DANBURY, Connecticut — The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) — which governs the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system — has named 17 CSCU faculty members as recipients of the annual 2021–22 Board of Regents Faculty Awards.
The awards — both campus-based and system-wide — recognize faculty for excellence in teaching or research and are given to adjunct faculty members and assistant and associate professors in tenure-track or tenured positions. These faculty have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers who promote instructional improvements for their departments, or who are doing research, scholarly and/or creative work that informs what they do in the classroom.
Campus-based award categories include teaching, research and scholarly excellence. Individual faculty in each campus-based award category may also be recognized with system-wide awards in teaching, research and scholarly excellence.
Sabrina Marques, Western Connecticut State University associate professor of Art, was recognized with both the campus-based and system-wide award for teaching excellence. At WCSU, she teaches courses in undergraduate painting, is a graduate critic in the M.F.A. program, and is the director of the Kathwari Honors program.
Marques earned a B.A. in Visual Arts from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art. Before teaching at WCSU, she taught art courses at UCONN, Whittier College and Connecticut College. Marques’s teaching strives to expand diversity with a more inclusive approach — welcoming and embracing different socioeconomic, ethnic and gender groups to create a broader pool of thought processes and worldviews. Her courses include units on the existence and pernicious persistence of implicit racial, gender and sexual orientation biases where she assigns students readings on contemporary artists, guiding them beyond the art historical canon. Marques is committed to establishing a place where students teach each other, build resilience, and look for creative ways to make life better.
Marques’s current research involves a four-year cross-cultural project where she travels to Alagoas and the Amazon in Brazil, and studies the relationship indigenous tribes have with art. She is a part of a collaborative project with professors from other institutions to study protocols on art, positive emotion, neuroscience, and its effect on wellbeing.
Her nomination letter applauded her teaching skills and support of students, describing her as “avant-garde, compassionate and ingenious … the mentor of all mentors, that her teaching style and way of looking at life aligned perfectly with the mission of our program, and that the professor already had so many ideas on a potential honors course.”
“CSCU faculty have gone above and beyond to serve our students over the past two years,” CSCU President Terrence Cheng said. “In particular, the award recipients recognized by the BOR today have been exceptional educators, researchers and scholars. Our colleges and universities are better places to learn because of their work, and I congratulate each recipient on this well-deserved recognition.”
“It is a pleasure to honor these outstanding faculty award recipients and recognize their outstanding scholarly work and contributions to student success throughout the CSCU system,” said Dr. Kenneth Klucznik, CSCU interim provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs. “Our CSCU faculty are committed to their institutions, and their dedication to teaching, state-of-the-art research and mentoring have a profound impact on our students and entire CSCU community.”
“The caliber of the teaching and research award winners throughout the CSCU system is inspiring, as these dedicated faculty members bring out the best in CSCU students and make significant contributions to their academic disciplines and institutions,” said Regent Ira Bloom, who chairs the BOR’s Academic and Student Affairs committee. “These awards provide a means of recognizing the work of outstanding faculty, as they continue to focus on student success.”
Marques said, “I am honored to receive these awards recognizing my work that supports and inspires diverse student learning experiences.”
Board of Regents Teaching Awards are presented to faculty from each of the four state universities and 12 community colleges. Two system-wide teaching awards (one from the four universities and one from the 12 community colleges) are given to faculty who best exemplify high quality teaching.
Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.