Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards

Posted: August 10, 2017


It gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of the annual Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards.  These awards are given to outstanding Scripps faculty with extraordinary achievements in teaching, scholarship, or service for the 2015-16 academic year who also have demonstrated proficiency in the other two areas.  The awards are named in honor of Mary W. Johnson whose commitment and support of Scripps College were as extraordinary as the contributions of the faculty members that we honor.

A faculty committee reviews and evaluates those nominated and makes a recommendation about the final selections to the President.  The decisions were very difficult to make as we have so many qualified faculty.  For 2015-16, those chosen for the Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards are:


Mark Golub, Associate Professor of Politics

Marina Pérez de Mendiola, Professor of Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures

Anna Wenzel, Associate Professor of Chemistry


Thierry Boucquey, Professor of French

Hao Huang, Professor of Music

Andrew Jacobs, Professor of Religious Studies

Thomas Koenigs, Assistant Professor of English

Vanessa Tyson, Assistant Professor of Politics


Eric Haskell, Professor of French

Warren Liu, Associate Professor of English

Aaron Matz, Associate Professor of English

Dion Scott-Kakures, Professor of Philosophy

Please join me in celebrating the outstanding work of our faculty and offering our congratulations.

I would like to share some of the extraordinary accomplishments of those recipients in the scholarship category:

Thierry Boucquey

In fall 2015, Professor Boucquey published La Grammaire du Tîrî de Midori Osumi, traduit par Thierry Boucquey. Nouméa: Académie des Langues Kanak. Collection Chemins des Cultures. 2015. 447 pp. Since the publication of her book at the University of Hawaii Press, Professor Osumi had received several requests from officials and linguists in New Caledonia for a French edition of this work, given that recently the indigenous Kanak people from the Tîrî-speaking region had shown a renewed interest in their roots and culture, including their ancestral language, and were very much interested in reintroducing it in their (now French-language-only) schools. Professor Boucquey ‘s translation, to which he devoted his 2012-13 sabbatical leave, aims to be a contribution to that effort.

Hao Huang

During 2015-16 Hao Huang published two articles, “Teaching Piano in China: Building Transcultural and Transhistorical Bridges through Music Education” (co-author Tatiana Thibodeaux), International Research in Higher Education, Vol. 1, No. 2and “Perspectives on Body Posture for Pianists” (co-author Tatiana Thibodeaux), Проблемы Постановки Пианистического Аппарата, Collection: Arts Education: Problems and Perspectives, Художественное Образование: Проблемы и Перспективы Развития.;УМЦ УПИ, Ural State Pedagogical University, Ekaterinburg, Russia. Professor Huang also gave lecture presentations and recital performances at the University of Coimbra, PortugalNingxia University /Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology/Xiamen University PRC; University of Crete/University of Makedonia, Thessaloniki/Ionian University, Corfu, GreeceUniversity of São Paulo, Brazil.

Andrew Jacobs

In 2016, Andrew Jacobs completed his third monograph, Epiphanius of Cyprus: A Cultural Biography of Late Antiquity (UC Press); in this book he examines a figure often reviled by modern scholars but highly influential in his own day (late fourth century) to ask how we arrived at our current notion of “late antiquity” as a historical period and what it might look like with Epiphanius pulled in from the margins. He presented further work on Epiphanius at conferences at the University of Oxford and Harvard University, and work on a new project (on conversion) at conferences in Boston and Chicago. Professor Jacobs also submitted the final version of an essay on generationality and migration in late antiquity which appeared in fall 2016 in the volume Melania: Early Christianity Through the Life of One Family (UC Press). 

Thomas Koenigs

Over the course of 2015-16, Thomas Koenigs had three essays that were either published or accepted for publication. In the fall, his article, “‘Nothing but Fiction’: Modern Chivalry, Fictionality, and the Political Public Sphere in the Early Republic,” appeared in Early American Literature. This article was drawn from the second chapter of his book project in-progress, tentatively titled “Founded in Fiction: Fictionality in the US, 1789-1861.” He also contributed an essay to a forum in The Journal of American Studies in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of Cathy Davidson’s field-defining Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America. The forum, entitled “21st Century Studies in the Early American Novel,” brought together five scholars of the early American novel to consider the book’s legacy and to reflect on how the study of the early American novel has evolved over the past three decades. He also had an article entitled, “Fictionality Risen: Early America, the Common Core Curriculum, and How We Argue about Fiction Today,” accepted for publication in a forthcoming special issue of American Literature on “Pedagogies for a Changing World.” While not drawn directly from the book project, the essay draws on his research on early American attitudes toward fiction as a way to better understand the current pedagogical debates about fiction’s role in education. He also presented material from his current book project at a joint meeting of the Society of Early Americanists and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the American Comparative Literature Association annual conference, and a meeting of the Huntington Library’s Southern California Americanist Group.

Vanessa Tyson

In 2016, Vanessa Tyson completed her first book, Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House of Representatives, published by Oxford University Press. In it, she explores the emergence of the Congressional Tri-Caucus (an umbrella organization for the Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses) and how this coalition has redefined representation for racial minorities at the federal level. Twists of Fate has been nominated for the APSA Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the Best Book in Political Science (2016), the APSA-IPSA Theodore Lowi First Book Award (2016), the APSA Robert Dahl Award for the Best Book on Democracy (2016), the APSA Ralph Bunche Award for the Best Scholarly Work on Ethnic and Cultural Pluralism (2016), various APSA section awards, the Hardeman Prize of the LBJ Foundation, and the Gloria Anzaldua Book Prize of the National Women’s Studies Association. She has been an invited speaker throughout the country and has had several media opportunities to discuss her book.


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