The University of Mary Washington bestowed awards on two professors at the general faculty meeting on Wednesday, April 28.
Professor of Biological Science Andrew Dolby received the inaugural Board of Visitors (BOV) Faculty Leadership Award, presented by Board of Visitors Vice Rector Devon Cushman ’93. Professor of Mathematics Janusz Konieczny received the 2021 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award, presented by Associate Professor of Linguistics Janie Lee.
Established as a gift from the estate of Shirley Van Epps Waple, a 1952 Mary Washington graduate, the Waple 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.
Konieczny’s “remarkable scholarly endeavors make him stand out among the excellent colleagues we have at UMW,” said Lee, who chairs the UMW Faculty Sabbaticals and Fellowship Committee. She noted that in his 29 years at Mary Washington, Konieczny has written 50 papers that have appeared in nearly 30 academic journals, including the Journal of Algebra and its Applications, Combinatorica, Semigroup Forum and Israel Journal of Mathematics.
“This is a testament to his dedication,” Lee continued, adding that in Konieczny’s discipline, papers aren’t considered suitable for publication unless they contain new, undiscovered research and ideas.
Konieczny, who in the past has earned a Waple Professorship and the UMW Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award, has also presented at international conferences across the globe, often for the American Mathematical Society. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics and a master’s degree in computer science from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a master’s degree in mathematics from Jagiellonian University in Poland.
Issued for the first time, the BOV Faculty Leadership Award, established in 2020 by the UMW Board of Visitors, is designated for a faculty member who supports UMW’s strategic vision by leading a major institutional initiative or program, or by demonstrating engaged and effective leadership, during a particular institutional transition or issue.
“In the words of one nominator, [Dolby] led the University’s faculty in uncharted waters caused by COVID, and his leadership was inspirational,” Cushman said.
As chair of the University Faculty Council, Dolby provided critical support and communication among faculty, staff and students, helping navigate through challenging issues like alternative grading. He also improved faculty and staff relations by increasing staff representation on faculty committees. Working closely with the Campus Environment Committee, Dolby has also coordinated logistics for a display memorializing Mary Washington’s first Black graduate, Dr. Venus Jones.
“We would not have gotten through the last year as well as we did,” said UMW Provost Nina Mikhalevsky, “without [Dolby’s] leadership and governance.”
Dolby, who has been with Mary Washington nearly 21 years, received a Ph.D. in zoology from Ohio State University, after earning a master’s degree in zoology from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s in biology from Appalachian State University. He has presented his research, which focuses on avian behavior and physiological ecology, at conferences for the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Wilson Ornithological Society and the Cooper Ornithological Society. In addition, Dolby has published papers in Behavioral Ecology, The Auk, The Condor, Animal Behavior and Journal of Field Ornithology.