Siegel named Kennedy Fellow

During the College’s Commencement ceremonies on May 12 it was announced that Jessica Siegel has been named the James D. Kennedy III Endowed Faculty Fellow for 2013-2016.  The award comes from the Dean of the College, who consults the College’s Promotion and Tenure Committee at the time of the routine review of tenure-track faculty in their second and fourth year of service.

The initial second-year evaluation was in the Fall 2012 by the Psychology Department Review Committee . . . all the tenured psychology faculty (Peyser, Barenbaum, Yu, Bateman, Bardi) plus Professor of Chemistry Rob Bachman.  Each member reviewed materials compiled by Dr. Siegel;  three made pre-arranged class visits.  The Committee met in November to determine its recommendation (performance in all three areas appreciably above that expected in the second year), which was contained in a letter written by Department and Committee Chair Helen Bateman.  Each member also wrote an individual letter.

The criteria, in order of relative importance, are Teaching Effectiveness;  Scholarship;  and University Service.

Jessica Siegel began her study of psychology at the University of Puget Sound, followed by graduate studies in Behavioral Neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.  Shortly after arriving in Sewanee she began discussions with faculty in biology, chemistry, philosophy, and psychology about an interdepartmental Minor Concentration in Neuroscience, which was approved by the College Faculty in April 2013.

A project in Dr. Siegel’s Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience course led to a 2012 Scholarship Sewanee poster and, subsequently, a publication.  The 2013 Scholarship Sewanee poster that won both the Speaker’s Choice Award and First Place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences also came from this laboratory.  One student received a scholarship from the Appalachian College Association to conduct research with Dr. Siegel during summer 2013.

Dr. Siegel serves as faculty advisor for both the Psychology Club and Psi Chi.

The James D. Kennedy III Endowed Faculty Fellowship at Sewanee was established by the Kennedy Foundation of Chattanooga TN to honor James D. Kennedy III, C’73.  It provides funds over a three-year period to support the development of talented, early-career faculty during their formative years.

Sewanee provides funding for its faculty for several purposes . . . attending professional meetings (Dean of the College operating budget);  seminars and materials to develop paedagogic skills (Center for Teaching);  equipment and supplies for research (Joint Faculties Research Grants Committee).  New tenure-track faculty members are given funds for library materials beyond their department’s regular allocation.

In contrast, use of the Kennedy Fellow funding is not restricted beyond the stipulation that the recipient be early-career.  Dean of the College John Gatta observes that the flexibility of tailoring these monies to the needs of the individual is of particular importance in Sewanee’s ability to attract and develop excellent, creative, young professionals.

The first award was to J. Greg Pond in 2004 [Dr. Pond was promoted to Professor of Art by the Board of Regents at its June 2013 meeting].  Other current Kennedy Fellows are –in his third year– Assistant Professor of History Nick Roberts and –in his second year– Matthew Rudd (awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at the June 2013 Regents meeting).