Career Achievement Award

The Career Achievement Award, created in 2000, recognizes one faculty member each year who, during the course of his or her career, has exhibited profound, sustained, and high quality contributions in a variety of areas: teaching, educational innovation, research/creative activity, and service to the University and the profession.


The recipient of the Career Achievement Award must be a full-time faculty member with a minimum 10 years of service to MTSU at the rank of Professor or 15 years of full-time service to the University.

Nomination Process

A full-time faculty member or administrator wishing to nominate a colleague should use the following process:

  • Form a nominating subcommittee with four additional faculty/retired faculty, students, alumni, or administrator/staff. Three of the five subcommittee members must be full-time faculty or administrators. 
  • Craft a letter of nomination (100-250 words) in collaboration with the nominating subcommittee.
  • Secure digital signatures from the nominating subcommittee, noting which group they represent (faculty, students, alumni, administrator/staff).
  • Convert the letter to PDF, scan, and email to Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Cheryl B. Torsney ( copying Angie Price (

The Vice Provost will:

  • confirm each nominee’s eligibility.
  • ask nominees to provide the names and contact information for up to five reference writers: three primary and two alternates, either internal or external to MTSU.

Reference writers:

  • may include members of the nominating subcommittee.
  • should be qualified by their own achievement to assess the nominee’s qualifications.
  • will send confidential supporting letters (250-500 words) to Vice Provost Torsney copying Angie Price.

Nominations must be received by November 23, 2020.

Procedures for Submitting Application (due by March 15, 2021)

High-quality, sustained performance in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service over the course of their career, accompanied by national and/or international recognition, is required for this award. 

Nominees for the Career Achievement Award will reflect on their career achievement, curate evidence to support that achievement, and assemble an E-portfolio in D2L to demonstrate that their exemplary career is worthy of this prestigious award.

E-Porfolio Contents and Evaluation

The E-portfolio will consist of the following documents:

Cover narrative:  to be assessed for organization, clarity, and convincing argument.

Artifacts to support career achievement in the following areas:

  • Teaching
    • Demonstration of teaching advancement and creativity
    • Clear evidence of impact beyond the classroom
    • Clear evidence of student engagement, accomplishments, learning.
    • Examples may include course proposals, syllabi, assignments, teaching observations and course evaluations
  • Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity
    • Content/context/range
    • Awards and recognition
    • Examples may include manuscripts, papers, presentations, media, YouTube videos, etc.
  • Service
    • Content/context/range
    • Awards and recognition
    • Examples may include evidence of involvement and impact in communities, special projects, etc.

Letters of Recommendation: to be assessed for their support of the cover narrative and artifacts and uploaded by the Office of the Provost to a secure part of the D2L shell open to the committee but not to the nominee. 

Optional paper documents:  Nominees may submit one box of documents, to be stored in Walker Library for consultation by the Career Achievement Award Committee.  The Committee will prioritize evidence submitted in the nominee’s D2L shell, however.

Award Selection

The Career Achievement Award Committee will forward the names of up to three finalists to a Foundation committee charged with selecting the awardee.


For more information, please contact Cheryl Torsney, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at (615) 898-5941.

Past Recipients

  • 2020 - Mary B. Farone, Biology
  • 2019 - William M. Robertson, Physics and Astronomy
  • 2018 - Judith Iriarte-Gross, Chemistry
  • 2017 - Kevin E. Smith, Sociology and Anthropology
  • 2016 - Michael B. Hein, Psychology
  • 2015 - Carroll Van West, History/Historic Preservation Center
  • 2014 - Paula B. Thomas, Accounting
  • 2013 - William F. Ford, Weatherford Chair of Finance
  • 2012 - Larry L. Burriss, Journalism
  • 2011 - John R. Vile, Political Science/Honors College
  • 2010 - Gary P. Wulfsberg, Chemistry
  • 2009 - Samuel C. Ricketts, Agribusiness/Agriscience
  • 2008 - Thomas L. Tang, Management and Marketing
  • 2007 - Robert F. Carlton, Physics and Astronomy
  • 2006 - Ronald H. Aday, Sociology and Anthropology
  • 2005 - Edward M. Kimbrell, Journalism
  • 2004 - Kenneth W. Hollman, Chairholder - Tommy T. Martin Chair of Insurance
  • 2003 - June McCash, Foreign Language and Literatures
  • 2002 - Marion Wells, Biology
  • 2001 - Phil Mathis, Biology