Wilkes University


Wilkes University Honors Helen Davis with Carpenter Award for Teaching

Helen Davis, associate professor of English, received the Carpenter Award for Teaching. The award, considered Wilkes’ highest honor for teaching, recognizes an outstanding member of the faculty and includes a $1,000 award and framed certificate. The name of the recipient is also inscribed on a permanent plaque on campus. The awardee is nominated by his or her full-time colleagues and must have been a full-time employee for at least three years. 

davisDavis uses diverse and inclusive curricula to foster her students’ abilities to think critically, communicate effectively and engage actively in the world around them. Her work has frequently earned her honors at the University. She was awarded the Faculty Advisor Award for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in 2018. Earlier Davis was recognized with the inaugural President’s Award for Diversity in 2016. She also was awarded the Multicultural Teaching Award for the 2011-2012 academic year, which “celebrates outstanding, creative guidance of students in support of multicultural education.” She also received the “Diversity Leader Faculty Award” from the Wilkes Center for Global Education and Diversity in 2011.

In the letter of nomination for the Carpenter Award, Ellen Newell, assistant professor of psychology, wrote: “Davis exemplifies the Wilkes University mission. She seeks to be an exceptional teacher and has become extremely well known on campus among our students as a teacher who subtly integrates interesting and diverse topics into her English courses to help keep student interest high while simultaneously helping them hone their writing and analytical skills.”

Newell adds, “Davis is strongly invested in helping Wilkes University be a campus where all students feel safe, welcomed, and accepted. She has created several diversity initiatives including designing and running the campus Safe Space trainings. These trainings are designed to help educate the campus community about the LGBT+ populations and to help ensure that LGBT+ individuals at Wilkes are treated with respect.”

Davis was on the taskforce that created the structure for the Wilkes University Honors Program, serves as the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences representative on the Honors Program Advisory Council and served as interim co-director of the Program for the 2017-2018 academic year.

She is the faculty advisor for the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, co-founded and serves as a coordinator for the campus LGBTQ+ Awareness and Safe Space program and facilitates a Facebook page for LGBT Wilkes alumni. She is a founding member and co-chair of Wilkes’ Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (CODIE).

Davis received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and earned a master’s degree at Wake Forest University. Davis received her master of philosophy and doctorate from the City University of New York.