Leah Adams one of two Mason faculty honored by SCHEV

Leah Adams one of two Mason faculty honored by SCHEV

Assistant Professor Leah Adams, Department of Psychology and the Women and Gender Studies program, and Professor Amarda Shehu, Department of Computer Science in Mason’s School of Computing, were among 12 Virginia educators honored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) as 2022 Outstanding Faculty Award recipients, the council announced Thursday.

Established in 1987, the awards recognize faculty at Virginia institutions of higher learning who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship, and service. Institutions select the nominees. A panel of peers reviews the applications, and a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors selects the final recipients.  This year, the program received 85 nominations. The 12 recipients were selected from a pool of 25 finalists.

Adams was named a Rising Star recipient. The “Rising Star” category was created in 2004 to recognize faculty with more than two complete years of full-time experience, but less than six. Since 2010, two Rising Star recipients have been named each year.  

Adams is a recognized leader in health disparities research, with emphases on HIV, mental health, and adaptation to chronic illness and injury. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond, and her master’s and PhD in clinical psychology from Mason. Prior to returning to Mason to teach, she completed a pre-doctoral residency in rehabilitation psychology and neuropsychology at the University of Washington Medical Center, where she won the Nancy Robinson, Ph.D., Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement.

Previous Outstanding Faculty Award recipients from Mason include 2021 Rising Star Andrew Peterson (Department of Philosophy) and 2020 honoree Cynthia Lum (Department of Criminology, Law and Society). Adams and Shehu bring the number of Mason recipients of the award to 25.

Each recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Faculty Awards will receive a $7,500 gift from Dominion Energy at an in-person ceremony on March 1.