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Conway and Pope honored by Appalachian’s University College

BOONE—Two lecturers in the Department of English at Appalachian State University have been honored by University College and its general education program for their teaching and work with undergraduate students.

View larger imageBetty Conway, left, and Jon Pope were honored recently for their teaching and work with undergraduates at Appalachian State University. (Photo by Jane Nicholson)

Betty Conway received a $1,000 Faculty Award for Excellence in General Education (non-tenure track) and Jon Pope received the newly established Aportfolio Excellence in Teaching Award, which includes a $1,000 cash award. Pope came to Appalachian in 2012. He also teaches rhetoric and composition.

Betty Conway

The Faculty Award for Excellence in General Education recognizes a part-time or full-time faculty member who is not on the tenure-track for their innovative and committed teaching in the general education program.

Conway, who joined the Department of English in 1993, teaches classes in rhetoric and composition (expository writing and writing across the curriculum) and is managing editor of Cold Mountain Review and business director of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series on campus.

Among the many former students who submitted a letter of nomination on Conway’s behalf, one wrote that Conway “pushed us to go outside the box” and “opens herself up to a class in a way that lets the student know it’s okay to take a chance.”

Another student wrote, “By creating an environment that allows students to not only feel comfortable in a new setting, but to also ‘find a calling,’ she embodies the essence of everything that is right with Appalachian State’s general education program.”

Jon Pope

The newly established Aportfolio Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member who has effectively integrated the use of ePortfolios into the instructional program to assess, showcase and encourage reflection on students’ work.

Electronic portfolios are used at Appalachian, to encourage students to reflect on their work, and establish digital identities as academics and members of their individual disciplines.

As part of the University College’s Aportfolio pilot project, Pope guided students as they created an electronic portfolio that would not only facilitate reflections on their work, but also create a collection of their writings and reflections that would enable a future reader of their APortfolio to “understand the demands, goals, and objectives that drove the production of each text,” award presenter Dr. Elaine Gray said.

“Jon grappled with what he saw as the boundless possibilities of portfolio pedagogy in theory, and the constraints and artificialities that so often accompany them in reality,” she said.