Faculty Accomplishments Faculty Accomplishments Faculty Awards McEniry Awards

2022 William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching

Congratulations to the recipient of the 2022 William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching

Established in 1974, the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching is considered to be Stetson University’s most prestigious award based on the highest attainment of teaching excellence as personified by the former Dean of the University, William Hugh McEniry. Exceptional teaching in the classroom is at the heartbeat of this award, along with intellectual growth, professional competency, academic activities outside of the classroom, and meaningful service to students and the University as a whole.

This year’s McEniry selection committee had an incredibly challenging job. Stetson is a community full of highly deserving teacher-scholars. This year’s awardee stood out as an exceptionally impactful educator at Stetson and within their field. There is a clear record demonstrating that this faculty member is a phenomenal teacher. Thoughtfully written nominations demonstrated a deep commitment to high-quality teaching.

A nomination by a fellow faculty member notes: “This professor is a star at everything he does. He is electric in the classroom. A superb intellect. A fine writer. His scholarship is set to do groundbreaking work in broad cultural fields”.

A student nomination states: “This professor really pushed all his students to achieve academic excellence. He maintained a very high standard in class and promoted a higher level of thinking. This professor was always very accessible and open to help students outside of class hours.”

A second student nomination states: “This professor effortlessly explains all of the information. I personally look up to him as an ACADEMIC GIANT.”

Yet, a third student nomination states: “This professor has found a way to make his students enjoy taking his classes while also keeping us on our toes.”

I am delighted and honored to announce this year’s award winner! For the first time in the history of Stetson University, the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to the winner of the Hand Award for Research, Creative, and Professional Activity. Please join me in wishing heartfelt congratulations to the recipient of the 2022 William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor of Music.

Dr. Daniil Zavlunov!

Presented by Dr. Hala El Arag, Professor of Computer Science, on May 6, 2022 at the 2022Academic Awards and Recognition Ceremony

Faculty Accomplishments Faculty Accomplishments Faculty Awards Hand Awards

2022 Hand Awards for Distinguished Faculty Achievement

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2022 Hand Awards for Distinguished Faculty Achievement.

The Hand Award for Distinguished Faculty Achievements are made possible through the continued generosity of trustee emeritus and alumna Dolly Hand and her husband, Homer Hand. Through their support of excellence in higher education, we are honored to recognize outstanding faculty.  The awards have been presented to faculty since 1988, with recipients whose names many in the audience will recognize as faculty who have been transformative to this institution—Michael Rickman, Karen Kaivola, and Leonard Nance to name a few. 

This year, we recognize the professional achievements of two outstanding faculty members in two primary areas:  Research, Creative, and Professional Activity and Community Impact.  Historically, there have been Hand awards that recognized the stellar work of faculty who have been at Stetson for a short period of time, and then go on to do great things at Stetson.  Some examples include then-Assistant Professors Terri Witek, Stephen Robinson, Sue Ryan, and Isabel Botero, who all received the Hand recognition just a few years after they joined the University. Both recipients of this prestigious recognition were invited to join the faculty in 2014. In sum, during their short tenure at Stetson University, they have made significant contributions to their fields, to Stetson’s vibrancy and vitality, to our academic culture, and to the world beyond this campus.


The first 2022 Hand Award honors a faculty member whose quality of research and writing has had a transformative impact on the School of Music and on Stetson University. As a musicologist, he is a scholar of Music History with many interests including Russian, French and Italian opera of the 19th century, Russian and Soviet music, music and politics and theories of musical form. His research into music censorship in 19th century Imperial Russia, specifically during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, is groundbreaking and of significant interest to students of opera worldwide. His command of both musicology and theory demonstrates a latitude of expertise comprising individual composers, genres, and time periods.

Furthermore, he maintains an impressive publication record in high impact academic readership sources including the Journal of Music Theory, the Journal of Musicology, and in the Cambridge and Oxford University presses. The variety, breadth, scope, cross-disciplinarity, and international appeal of his repertoire has positioned his body of work as important and valuable beyond the world of music. To that end, this scholar ranks among the top music historians in the nation and abroad.

One nominator wrote, “Twelve publications (and others already underway) are many for any discipline at Stetson where research and publications are a measure of contribution.” Another wrote, “My career in all facets – including performance, teaching, and administration – has well prepared me to understand and appreciate exceptional individuals such as [this professor]”.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the faculty and staff at Stetson University to present the 2022 Hand Award for Research, Creative, and Professional Activity to Associate Professor Daniil Zavulov for his professional commitment, and in recognition and celebration of his substantial scholarly contributions.


This year’s second 2022 Hand award honors a faculty member who has accomplished an extraordinarily impactful breadth and scope of timely work within the eight years of her tenure at Stetson University. A scholar, teacher, and practitioner, she rapidly compiled a distinguished record of community service, becoming a key force in Stetson’s relationship with the broader community. Her special focus has been on the health needs of underserved communities including the Spring Hill community of southwestern DeLand. In collaboration with various community partners, she has initiated or supported multiple studies and programs. This work included comprehensive needs assessments of all African American communities to demonstrate the need for improved public health and nutritional resources and an Oral History of the James W. Wright building in DeLand, research that resulted in grant funding awarded and the building being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2016, she received an Exceptional Community Partner Award from the Spring Hill Neighborhood Association for her exemplary work. And with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she provided vital community support by serving as staff epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health.

One nominator wrote, “In my entire time directing community engagement efforts for the university, [this professor] stands out for being the most consistent and effective faculty collaborator with our non-profit partners in the greater Spring Hill community. Truly, I believe that no faculty member epitomizes the connection of our institution’s academic and civic missions as strongly as [this professor]”.

For her professional commitment and in recognition and celebration of her substantial contributions to the Stetson community and the greater DeLand and Volusia communities, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the faculty and staff at Stetson University to present the second 2022 Hand Award for Community Impact to Associate Professor Asal Mohammadi Johnson.

Presented by Dr. Rosalie Richards, Associate Provost for Faculty Development on May 6, 2022 at the 2022 Academic Awards and Recognition Ceremony