George Mason University’s Cynthia Lum is among the 12 educators from around the state honored as recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).
Lum, a professor of Criminology, Law and Society within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the director of Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, was among those selected from 85 nominees.
“The SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award is the highest honor that the commonwealth bestows upon a faculty member,” said Kim Eby, Mason’s associate provost for faculty affairs and development. “What’s important to note about this particular award is that a faculty member must demonstrate impact and evidence of excellence across all areas of faculty work.”
The awards recognize faculty at Virginia’s institutions of higher learning who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and service. Nominees are selected by the institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. Lum is the university’s 23rd faculty member to receive the honor since the award’s inception in 1987.
“I’m incredibly humbled and honored by this award,” Lum said, “and am proud to have been nominated alongside so many wonderful colleagues.”
A former Baltimore City police officer, Lum has been a tenured professor at Mason since 2011 and is a global expert on evidence-based policing. Her research has long focused on optimizing law enforcement operations and improving the ability of police to achieve their goals through science.
Her work has been recognized around the world and brought her significant media attention.
Her colleague David Weisburd lauded Lum as a “a major figure internationally in advancing evidence-based policy and practice.”
“[Her experience as a police officer] has given her a rare and valuable perspective among police scholars,” said Weisburd, a Distinguished Professor at Mason and the executive director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, “allowing her to see the world of policing and crime prevention more generally, both through the lens of science and through the lens of practice.”
Lum was quick to credit others for their roles in her success.
“This award is hardly about me,” she said. “Without the willingness of police agencies and communities to collaborate with us, organizations that believe in our work or the support that Mason has provided my colleagues and me to be innovative, this work would have never happened. The recognition is testament to the power of collaborations between researchers, practitioners and our communities.”
Recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards will be honored at a special ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, on March 9, 2020, where they will each receive a $7,500 gift from Dominion Energy. Lum plans to donate the money back to Mason.