GVPT Professor Francis Lee Named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher
Dr. Francis Lee from the Department of Government and Politics has been named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, a prestigious university-level award that recognizes select senior faculty members who go above and beyond in their work as educators. Dr. Lee will be honored at a convocation ceremony on Wednesday, September 14th and receives a $5,000 honorarium to support her teaching and research.
As part of her Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, Dr. Lee will be delivering a lecture Thursday, September 22 concerning her new book “Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign.” The event will take place in the McKeldin Library Special Events Room from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“I was very surprised to be nominated and even more surprised to have been selected, “ Dr. Lee said. “It means a great deal to receive recognition as both a teacher and a scholar. The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award is a wonderful award, in that if recognizes faculty for their achievement on both dimensions of what it means to be a good professor at a research university like the University of Maryland.”
Before coming to UMD, Dr. Lee worked for six years as a political science faculty member at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, choosing to make the Maryland move partly because of UMD’s proximity to Washington, D.C., but also because of what UMD has to offer its graduate students.
“The Government and Politics Department here has a strong graduate program and would allow me much more opportunity than I'd previously had to work with graduate students,” Dr. Lee explained. “As I reflect back, I'm probably most proud of the graduate students I've worked with. It's amazing to see a graduate student enter the program and then only a few years later develop a cutting edge idea for a dissertation project.”
So, what makes a truly “great” professor; one that helps produce graduate students with such unique aspirations?
Dr. Lee argues, “A great professor inspires students to actively engage with the material and to go beyond what is taught in the classroom so as to put their knowledge to work in their own thinking, research, and practice.”
To help facilitate those goals, Dr. Lee plans to put funds from her award towards books, data and further participation in academic conferences. A faculty member at UMD for fourteen years, Dr. Lee says receiving the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award serves as another reminder of how privileged she feels to be working at the university.
“There is almost never a day when I'm not happy to be coming to UMD. I feel very fortunate to be able to work here and to spend my days doing what I love to do,” she said.
Dr. Lee hopes she can inspire students to adopt a similar mentality and to make the most of every moment spent on campus.
“Remember how lucky you are to be at a place like UMD, to have the time to think and read, to pursue your interests, and to develop your minds and capabilities,” Dr. Lee advises. “Your years as a student will go by quickly, and you will likely never have as much time again to focus on your own development. Treasure these years, and take full advantage of them.”