Printz, Research Assistant Professor of Medicine

John Rafter, Principal Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

Peter Rousseau, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Economics

Seth Scholer, Professor of Pediatrics

Jin H. Shen, Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Gieri Simonett, Professor of Mathematics

John Sloop, Professor of Communication Studies

W. Anderson Spickard, III, Professor of Medicine

Lawrence Stack, Professor of Emergency Medicine

Richard Stein, Research Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Holly Tucker, Mellon Foundation Chair in the Humanities and Professor of French

Yao Xu, Research Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Tao Yang, Research Professor of Medicine

John Zic, Professor of Dermatology

In the time since the virtual Spring Faculty Assembly in April, Vanderbilt’s faculty have continued to make a significant on Vanderbilt and our broader community. In addition to discovering new ways to fight antibiotic-resistant infections, developing new phonetic braille systems for visually impaired classical singers, and applying Artificial Intelligence to address physical distancing in public transportation, the university’s faculty members have been actively engaged in multiple town halls and decisions regarding the Return to Campus Plan while also preparing to teach classes in-person and through virtual formats.