Three from A&AA win faculty awards

Three School of Architecture and Allied Arts faculty members were among the thirteen recipients of the 2014-15 school year Fund for Faculty Excellence Award.

Professors Anya Kivarkis and Laura Vandenburgh of the Department of Art, and Rich Margerum, professor and department head for the Department of Planning, and Public Management, were selected due to their influence on University of Oregon academics within their respective fields.

Fund for Faculty Excellence recipients receive a one-time salary stipend of $20,000. An awardee may elect to take the award alternatively as research funds totaling $25,000. Awards are restricted to tenured faculty, with an emphasis on recently promoted associate and full professors.

"Laura, Anya and Rich are most deserving award recipients. They are intellectual leaders and extremely generous contributors to their respective programs and to A&AA,” said A&AA Acting Dean Brook Muller. “I am elated that the university would recognize their impact." 

Anya KivarkisLaura VandenburghRich Margerum
Above: (left) Anya Kivarkis, (middle) Laura Vandenburgh, (right) Richard Margerum

Kivarkis, associate professor of jewelry and metalsmithing, will use the funds to support the high cost of a current exhibition she is producing with her partner, artist Mike Bray. Kivarkis, whose work has been featured in Art Jewelry Forum, recently received a 2014 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship. Her work was also featured recently in a solo exhibition in Galerie Rob Koudijs in Amsterdam.

As acting associate dean of A&AA this year, Kivarkis says she will have less direct time in her studio, so the funds will also support a staff of studio assistants who can help her sustain a rigorous practice

“It’s going to allow this to be really ambitious,” she says. “It’s a really amazing thing the university does. This is an incredibly significant gesture on the part of the university, and an important one in building allegiance.”

For Margerum, the award was well-timed. He plans to go on sabbatical for the upcoming spring and winter terms in Australia, where he will conduct research with colleagues on how to make collaborations work in practice. The research will become his new book, The Challenges of Collaboration.

“It was a surprise and an honor to receive it,” he says. “It was good news and good timing in terms of supporting my research. The other exciting aspect of this award is, I’m the third faculty in our department to receive this, so that speaks to the quality of our faculty.”

This book will serve as a companion to Margerum’s previous book, Beyond Consensus: Improving Collaborative Planning and Management, which investigated how collaborative efforts in public planning are implemented.

Vandenburgh, art professor and former head of the Department of Art, plans to use the research funds to advance her studio work through the purchase of new studio materials, access to expanded studio space, and travel for exhibitions and research.

She adds the funds allow her to consider new material and scale options, as well as professional opportunities that would otherwise be unfeasible.

“The award comes at a really pivotal time for me, as I … am beginning a year of intensive studio work while I am on research fellowship and sabbatical leaves,” she says. “I have a lot of momentum and excitement in the studio right now, and the award will be a great catalyst.”

Vandenburgh received a 2014 UO Provost’s Creative Arts Fellowship and a Finrow Travel Grant for her work Elsewhere: Thick Drawings + Slow Clouds. Her recent exhibitions include Wolkenshauen (to observe clouds), with catalogue, at the Kunstverein Passau gallery in Passau, Germany; at Grosse Rathausgallerie in Landshut, Germany; and a solo exhibition Thick Drawings at Ditch Projects in Springfield, OR.

Recipients of the award are selected by the provost based upon recommendations from a committee of distinguished faculty colleagues. Awards are made based on contributions by the faculty member over a five-year professional period.

The Fund for Faculty Excellence Awards is dedicated to recognizing academic excellence “in our finest tenured faculty. The awards program serves to reward top faculty members with salary supplements or research support in an effort to recognize world-class research and teaching,” the award website states. “It may be used to help retain or preemptively retain outstanding faculty who may become targets for recruitment by other top institutions,” the award website states.

The Fund for Faculty Excellence began in 2006 due to donations from Larry I. Lokey to the UO fundraiser Campaign Oregon: Transforming Lives. The award committee, made up of faculty colleagues, nominate up to fourteen recipients each year. 

Previous A&AA faculty Fund for Faculty Excellence recipients are:

2006-2007
Alison Kwok (architecture)
Jeffrey Hurwit (history of art and architecture)
Kenneth Helphand (landscape architecture)
Douglas Blandy (arts administration)

2007-2008
Andrew Schulz (history of art and architecture)
Marc Schlossberg (planning, public planning, and management)
Renee Irvin (planning, public planning, and management)

2008-2009
Howard Davis (architecture)

2013-2014
Kate Mondloch (history of art and architecture)
Nico Larco (architecture)

November 10, 2014