Ten Soka Faculty Win 2021-2022 Faculty Merit Awards

May 12, 2022
Tagged as:
11 Faculty Members pose with their Merit Awards

Ten Soka faculty members received the 2021-2022 Faculty Merit Award on May 4 in a ceremony in the Founders Meeting Room.

In opening remarks Prof. Michael Weiner, vice president for academic affairs and interim dean of faculty, emphasized the importance of honoring the teacher-scholar model and rigorous, inquisitive scholarship.

The Soka University of America Faculty Merit Award Program builds on an earlier program, the Course Relief Program, which awarded points to faculty based on their scholarly accomplishments, including publications in books and research journals. The Faculty Merit Award Program, which was introduced several years ago and is normally awarded every three years, honors faculty who have published in top-tier academic presses and journals while also recognizing their activities in the academy. These additional components include chairing and organizing conferences; publishing and editing academic journals; and representing Soka at a wide variety of academic settings and performance venues.

“Scholarship is what distinguishes a university as a center of excellence,” Professor Weiner said before presenting plaques commemorating the awards to the following 10 faculty:

  • Zahra Afrasiabi, professor of chemistry
  • Robert Allinson, professor of philosophy
  • Shane Barter, professor of comparative politics
  • John M. Heffron, professor of educational history and culture
  • Junyi Liu, associate professor of economics
  • Ted Lowe, professor of anthropology
  • Bryan Penprase, professor of physics and astronomy
  • Nalini Rao, associate professor of world art
  • Sandrine Siméon, assistant professor of French language and culture
  • Tomoko Takahashi, professor of linguistics and education