University of Dubuque Inducts Two Members to Faculty Hall of Fame

Jun 15, 2015 | Kristi Lynch

The University of Dubuque inducted two new members into its Faculty Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 30, 2015.  Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama, associate professor of natural and applied sciences, was recognized with the John Knox Coit Prize, and Annette Bourland Huizenga, assistant professor of New Testament, was recognized with the William L. Lomax Award. 

The “Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards” at the University of Dubuque were established by Richard and Donna Svrluga in 1995-96 to recognize the contributions and impact of University faculty on the lives of students.  Two of the three awards were named in honor of former distinguished faculty members – John Knox Coit and William Lomax.

John Knox Coit Prize:
An integral member of the Philosophy Department from 1955-65, Professor Coit was more than a teacher.  He became a mentor and friend to his students.  Known as a “man of wit,” he made a lasting impression on his students.  Coit died in 1995 at the age of 79. 

William L. Lomax Award:
Fondly remembered by his students who studied business, Professor Lomax was smart, tough, fair, no-nonsense, and fun.  As a member of the Business Department from 1953-69, he influenced the lives of many students.  Lomax died in 1986 at the age of 83.


Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama

Dr. Raskia Mudalige-Jayawickrama holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka), a master of science from Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA), and a Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI).  She served in teaching positions at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA); University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka); and Lehman College, City University of New York (NY), before joining the faculty at the University of Dubuque in January 2007.  Mudalige-Jayawickrama is a member of the American Society of Horticulture Science, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Iowa Academy of Science, and the Pacific Orchid Research Consortium.  Her research on orchids is extensive – she has given numerous presentations and is widely published on the topic.

Dr. Mudalige-Jayawickrama is known by her students as being an inspired and inspiring teacher who works tirelessly for the benefit of the students both inside and outside the classroom.  She strives to instill her passion for learning in her students.  She encourages the intellectual growth of her students by asking them to go beyond their comfort zone, try new techniques, decipher challenging articles, write their own project proposals, and achieve the goals set forth in the beginning of their academic life.  Her energy, commitment, and dedication to the Mission of the University of Dubuque are very personal and strong.


Annette Bourland Huizenga

Rev. Dr. Annette Huizenga holds a bachelor of arts degree from Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY), a master of religious education from Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.), a master of arts from McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL), and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (Chicago, IL).  She previously taught at the Catholic Theological Union, McCormick Theological Seminary, and The Divinity School, University of Chicago, before coming to UD in the fall of 2008.  Huizenga was ordained by LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, IL (nondenominational) and served as pastor from 1989 – 1999.  She was managing editor of the Daughters of Sarah, a Christian feminist magazine from 1981 – 1989. A presenter at the Society of Biblical Literature (annual and international meetings), the University of Chicago, and the Chicago Society of Biblical Research, her work has centered on ideas about education, marriage, families, and the economics of the New Testament world.  Huizenga’s current writing project is a commentary on the New Testament letters known as First and Second Timothy and Titus.

Dr. Huizenga is a model of Christian character – she seeks the good of community and pursues her calling with faith and hope.  One of her students said, “She is an absolute joy to learn from,” and “I appreciate her clear explanations, constant communication, willingness to assist, and genuine concern for her students.”  She continually seeks the welfare – intellectual, moral, and spiritual – of each student.  She challenges them to do their best, celebrates with them in times of joy, and grieves with them in times of sorrow.  A scholar and teacher, Huizenga is also – importantly – a pastor, who seeks to nurture the gifts of each one in service to God and neighbor.