Kennesaw State Awards Ceremony honors outstanding faculty

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 20, 2022

Bagwell College of Education professor Sohyun An received the University Distinguished Professor Award on Tuesday during Kennesaw State’s annual Faculty Awards ceremony.  

President Kathy Schwaig and Sohyun An

An, who was recognized for excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and professional service, will receive $20,000 from the KSU Foundation. She was one of 12 faculty members recognized at the event in areas including teaching, scholarship and creative activity, professional service and community engagement, early career, diversity and inclusion, and international achievement.  

“Kennesaw State’s faculty are accomplished educators and scholars who are dedicated to helping our students succeed in college and beyond. These awards give us an opportunity to celebrate some of those who have distinguished themselves and serve as an inspiration to our entire campus community,” said KSU President Kathy Schwaig. “I want to thank the KSU Foundation for their generous support of these awards, which enable us to recognize our faculty. Congratulations to Dr. An and all of our honorees.” 


An, who teaches in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, is co-founder of Asian American Voices for Education, an Asian American grassroots collective that works toward accurate and inclusive curriculum for all children. She has received a Spencer Foundation grant, one of the most prestigious and competitive awards in education, for her research. Last year, she was recognized with the University’s Outstanding Research and Creative Activity award, and the year prior with the Outstanding Teaching Award. 

“I am very humbled and thankful,” said An. “I am grateful for my students who have helped me be a better professor, and I am thankful for my colleagues at KSU and beyond who have inspired me.”

The awards process is managed by KSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Following nominations from each dean, candidates are evaluated and awarded based on a review by a university wide committee, which includes faculty representation from each college. 

Other honorees include: 

Outstanding Early Career Faculty

  • Kun Suo, Computer Science
  • Yizeng Li, Mechanical Engineering

Outstanding Part-time Teaching

  • Thomas Garr, Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis

Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Faculty Award for Distinguished International Achievement

  • Amanda Richey, Inclusive Education

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Marrielle Myers, Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Outstanding Professional Service and Community Engagement

  • Brandon Lundy, Geography and Anthropology

Outstanding Research and Creative Activity

  • Hossain Shahriar, Information Technology
  • Phillip Kiernan, School of Art and Design

Outstanding Online Teaching

  • Cristen Dutcher, School of Accountancy

Outstanding Teaching

  • Tyra Burton, Marketing and Professional Sales
  • Lara Smith-Sitton, English

– By Natalie Esparza
Photos by David Caselli

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit