ATLANTA—For the first time in its 25-year history, the Andrew Young School of Policy has named two recipients each to its prestigious annual faculty and staff awards. Marie Ouellet and Keith Teltser received the Dean’s Early Career Award, and Laura Viilo and Mya Eveland the Staff Excellence Award in May 2021.
The Dean’s Early Career Award recognizes the accomplishments of a junior or mid-career Andrew Young School faculty member. Ouellet and Teltser are considered “rising stars” for their outstanding successes in research and scholarship, potential for additional productivity through summer support, successful progression toward promotion and tenure goals, and research that is consistent with the strategic initiatives of the college and the university.
“Marie Ouellet uses a social network analysis approach to study various forms of misconduct that occur within organizational contexts,” said Dean Dabney, who chairs the criminal justice and criminology department. “She is off to an impressive scholarly career, having published a dozen peer-reviewed articles and already acquiring three grants totaling over a million dollars.”
“Keith is an outstanding young scholar with a bright future who is quickly establishing a high-quality research program with excellent teaching and service records,” wrote economics department chair Shif Gurmu. And his work “perfectly aligns with the Andrew Young School’s focus on policy in the digital world.”
During a career of less than five years, Teltser has had refereed publications in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and Review of Economics and Statistics, where acceptance rates are 3 percent, 7 percent and 2 percent. With another two publications in top peer-reviewed publications and a strong pipeline of working papers and projects in progress, “In terms of journal quality alone, this is an outstanding start for a junior economist,” wrote Gurmu.
The Staff Excellence Award recognizes exemplary performance, beneficial contributions to the work environment and consistency in workplace efficiency, creativity and innovation. Eveland, the college’s instructional designer, and Viilo, associate director of the Urban Studies Institute, are recognized for their extraordinary efforts, accomplishments and quality of service to the college.
“Laura has played a critical part in the building and development of the Urban Studies Institute…Her contributions as assistant director have been vital and wide-ranging,” wrote USI director Jan Nijman in her nomination. “She has contributed to its mission to conduct cutting edge policy research, educate future leaders, and support communities in the Atlanta region, the US, and around the world.”
During a year that has been particularly challenging due to the COVID pandemic, Laura’s “sound judgement and people skills, and sensitivity to the needs of our individual team members, were in some ways more important than ever, as was her strategic support to the Director.”
Mya Eveland, who describes herself as an “human-oriented educator, builder and artist,” excels at instructional design, teaching and training. She produced Georgia State’s first online bachelor’s program – the Bachelor of Social Work – and the first online master’s program in the college, the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Criminal Justice Administration, along with a variety of online program and course development processes and videos. At the onset of the pandemic, she consulted with AYS faculty and administration, helping them quickly develop courses, curricula and learning activities in multiple forms of deliver, including in-person, hybrid, asynchronous and synchronous online, and online hybrid.
“We are pleased to recognize our outstanding faculty and staff for their contributions every year,” Dean Sally Wallace said. “However, this year we saw everyone rise to the challenges of teaching, doing research and managing unit operations while the pandemic impacted all the ways we normally do our work. To be able to recognize double the award-winners we normally do at year-end is a real pleasure for me and speaks loudly to the quality of the work that was accomplished this year.”