Professors Ann Shivers-McNair and Susan M. Knight Receive Awards for Teaching and Service

May 29, 2020

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Ann Shivers-McNair (left) and Susan M. Knight
Ann Shivers-McNair (left) and Susan M. Knight

Congratulations to Ann Shivers-McNairs (English), who received an Early Career Scholars Award, and Susan M. Knight (Journalism), who received the Gerald G. Swanson Prize for Teaching Excellence!

Early Career Scholars Award

Ann Shivers-McNair is an assistant professor in the Department of English and the director of the Professional and Technical Writing Program.

The Early Career Scholars Award, which includes a $5,000 prize, recognizes early-career faculty who are at the forefront of their disciplines and make highly valued contributions to teaching, creative activity, and service.

Shivers-McNair came to the University in 2017 and studies writing, rhetoric, and design in professional and community contexts, such as technology companies and makerspaces, as well as in academic classrooms and programs.

One nominator said that Shivers-McNair, "has single-handedly built and directed an undergraduate degree program, developed exciting and innovative new courses, won major research awards, and contributed at every level to her students, her department, and her discipline at large." Another praised her research for helping develop road maps for supporting women of color and other underrepresented groups in academia.

Gerald G. Swanson Prize for Teaching Excellence

Susan M. Knight is a professor of practice in the School of Journalism.

This new award – created through a gift from the Thomas R. Brown Foundation in honor of Gerald G. Swanson, professor emeritus of economics ­– recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. The award comes with a $5,000 prize.

Knight began at the University in 1991. Her teaching areas include reporting public affairs, feature writing, journalism ethics and the “Principles of Journalism: course taught to journalism pre-majors.

One nominator said Knight's commitment to students stretches beyond their time in her class, saying she continues to mentor hundreds of alumni through social media, phone calls and email. A former student said Knight is "laser-focused on helping her students in any way that she can, whether it be working to negotiate new deadlines in light of family emergencies or getting them interviews that yield job opportunities."

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Text excerpted from the UANews story “Awards honor the best in teaching, research and mentorship."