Honoring ExcellenceGAMBIER, Ohio (April 6, 2010) The Kenyon community came together on Tuesday, April 6, to celebrate the accomplishments of students, teachers, and mentors at the annual Honors Day Convocation.
Highlighting the event was the awarding of the Trustee Teaching Excellence Awards, which went this year to Professor of Psychology Sarah Murnen and Assistant Professor of English Sarah Heidt. The trustee awards are presented each year to one tenured faculty member who has been teaching at the College for at least ten years and to a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has been on the Kenyon faculty for fewer than ten years.
Murnen, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1999, won the award for professors who have been teaching at the College for ten or more years. Heidt won the award given to a faculty member who has been teaching at Kenyon fewer than ten years.
Murnen is nationally known for her research on the relationship between gender roles and both sexual violence and eating disorders. Her work has been presented in numerous journal articles and book chapters and at professional conferences. National media outlets such as USA Today frequently turn to Murnen for expert commentary on stories related to eating disorders.
No stranger to honors from Kenyon, Murnen won the William A. Long Award in 1992 for her work as a faculty athletic representative. She also received the Robert J. Tomsich Science Award in April 2000. Her work outside of the classroom has included a four-year term as associate provost. Murnen is a summa cum laude graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds a doctorate in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany.
Heidt, who specializes in nineteenth-century literature, is a 1997 graduate of Kenyon. Majoring in English and classics, she received highest honors in English for her thesis on Frankenstein and was valedictorian of her class. After earning a Ph.D. at Cornell University, she began teaching at the College in 2004.
In 2008, Heidt received a Whiting Foundation grant in recognition of her outstanding teaching. She had previously received a Whiting Teaching Fellowship that took her to Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, where she was a visiting fellow conducting archival research for a project on the Society of Psychical Research.
Heidt is working on two book projects. Composite Beings: Making Victorian Selves explores the composition, publication, and reception of a group of nineteenth-century autobiographies; portions of this research have appeared in Victorian Studies and Nineteenth-Century Contexts. A second project, Reel Lives: Autobiography and Memoir on Screen, examines the increasingly prominent phenomenon of memoirs and autobiographies being adapted to film.
See the complete list of award winners.