Award-Winning Faculty & Staff in the Libraries for 2023

Posted on: May 25, 2023

We are excited to share that three Libraries employees have been recognized this year for excellence.

Jessica Lantz

Jessica Lantz is the Provost Award Winner for Excellence in Research and Scholarship for JMU Libraries. Jessica is an Instructional Designer in the Libraries’ Learning Innovations and Design unit. Since she joined JMU Libraries in 2019, Jessica has worked with many faculty at JMU to assist them in integrating new technologies and universal design principles into their courses. Jessica has developed a research agenda that includes the integration of digital technologies and open educational resources, which promises to benefit JMU students along with her colleagues in the Libraries and throughout campus. Jessica believes that “instructional technologies, when carefully researched and utilized, can be used as part of a strong strategy for engaging our diverse students in the learning process.” 

Susan Thomas

Susan Thomas received the Provost award for Administrative Excellence. Susan is the Human Resources & Student Employment Coordinator for the Libraries. Susan’s nomination from her colleagues in the Libraries and in JMU Human Resources highlighted her customer service skills, creativity, and solid grasp of the policies and laws governing human resources. Susan has worked for the Libraries since 2006, and during that time she has assisted with hundreds of searches for student employees, classified staff members, and faculty. She is respected among her colleagues in the Libraries as a fair, discreet, and reliable collaborator who is “…laser-focused on improving the work life experience.” In addition, Susan finds time to pursue continuing education opportunities that help her serve the Libraries and its employees. Nominator Jody Fagan shared “Susan is the consummate human resources professional. She is trusted by all employee types for her confidentiality, diligence, expertise, timeliness, and conscientiousness and known by colleagues as a compassionate and caring person. She provides a warm welcome to new employees and a sympathetic ear to anyone with questions and challenges.”

Michael Trocchia

Michael Trocchia has won the 2023 Provost Award for Excellence in Part-time Teaching and JMU’s Community Service-Learning Award for Learning Partner of the Year. The Provost Award for Excellence recognizes instructors who exhibit excellence in their teaching. Michael, who serves the Libraries as the Resource Management Coordinator, was recognized for his work as an adjunct instructor of philosophy. His nominator mentioned the many ways that Michael’s pedagogy marries student ownership of their studies with their lives outside of class. “Students find Michael an instructor of unusual warmth…with a focused pedagogy of teaching the practice of philosophy through building close personal connections.”

In addition to this recognition, Michael also received an award as JMU’s Community Service-Learning Award for Learning Partner of the Year for the support he has provided to JMU students through the Alternative Break Program. This student-run program provides opportunities for students to engage in direct service, and it has benefited from Michael’s participation for several years. Michael supports the student leaders in planning and managing the trips. Josh Shulruff, the assistant director of Community Service Learning, shared “This year, we had a leader leave the program just a few weeks before the break. Michael immediately agreed to pick up the slack and helped to ensure a joyful, educational, and impactful experience for our students.”

Congratulations to all the Libraries’ award winners for 2023!

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