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Distinguished Faculty Awards

Each year the College recognizes faculty members for their excellence, usually bestowed upon the recipients at our annual Academic Honors Day.  Like so many events of the year, that celebration was not held because of the pandemic.  Instead, these awards were announced by President Sharon L Hirsh at the May 16th Tributes to the Degree Candidates.

Adam Lusk - Political Science Professor

The recipient of the Undergraduate College’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Full-Time Faculty is Dr. Adam Lusk.  A member of the faculty since 2012, Dr. Lusk is an Assistant Professor of Political Science.  Dr. Lusk was described by a student nominator with the following quote, “Never have I been taught by a more student-centric, flexible professor.

He tailors every class to the students in the class giving them choices along the way. He always makes the most of class time and encourages stimulating and thought-provoking conversations.  But most importantly, he knows Political Science inside and out and is able to deconstruct his knowledge and communicate it to his students.”


Gail Ward - Professor of Education

The recipient of the Undergraduate College’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty is Gail Ward.  An adjunct professor at Rosemont since 2016, Ms. Ward is a Special Education Teacher in the Upper Merion Area School District. 

An experienced teacher certified in Pennsylvania with Level II Teaching, Middle School Mathematics, Special Education, and Elementary/Early Childhood Certifications and in New Jersey with Middle School Mathematics, Elementary/Early Childhood, and Special Education Certifications, she brings the real world of the classroom to Rosemont’s education majors. 


Nicole Contosta Graduate Education Instructor

The recipient of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies’ Undergraduate Faculty of the Year Award is Nicole Contosta. An adjunct professor since 2015, Ms. Contosta is also a member of the Student Services Department.  Ms. Contosta teaches general education courses that often come at the beginning of an adult-learner’s academic journey.

She gets them excited to learn and motivated to finish their programs. In a most recent course evaluation, one of her students said, “this course was fantastic and opened me up to the importance of writing a paper correctly,” and another student said simply, “She is an excellent professor.”


Donna Talarico Publishing Professor

The recipient of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies’ Distinguished Teaching at the Graduate Level Award is Donna Talarico. Ms. Talarico holds an MBA from Elizabethtown College, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree and Master of Arts degrees in both Creative Writing and Literary Publishing, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Wilkes University. An award-winning professional communicator, Ms. Talarico is the founder and publisher of Hippocampus Magazine and Books based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Since joining the Rosemont community as an adjunct member of faculty in 2016, Ms. Talarico has consistently taught dynamic publishing courses that earn high praise from her students. This past fall, she taught the publishing program's first hybrid online/in-person course and gave students the experience of working at a 21st century small press.

Ms. Talarico’s distinguished teaching, in the words of her nominator, “consistently challenges students to see themselves as leaders who can make a difference in the world.”