Office of the Provost; OUR Clemson

28 faculty, staff and students honored with 2022 University Spring Awards



Faculty, staff and students will be honored at the 2022 University Spring Awards ceremony and reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, May 9, at the Owen Pavilion at the Madren Conference Center.

The awards ceremony will recognize faculty for teaching, research and service; recognize staff members for exemplary contributions; and honor undergraduate and graduate students with achievement honors and awards.

To attend, contact Academic Affairs Event Coordinator Jennifer Petersen (

Here are the faculty and staff honorees:

Jeff Fine

Provost Outstanding Senior Teacher Award

Jeffrey Fine, professor of Political Science in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, teaches courses and publishes research related to American politics, mentors dozens of honors theses and co-leads the Dixon Global Policy Scholars program through the Honors College. Fine works extensively with the AP U.S. Government and Politics course, helping shape its college-level curriculum and co-chairing the committee that writes the AP exam taken for college credit at institutions nationwide. Fine previously received the Prince Award for Teaching Innovation, the Bradbury Award for Service to the Honors College, the Burtner Award for Advising, the CBSHS Student Engagement Award, the National Scholars Program Award of Distinction and the Craig L. Brians Award for Undergraduate Research and Mentorship from the American Political Science Association.

Elizabeth Jemison

Provost Outstanding Junior Teacher Award

Elizabeth Jemison, assistant professor of Philosophy and Religion in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, is a scholar of American religious history. Her research centers on questions of race, gender and Southern politics in 19th- and 20th-century Christianity. Her first book, Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Postemancipation South, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2020. Her next book project examines concepts of motherhood as a political identity in Southern Protestant women’s interracial organizing during the segregation era. Other publications include Gendering the History of Race and Religion in the Oxford Handbook on Race and Religion. Her research has earned support from the Humanities Hub, Lightsey Fellowship and Faculty Development Research at Clemson and from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation and Harvard’s Charles Warren Center. She was a member of the 2015-2017 cohort of the Young Scholars in American Religion Program. The College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities awarded her the Advisor of the Year award in 2019 and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2020. Jemison holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and an A.B. from Princeton University.

Ulrike Heine

Provost Outstanding Collaborative Teaching Award

The winners teach in the School of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. They are Ulrike Heine, David Franco and George Schafer:

Heine has been an associate professor of Architecture since August 2007 teaching Design Studio. Her approach to architecture in teaching and research are based on sustainability, applying simple natural laws in reaction to climatic conditions. She teaches architectural design as a process of integration, which means materials and construction as well as lighting, acoustics and energy-saving technologies are creative tools in this process. Heine graduated with Diplom Ingenieur (Master of Science in Architecture equivalent) from Brandenburg Technical University in Cottbus, Germany, in 1999. She also studied at the School of Architecture in Barcelona, Spain. Prior to coming to Clemson, she spent three years teaching Design, Construction and Energy Responsible Planning at the Technical University Berlin. She is the recipient of the 2012 American Institute of Architecture Students/ Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture New Faculty Teaching Award.

David Franco

Franco is an associate professor of Architecture whose main interests are the social and political aspects of modern and contemporary architecture. This basic frame has informed both his architectural practice — mostly centered on projects of social infrastructure, affordable housing and public spaces — and his scholarly research. His design work and research have received 16 national and international awards, including two of the prestigious European prizes, and have been extensively published and displayed in venues including the Architecture Venice Biennale and the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.

George Schafer

Schafer is a registered architect and senior lecturer. He holds a Ph.D. in Planning, Design and the Built Environment from Clemson University (2015) and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1996). His research explores user-centered design of technology-embedded interactive and assistive artifacts and environments and has been featured internationally in conference proceedings and academic journals. Schafer’s most recent studies featured the design of prototypes at two scales – the LIT Room, a room-scale installation for a public library’s children’s room; and the LIT KIT, a portable cyber-physical system for deployment classrooms and homes. In 2012, the LIT Room concept – which hypothesized that children’s literacy can be cultivated in an environment that is at once digital, physical and evocative of picture books – won funding from the National Science Foundation. Most recently, his paper, Words Become Worlds: The LIT Room, A Literacy Support Tool at Room-Scale, won Best Paper at the 2018 Designing Interactive Systems conference in Hong Kong. In 2014, Schafer received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Robyn Curtis

Frank A. Burtner Award for Excellence in Advising

Robyn Curtis arrived at Clemson in 2018 to open the Office of Major Fellowships as the first full-time fellowships adviser. She is a passionate and talented adviser and mentor who works with both graduate and undergraduate students from across the University, guiding and preparing them to compete for highly prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

Amalia Leifeste

Provost Outstanding Inclusive Teaching Practices Award 

Amalia Leifeste is an associate professor in the School of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. She brings that disciplinary background as well as educational training in sustainable design and historic preservation, to the rich medley of faculty in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation in Charleston. Leifeste’s research revolves around fostering a sustainable building culture. She sees preservation as essential to any serious view of sustainability. In research and through her teaching role, she is interested in how to educate practitioners, how place fosters group identity and defining how much and what kind of change can keep buildings useful for current needs without erasing essential touchstones of meaning for people who care about their historic places. 

Kathy Cauthen

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Non-Student Award

Kathy Cauthen is the assistant director of the Office of Student Advocacy and Success, where she serves as case manager for the Clemson University CARE Network, the non-emergency entry point for student concerns. In this role, she trains CARE staff, coordinates student case follow-up and participates in critical student emergency and intervention meetings.

Sarah Winslow

Ted Westmoreland Faculty Excellence Award

Sarah Winslow is a professor of Sociology, senior associate director of the Clemson Honors College and director of the National Scholars Program. A faculty member at Clemson since 2006, her research and teaching interests focus on social inequality, particularly how gender operates in a variety of institutions. She has been deeply involved in the undergraduate experience at Clemson, previously serving as undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice and faculty-in-residence for the Honors Living-Learning Community. For the past eight years, she has dedicated her work to the personal, academic and professional development of students across the university through her roles in the Honors College and National Scholars Program. In the Honors College, she is responsible for curriculum development and innovation, experiential learning and inclusive excellence, having most recently developed a thematic first-year seminar program for incoming Honors students. As director of the National Scholars Program, she recruits, mentors, teaches and advises Clemson’s highest-achieving students, building an inclusive community of scholar-leaders who critically examine their place in the world and use their talents to serve.

Cora Allard-Keese

Class of 1956 Staff Excellence Award

Cora Allard-Keese is associate director of the Creative Inquiry program at the Watt Family Innovation Center. She earned her Master of Science in Entomology at the University of Kentucky and Bachelor of Science in Biology at Millikin University. In 2004, Allard-Keese joined Clemson to study the efficacy and impact of potential biological control agents on the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid. She served as a lecturer and program coordinator in the Department of Biological Sciences and taught summer courses for science teachers and oversaw the Summer Program for Research Interns. She joined the Office of Creative Inquiry and Undergraduate Research as associate director in fall 2015. She’s been a collaborator on several funded grants to enhance pre-college learning experiences in the state, including grants through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program.

Lori Dickes

Ralph D. Elliott Award for Outstanding Service to Off-Campus, Distance and Continuing Education

Lori A. Dickes is associate chair, Graduate Programs coordinator and associate professor and in the Department of Political Science. Dickes has been teaching economics and policy for different institutions and organizations for 25 years. She has been a Clemson faculty member since 2013. Dickes’ research leverages specific training in economics and policy analysis to better understand rural and regional development across different geographies and in different contexts. She has focused on a range of specific issues impacting the ability of communities to be economically and socially sustainable, including rural entrepreneurship, broadband access and availability, economic development, public health and natural resource policy. She has served in administrative roles, working to build and empower a positive environmental culture, a strong team work ethic and effective, common sense organizational processes and procedures. One of her key roles has been to help rebuild and grow the Master of Public Administration program from a small, localized program into a robust, growing national program.

Heidi Zinzow

Thomas Green Clemson Award for Excellence – Faculty

Heidi Marie Zinzow is a professor and licensed clinical psychologist who joined the Department of Psychology in 2008. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation and focuses on trauma and mental health. Specifically, she examines risk factors for trauma-related psychological disorders, barriers to and facilitators of help-seeking, and interpersonal and sexual violence prevention programs. Zinzow offers courses in Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Psychotherapy and Practicum in Clinical Psychology. She also is a leader in Clemson’s TIGERS Advance initiative to promote campus gender equity and has served on the Clemson University Sexual Violence Task Force, Campus Climate survey, Title IX Hearing Board and campus wellness initiatives. She co-founded Tigers Together to Stop Suicide and serves as expert consultant for the national Administrator Researcher Campus Climate Collaborative and the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center.

Doug Dawson

Thomas Green Clemson Award for Excellence – Staff

Doug Dawson, software developer for CCIT, arrived in Clemson in 2010 as a graduate student in Computer Engineering. In 2018, he began full-time work at CCIT in mobile development, working on new back-end services. During the pandemic, he worked with his colleagues to create many tools used by the University to manage isolation, quarantines and testing enforcement.

Angela Naimou

The Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry

Angela Naimou is an associate professor in the Department of English. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Cornell University, she taught as a postdoctoral fellow at Tulane before joining the Clemson faculty in 2008. Naimou has published widely on contemporary literature in international and global contexts, law and literature, and American and postcolonial studies. Her first book, Salvage Work: U.S. and Caribbean Literatures amid the Debris of Legal Personhood (Fordham), won the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Book Prize and received Honorable Mention for the William Sanders Scarborough Award by the Modern Language Association for outstanding study of Black literature and culture. She has two books in progress, a volume on diaspora and literary studies and about international border systems and contemporary literature. She has served on various executive committees, advisory councils and editorial teams dedicated to scholarship in the arts and humanities. Naimou currently serves as lead editor (on behalf of the multidisciplinary editorial collective) of Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development.

Allen Swords

Alumni Master Teacher Award

Allen Swords is a two-time Clemson graduate (’97, ’02) and a senior lecturer in the College of Arts, Architecture and Humanities. He is described by his classes as having a deep passion and caring about both his students and the subject material.

Orville Vernon Burton

Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievements in Research

Orville Vernon Burton is the inaugural Judge Matthew J. Perry Distinguished Chair of History and a professor of Pan-African Studies, Sociology and Anthropology and Computer Science. He directed the Clemson CyberInstitute from 2010 to 2016. In 2016, Burton received the College of Architecture, Art and Humanities Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and, in 2019, the college’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Service. In 2018, he received the initial University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award. A recognized expert on race relations and the American South and a leader in digital humanities, Burton is often invited to present lectures, conduct workshops and consult with colleges, universities and granting agencies.

Laura Lee Rose

Alumni Award for Cooperative Extension Public Service

Laura Lee Rose is the Urban Horticulture Extension Agent in Beaufort and Colleton counties. She has been with Clemson Extension since September 2006. Rose is considered a conduit for the communities in which she serves. Since 1986, she has worked in the horticulture industry, been self-employed and employed in retail. She received her Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture from Clemson in 1997. As a horticulture agent, she facilitates training and workshops in soils, landscaping and gardening; writes articles for local publications; and coordinates local Master Gardener programs. She is also the facilitator for the Beaufort Senior Leadership Program.

Susan Duckett

Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research

Susan K. Duckett is the Ernest L. Corley Jr. Trustees Endowed Chair in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. Duckett received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Iowa State University and her Master of Science in Animal Science and Ph.D. in Animal Science/Food Science from Oklahoma State University. She came to Clemson in 2006 after teaching and conducting research at the University of Idaho and the University of Georgia. Duckett’s research combines ruminant nutrition and meat science, and she has obtained more than $5.5 million in funding. She is a sought-after graduate adviser, undergraduate mentor and instructor. Duckett’s scientific contributions include 95 refereed articles, 192 abstracts and 15 proceeding papers. She also has benefited numerous stakeholders, domestically and internationally, through presentation of her research findings regarding efficiency of production and improved value of products in animal agricultural systems.

Kirby Player

Rowland P. Alston Sr. Award for Excellence in Public Relations

Kirby Player is a lecturer in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences and director of South Carolina’s Palmetto Leadership Program for the Environment, Agriculture and Forestry. He has been a lifelong advocate and promoter of agriculture and Clemson University. He grew up on his family’s farm in Lee County where he gained a deep love and understanding of how important the agricultural industry is to South Carolina. Player received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education in 1983, and master’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management in 1987, both from Clemson. He began his career at the University in 1989, serving as the recruiter for the College of Agricultural Sciences, where he began sharing his passion for agriculture and created a vision to mentor and develop leaders in the agricultural industries in South Carolina and beyond. In 2015, Player received his Ph.D. from Clemson and began teaching. His most recent accomplishment is the development of the state’s premier agricultural and natural resources leadership program for current and future leaders in these industries.

Read about the student award-winners.