The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has selected Pamela Eddy, professor of higher education at William & Mary, as one of 12 faculty members from across the Commonwealth of Virginia to win the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award.
The awards recognize the finest among Virginia's college faculty for their demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and public service. With 46 faculty recognized since 1987, W&M has received more Outstanding Faculty Awards than any other college or university in the state.
Eddy is a scholar of leadership development whose work focuses on how organizational leadership and learning drive effective change in community colleges.
“Pamela Eddy is one of those exceptional faculty who has sustained the highest level of excellence in all dimensions of her professional life,” said Katherine A. Rowe, president of William & Mary. “She is a passionate and innovative teacher, a national leader in research on community colleges and student success and an inspiring colleague who rises by lifting others.”
Eddy’s passion for the mission of community colleges started with her personal experience teaching in that setting, and later as an administrator at a rural vocational two-year college.
“While many others might think of community colleges as places for underprepared students or ‘others,’ I saw them as being for all of us, and I was convinced that this was work worth doing. These colleges helped members of my family, helped students and helped my community — I discovered my passion as an educator,” said Eddy.
Eddy’s impact on the field of higher education is profound. In her 18-year career, she has published 12 books, edited three themed journal issues, authored 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and 29 book chapters, delivered 101 invited keynote or workshop presentations and presented 124 peer-reviewed papers at conferences. As editor-in-chief for the journal New Directions for Community Colleges, Eddy plays a leading role in shaping the national dialogue on community colleges.
As a key driver of equity, workforce development and social mobility, community colleges play a critical role in American higher education. Eddy’s scholarship highlights the value of collaborative leadership and advocates for expanding the leadership of mid-level leaders and faculty to help leverage change.
“Pamela Eddy is a name that is familiar to almost every 2-year college leader in the U.S.,” said Debbie Sydow, president of Richard Bland College. “Her research and insightful observations contribute to a fuller understanding of community colleges and what’s required to be a successful community college leader.”
Eddy has received the prestigious Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, as well as a Reves International Faculty Fellow Award and a Fulbright Research-Lecture Award.
She has taught at William & Mary for 12 years, mentoring hundreds of students in the master’s and doctoral programs in higher education. Over her career, she has chaired 58 student dissertations, served on the dissertation committees of another 22 students and chaired 82 master’s projects, directing more student research than any other faculty member in the School of Education. She initiated a joint higher education/MBA program with the Raymond A. Mason School of Business that allows students to receive both degrees in a condensed time period, and led the design of the higher education concentration within the Executive Ed.D. program for working professionals.
“Pam’s support of our School of Education graduate students is, bar none, the most prodigious I have observed in my 28-year career,” said S. Marjorie Thomas, dean of students at W&M. “Her graduate students experience her as a teacher, ally and mentor — committed to their professional pursuits as higher education practitioners.”
In 2020, Eddy spearheaded the first ever convening of higher education programs in Virginia, with the theme Equity and Inclusion along the Educational Pathway. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebration of the Higher Education Program, the event brought nearly 200 higher education professionals to the William & Mary campus to strategize on how to improve higher education in Virginia.
“Pamela Eddy is a model for students and other faculty members on how to seamlessly integrate one’s faculty identity with their role as a teacher, researcher and community member,” said Rob Knoeppel, dean of the School of Education. “Not just a nationally recognized scholar in community college leadership and change, Dr. Eddy is an accomplished teacher who creates learning spaces for students to integrate research into practice. Her service to the institution and to the field is both selfless and perfectly aligned with her expertise as a change agent.”