Two Kennesaw State faculty earn 2023 Regents’ Awards

KENNESAW, Ga. | Feb 16, 2023

Two Kennesaw State University faculty members have earned 2023 University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Awards — one award recognizing an innovative program to guide student research and another honoring the contributions of a longtime faculty member to the teaching field.

Iván M. Jorrín Abellán
Iván M. Jorrín Abellán

Research Catalyst Interim Associate Dean Iván M. Jorrín Abellán heads the Bagwell College of Education’s Interactive Research Methods Lab (IRML) and received the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Department or Program on behalf of the lab team. Diana Gregory, professor of art education in the College of the Arts, was selected for the Regents’ Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

“Dr. Jorrín Abellán and Dr. Gregory represent the excellence of KSU faculty, dedicated to student success and our academic mission,” said Ivan Pulinkala, KSU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “These recognitions from the USG evidence the impact KSU faculty are having across our community and beyond."

The IRML, which opened in 2019, is an innovative space to support students and faculty as they plan and develop their research designs for undergraduate research assignments, master’s degree capstone projects, research proposals and doctoral dissertations. 

The USG’s award notice called the IRML an outstanding program that promotes integration of research processes in education and whose success extends beyond the institution and state.

“It's been almost four years since we launched the Interactive Research Methods Lab with the aim of providing a transdisciplinary intersection that supports and promotes excellence in research learning and practice,” Jorrín Abellán said. “The 13 members of the lab are thrilled and extremely happy for this very prestigious award. We believe that this recognition will certainly help boost our endeavors to democratize the teaching and learning of research methods in Georgia and beyond.”

In her award notice, the USG praised Gregory’s “sustained and dedicated contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning,” and record of service and advocacy at various levels, including her individual classroom, in her department’s development of a master's degree program and on an international level through her leadership roles. 

Diana Gregory
Diana Gregory

“It’s clear that Dr. Gregory is fully committed to advancing the field of teaching and learning through her research and contributions,” the Regents Awards committee wrote. 

Gregory, who first joined KSU as part-time faculty in 2002, has in that time served as a fellow for Creativity and Innovation at the KSU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and chair of the Inclusive Education Department in the Bagwell College, as well as received the National Art Education Association Southeastern Higher Education Teacher Award in 2009 and the Georgia Art Education Association Teacher of the Year Award in 2012.

She referred specifically to her international work with the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as “life-changing,” as she has been able to address current and emerging issues at all levels of higher education through that work.

“There are multiple people that have been on this journey with me, and I feel so honored in that way, because this award honors not just me but all the partners across the University and beyond,” Gregory said. “It’s been a real joy to get to work and collaborate at that level.”

The Regents’ Awards are prestigious honors announced annually recognizing scholarship, online teaching, student success, curricular innovation and overall program excellence.

–  By Thomas Hartwell
Photos by Judith Pishnery

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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