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Susan Brownell receives President’s Award for Leadership


University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Tom George today awarded Susan Brownell, professor of anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at UMSL, with the University of Missouri System President’s Award for Leadership on behalf of UM System President Mun Choi.  

The award, which includes a $5,000 prize, recognizes faculty who exemplify leadership by leading major curricular reform or program development; chairing or directing a department or academic program in a distinguished manner; exemplifying active and sustained leadership in faculty/shared governance; fostering collaboration between or among departments or schools; or building and sustaining a high level of morale and productivity among faculty.

“Professor Brownell has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills, commitment to growth and excellence, advanced problem-solving skills and effectiveness in team building and project management,” said Michael Cosmopoulos, professor of Greek studies at UMSL. “Through her administrative talent, she has been an effective leader for our department, committed to the growth of our teaching and research agendas, nurturing research and teaching programs and showing an active interest in the work of the faculty.”

Brownell is described by fellow faculty as an unassuming and generous leader, often inspiring unanimous votes in committees she has led. Rather than focusing exclusively on university governance, she has proven to be a leader in both field research and academic service, committing substantial time and effort to both pursuits without sacrificing the quality of her work.

“Throughout our years of working together, Susan was a generous colleague and mentor: always available in person, by phone and on email,” said Beth Landers, former director of language programs at UMSL, who collaborated with Brownell during a merger of the Department of Anthropology with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. “She habitually worked long hours and I could count on being able to reach her late at night and on weekends. I remember one weekend in a particularly heavy period when she did not leave her UMSL office for 15 hours straight. Even during her frequent research trips to China, she remained connected to departmental affairs and shepherded difficult projects from afar. I continue to marvel at her stamina and productivity.”

The UM System President’s Awards are presented annually to faculty members across the four campuses of the UM System who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the university. Brownell will be formally recognized by UM System President Mun Choi during an awards celebration to be held in June.

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Campus: UMSL
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County: St._louis

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