University of Mary Washington Professor of Political Science Elizabeth Larus was named the recipient of 2019’s Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award at a general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 24.
Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple, a 1952 Mary Washington graduate, the nomination-based award recognizes faculty members who have made significant contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. The recipient must be a full-time faculty member for at least seven years.
Since coming to UMW in 1997, Larus has distinguished herself as an international expert in the politics of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and political science students at Mary Washington are eager to learn from her scholarly endeavors, which include three years conducting field research in Asia.
“Dr. Larus’ students describe her as challenging, engaging, passionate and creative,” said Parrish Waters, chair of the awards committee, who praised Larus’ commitment to introducing her students into her field.
As a UMW professor, Larus has earned prestigious honors, including her recent Fulbright Grant to conduct field research in Poland and parts of Eastern Europe during spring semester 2020. She will explore the impact that China’s Belt and Road Initiative – known as the Silk Road – will have in Eastern and Central Europe.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Larus has published two books on Chinese economic reform and on politics and society in contemporary China, which have been recognized by distinguished political science scholars as “impressive, incisive and convincing.” She also has published numerous scholarly articles and abstracts, and has delivered more than 25 conference presentations in her time at Mary Washington.
Larus has earned numerous honors throughout her career, including a Taiwan fellowship by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an academic fellowship from the Foundation for Defense Democracies, and a dissertation fellowship and two duPont fellowships from the University of Virginia. She also has earned a Lingnan Foundation Research Grant and a Pacific Cultural Foundation Grant.
An international scholarly fellow with organizations in China and Israel, Larus has presented her research to the offices of the U.S. Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence, and to the Joint Warfare Command Center.
Larus has a doctorate in government with a certificate in Asian studies, as well as a master’s degree in public administration, from the University of Virginia. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Creighton University. Prior to coming to Mary Washington, she served as press secretary to U.S. Congressman Hal Daub.