College announces spring 2023 faculty, staff and sustainability award winners

The College of Arts and Architecture announced nine recipients of faculty, staff and sustainability awards for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The awards reflect each recipient’s dedication to excellence inside and outside of the classroom, while celebrating their positive and lasting impact on the College of Arts and Architecture.

The recipients are:

Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching: Sarah Watts, assistant professor of music education
Watts joined the School of Music faculty in 2015 and teaches courses related to elementary general music, world music pedagogy, qualitative research methods and social and cultural issues in the field of music education.  She is active in the Education Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology and is a frequent presenter of practitioner workshops for music educators.  Her current research interests address the teaching of empathy through world music encounters.

Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring: Liz Agler, adviser in the School of Visual Arts and Department of Art History
Agler joined the academic advising team in the College of Arts and Architecture in 2021 after advising in the Division of Undergraduate Studies for eight years. She is a School of Visual Arts alum, with an undergraduate degree in art education. During her five years of teaching middle school art in Bradford, Pa., she earned an M.Ed. in art education. Liz brings this knowledge and teaching experience, along with her genuine interest in the arts, to the students she advises in the School of Visual Arts and Department of Art History.

Staff Award for Outstanding Service: Jamie Heilman, supervisor and coordinator of the Stuckeman School Digital Fabrication Lab

Staff Rising Star Award: Chrissy Leidy, administrative support coordinator in the Department of Architecture
Leidy started her Penn State career in 2011 as the development assistant for WPSU and later moved to Penn State Law. In February of 2021, she joined the Stuckeman School as the architecture program coordinator. She is a State College native and a mom of three.

Staff Morale Award: Diana Malcom
Malcom was an administrative assistant in the Department of Art History for three years, recently moving to the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network to serve as their support coordinator. During her time in the College of Arts and Architecture, she served for two years as chair of the Staff Advisory Council and worked aside other Borland staff to create the Borland Green Team.

Barbara O. Korner Award for Faculty Outstanding Service: Naomi Seidman, associate professor of music in flute
Seidman joined the School of Music faculty as the flute professor in 2012. Over the years she has been involved in numerous performances as a soloist and chamber musician on and off campus. She was awarded the College of Arts and Architecture’s Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring in 2015. At the end of April 2023, she will be a featured performer at the Thailand Flute Festival in Bangkok, Thailand.

Faculty Sustainability Award: Huiwon Lim, assistant professor of graphic design
Lim is an assistant professor in the Department of Graphic Design. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, a Master of Arts in Environmental Graphic Design, and a graduate certificate in Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University. His research focuses on visualizing data as an extension of graphic design practice and a creative form to enhance community engagement, user experience, human wellness, and sustainability awareness. One of his recent interdisciplinary research projects won the 2020 Next Work Environment Competition organized by “Work Design Magazine.”

Staff Sustainability Award: Deb Gulick, instructional designer in the Office of Digital Learning
Gulick joined the Office of Digital Learning in 2008. She collaborates closely with faculty, staff, and students, and designs online courses in art history, interior design, music, sustainability, and theatre. She is a founding member of the A&A Sustainability Council, where she serves as the Operations Working Group Leader, and also co-leads the Borland Building Green Team and Green Paws program.

Graduate Student Sustainability Award: Ali Ghazvinian, Ph.D. candidate in architecture
Ghazvinian, who recently defended his Ph.D. in architecture, is an instructor and researcher in the area of making. He works at the intersection of architecture, civil engineering, material science, and biology. His research and teaching focus on the interrelationship among the materials, geometries, and techniques, with a hint of computational design and digital fabrication. A Sustainability Faculty Teaching Fellow, he received a 2023 Alumni Association Dissertation Award.

Top row, left to right: Sarah Watts, Liz Agler, Jamie Heilman, Chrissy Leidy
Second row, left to right: Naomi Seidman, Huiwon Lim, Deb Gulick, Ali Ghazvinian