Audra Gollenberg, Ph.D., department chair and professor of public health at Shenandoah University, was one of six faculty members from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges consortium of schools recognized for their dedication to higher education and student success at the VFIC Annual Fall Luncheon & Harris Family Awards Presentation in Richmond on Nov. 2.
Dr. Gollenberg was one of two recipients of the 2023 Libby and Hiter Harris Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the VFIC announced. Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., and Interim Provost Karen Abraham, Ph.D., also attended the awards presentation.
What a surprise! I feel so incredibly honored to be recognized in this way by both Shenandoah University and the VFIC. I’ve always valued faculty-student collaborative research projects, and this generous VFIC foundation grant will allow us – including over a dozen students – to further important research on the reproductive health barriers among low-income and underserved populations, and understand how we can break down those barriers and create healthier communities.”
Audra Gollenberg, Ph.D., department chair and professor of public health
Gollenberg, who has been employed at Shenandoah since 2010, worked to create the undergraduate public health program at the university as an interdisciplinary program that trains students to be next-generation problem-solvers. As a faculty member, she has won numerous accolades, including the Transformative Teaching Award (2023) from Shenandoah’s Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, a Wilkins Award for outstanding leadership and contributions to the university during the COVID-19 pandemic (2021), and multiple research and mentoring awards highlighting her professional contributions to her field.
It is a huge honor for Dr. Gollenberg to be recognized for her excellence among private college faculty in Virginia. This award recognizes Dr. Gollenberg’s exceptional dedication to student success and providing experiential learning opportunities for students, as well as her outstanding scholarly contributions. Dr. Gollenberg has found unique and creative ways to include students in her research projects, which have had significant impacts on the women and families in our community. We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this achievement.”
Karen Abraham, Ph.D., Shenandoah University interim provost
Gollenberg, whose areas of expertise include reproductive and perinatal epidemiology and health promotion in minority communities, completed her Ph.D. in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences in 2008.
Morgan Wilson, Ph.D., professor of biology at Hollins University, joined Gollenberg in receiving a 2023 Libby and Hiter Harris Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, according to a VFIC news release.
Ryan Brindle, Ph.D., assistant professor of cognitive and behavioral science and neuroscience at Washington and Lee University, and Aslan Lotfi, assistant professor of analytics and operations in the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, received the 2023 H. Hiter Harris III Rising Star Awards.
David Pfaff, director of the Integrative and Quantitative Center (IQ Center) at Washington & Lee University, and Amanda Romjue, assistant professor of Spanish and co-chair of World Languages at Emory & Henry College, received the 2023 H. Hiter Harris III Excellence in Instructional Technology Awards.
According to the VFIC website, the Harris awards were created through endowments by the Harris family and highlight the special features of VFIC colleges and universities by recognizing faculty members “whose professional history reflects a strong, clear and abiding commitment to excellence in classroom teaching within the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences.”