Dr. Rebecca Finlayson, assistant professor of English at Rhodes, was presented the 2013 Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service at the college’s Opening Convocation Aug. 16. The ceremony marked the start of the college’s 165th session.
The Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service honors a current faculty member who has rendered exemplary service and provided leadership to the Rhodes community. It is presented in memory of Dr. Jameson M. Jones ’36 who served as professor of moral philosophy and dean of the college from 1955 to 1971.
Finlayson joined the Department of English in 1998 and serves as director of the college’s writing program and center. Said Dean of the Faculty Michael Drompp in presenting her the award, “Professor Finlayson has worked tirelessly and creatively to transform the writing culture at Rhodes, particularly in her efforts to develop a cross-curricular writing model, based on the concept that all texts and disciplines can be used to teach argumentation and critical thinking.”
In 2005, she founded the Writing Fellows Program, through which fellows are chosen from a group of student nominees to assist faculty as peer tutors in the teaching of first-year writing seminars. One nominator wrote, “Over the years, I personally have worked with at least four fellows and have seen firsthand the difference their presence makes.”
Finlayson also directs the Rhodes Summer Writing Institute, an intensive residential academic program designed for ambitious high school students from all over the country who want to develop their critical thinking and writing skills.
In addition, Finlayson’s record of service has extended to other Rhodes initiatives including her work with the Honor Council and various staff members to improve the college’s response to issues of academic honesty. She also has played an important role as the lead faculty member for an ongoing review of the college’s support for international students and non-native English speakers and writers.
“Finally, Professor Finlayson’s service to the college has concentrated on student learning—the heart of our mission at Rhodes,” said Drompp. “In all of her service activities, she has sought to improve the student learning experience and to engage faculty in one of the most important aspects of the academic program—the teaching of clear and effective communication through writing.”