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Mason’s Cynthia Lum honored with 2020 Outstanding Faculty Award

March 11, 2020   /   by John Hollis

The 12 recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards pose with Gov. Ralph Northam. George Mason University's Cynthia Lum is in the front row on the far right. Photo courtesy of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

George Mason University’s Cynthia Lum was formally recognized Monday, March 9, by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) as one of 12 recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Faculty Awards.

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, became the university’s 23rd recipient since the award’s inception in 1987. 

“What was amazing was learning about the accomplishments of all the other winners,” she said. “Being a part of such an active, interesting and dynamic group made me feel humble and proud at the same time. To be able to celebrate the day with friends and family from Mason made the day especially fun.”

Lum plans to donate the $7,500 prize money that Dominion Energy awarded each recipient to the George Mason University Foundation, but in particular to the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and the Department of Criminology, Law and Society; to a scholarship to her high school for a senior in need who will be studying social sciences or humanities in college; and to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

The SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award is the highest honor the state can bestow upon a faculty member. The award recognizes 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 a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. Lum was among those selected from 27 finalists and 85 original nominations.

A former Baltimore City police officer, Lum is a global expert of evidence-based policing and has collaborated with local, state, federal and international policing organizations and agencies to improve law enforcement operations through science and research translation. Her work has been recognized around the world.