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Never before has the academic study of religion and theology, our various guild members, our respective academic institutions, and the humanities as an intellectual endeavor been at greater peril than right now. It is in recognition of this sense of urgency that we introduce three newly named awards that the AAR Board of Directors esteem as both timely and noteworthy. The three awards are the AAR Katie Geneva Cannon Excellence in Teaching Award, the AAR Lawrence H. Mamiya Excellence in Public Service Award, and the James H. Cone Excellence in Mentoring Award.
These awards recognize the importance of academic teaching, public service and faculty mentoring, and honors outstanding legacy bearers in each of these separate yet related fields. Given the considerable shifts in the higher education landscape in recent years, and the effects such shifts have had on the academic study and social significance of religion, these three awards underscore the importance of recognizing those key formative components and areas of excellence across a wide variety of contexts.
The brilliance and breadth of these three scholars and their professional formative skills have forged generations of scholars, while simultaneously raising new modes of rigorous inquiry for teaching critical consciousness in our various disciplines. So these awards promise to celebrate and affirm the on-going vision of these venerable namesakes for the study of religion in the twenty-first century.
To make this dream possible, we are seeking your support in securing funding ($360,000) for these three distinct and distinguished awards. It is your investment and interest within the academic study of religion and the essential role that excellence in teaching, service and mentoring play that help our field and faculty flourish. We need your help now because we want to build momentum on this initiative by providing students of the academic study of religion and theology with additional excellent scholars and teachers as exemplified by the lives, lessons and legacies of Katie Cannon, Lawrence Mamiya, and James Cone. Your contribution is an act of loving leadership in building a better and stronger legacy.
Thank you for your support and leadership in building legacies.
The AAR Katie Geneva Cannon Excellence in Teaching Award
The Katie Geneva Cannon Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes the importance of teaching and honors outstanding teaching in the field. Given the considerable shifts in the higher education landscape in recent years, and the effects these shifts have had on teaching and learning about religion, this award underscores the importance of recognizing teaching excellence across a wide variety of contexts.
The AAR Lawrence H. Mamiya Excellence in Public Service Award
The Lawrence H. Mamiya Excellence in Public Service Award is annually presented to a member of the American Academy of Religion who has demonstrated a commitment to research and activism that betters the world at large. This scholar’s public service is demonstrated through activism, public policy-making, community service and deep engagement with the wider public. Motivated by a broad concern for the public good, the recipient directly and concretely serves society by making knowledge and skills from one’s discipline relevant and useful to those in need in the community. Turning research into public advocacy, activism and social change is the hallmark of this award.
The AAR James H. Cone Excellence in Mentoring Award
The James H. Cone Excellence in Mentoring Award recognizes the importance of mentoring in the development of scholars. Mentoring extends well beyond the classroom. In formal and informal ways, scholars provide guidance to graduate students throughout their training and long after graduation, often at each stage of a career. They serve as role models who connect junior scholars to the broader profession and the guild. This award honors extraordinary mentors and in particular those mentors who provide these incalculable services to students across diverse backgrounds.