Faculty Awards


UNC Charlotte’s talented and knowledgeable faculty have a reputation for producing important research and the highest quality scholars, researchers, creative artists, entrepreneurs and leaders. Our faculty awards aim to identify and reward the best of the best.  Nominees are identified each fall, and the awards are presented in the spring. The awards are coordinated by the Chancellor’s Office and the Graduate School.

First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal

The First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal was first awarded in 1988 and recognizes excellence in sustained contributions to research and creative activities over a substantial period. The University thanks First Citizens Bank for their continued support in sponsoring this faculty achievement.

Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award

The Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award began in 2001 to highlight distinguished, active graduate faculty members who have a proven record of fostering growth and success among their students. The award honors the memory of Dr. Harshini V. de Silva, an associate professor of biology, known for her dedication to the academic and professional development of graduate students. 

Review the nomination criteria and deadlines by clicking on the links above.

Honoring Faculty


This award means a lot to me and hundreds of other deserving faculties who have mentored graduate students at UNC Charlotte. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with brilliant graduate students who helped me receive this award. My gratitude also goes to my colleagues who co-mentored my graduate students in their academic study and career development.

- Dr. Chuang Wang,
Professor & Director of Educational Research,
Measurement, and Evaluation

2018 Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award 

Earning the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal mattered to me because it represents my colleagues’ and students’ recognition of the value of my scholarly contributions to science and public policy. The Harshini V. de Silva Award reflects their recognition of the value of the teaching and mentoring I have had the pleasure of doing here at UNC Charlotte. I see the two awards as related. The research agenda to which I have dedicated my professional life continues through the careers of the graduate students I have mentored.

- Dr. Roslyn Mickelson
Chancellor's Professor of Sociology,
Public Policy and Women & Gender Studies

2011 First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal
2004 Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award

Earning this award was important to me because it was a recognition of the countless hours that faculty invest in students to help them become not only graduates of our great university but significant contributors in society. Academic unit leaders should encourage their faculty to pursue these awards because faculty invest in our students daily, and it is important that we nominate these faculty for these prestigious awards.

- Dr. Chance Lewis,
Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor,
Endowed Chair of Urban Education

2016 Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award 

Being nominated for the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal reminded me that potential for recognition brings opportunities for renewing relationships, sharing, and inclusion,” he notes. Beyond the obvious honor and recognition, receiving the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal provided me with an opportunity to remember and acknowledge the many outstanding students, colleagues and scholars that helped enrich my work.

- Dr. Robert Algozzine
Professor, Department of Educational Leadership

2017 First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal

Recent award recipients

First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal

  • 2024 - Adam Reitzel, Professor of Biological Sciences
  • 2023 - Kirill Afonin, Professor of Chemistry
  • 2022 - Jean-Claude Thill, Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • 2021 - Akinwumi Ogundiran, Chancellor’s Professor and Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology and History
  • 2020 - James Walsh, Professor of Political Science
  • 2019 - Steven Rogelberg, UNC Charlotte Chancellor's Professor
  • 2018 - Pinku Mukherjee, Professor of Biological Science
  • 2017 - Robert F. Algozzine, Professor of Educational Leadership
  • 2016 - John David Smith, Distinguished Professor of History

Harshini v. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award

  • 2024 - Juan Vivero-Escoto, Professor of Chemistry
  • 2023 - Margaret Quinlan, Professor of Communication Studies
  • 2022 - Adam Reitzel, Professor of Biological Sciences
  • 2021 - Ya-yu Low, Professor of Special Education
    Dr. Ya-yu Low
  • 2020 - Suzanne Leland, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration
  • 2019 - Richard Lambert, Professor of Educational Leadership
  • 2018 - Chuang Wang, Professor of Educational Research
  • 2017 - Heather A. Smith, Professor and Distinguished Scholar of Geography
  • 2016 - Chance W. Lewis, Distinguished Professor of Middle-Secondary Education