WCSU faculty recognized by Board of Regents

DANBURY, CONN. — Two faculty members from Western Connecticut State University have been recognized for excellence by the Board of Regents, which oversees Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Surekha Davies, WCSU assistant professor of history and non-Western cultures, received the system-wide Research Award. Dr. Monica Sousa, WCSU assistant professor of nursing, received a BOR campus-wide Teaching Award.

The BOR Teaching, Research and Scholarly Excellence Awards are campus- and system-wide recognitions of excellence in teaching or research, creative and scholarly work by CSCU full-time junior faculty and part-time faculty members. The awards are presented to faculty from each of the state universities and community colleges. Two system-wide awards are given to faculty who best exemplify high-quality teaching, one each from the colleges and universities. The research awards are granted to faculty among Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities. A single system-wide award is given to the individual who best exemplifies high quality research among the universities.

Davies is a cultural historian and historian of science. Her research interests include Atlantic encounters, travel writing, environmental history, cartography, technology, monsters and the history of mentalities from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century. She has worked on aspects of English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Dutch responses to new worlds. She was formerly a curator at the British Library Map Library, and is a founding editor of a new book series, “Maps, Spaces, Cultures,” which will be published by Brill. Her research has been supported by the Newberry Library, the American Philosophical Society, the John Carter Brown Library, the American Historical Association the Library of Congress, the Folger Library and the Leverhulme Trust.

Her first book, “Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human: New Worlds, Maps and Monsters,” was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. Her new projects include a book on European encounters with indigenous technologies and the re-configuration of the relationship between humans, nature and technology in environmental thought.

Sousa’s doctoral degree was specifically designed to prepare nursing faculty members in best practice educational models. She is a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health and maintains state licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Sousa’s innovative teaching includes the enhanced use of simulation technology in the laboratory setting, development and utilization of case scenarios and skills-based assessment rubrics to measure student competency while demonstrating advanced nursing skills. Sousa said she engages her students by sharing her own nursing experiences with them, including case studies.

“I get the students engaged. You want to make it real for them,” Sousa said. “It’s about making connection with people and not losing the human touch.”

Sousa earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing and an Ed.D. in Nursing Education from Western Connecticut State University. She is the first to defend her dissertation in the university’s initial cohort of the doctorate program.

Davies earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Cambridge, a master’s degree in philosophy in history and philosophy of science from Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in combined historical studies from the Warburg Institute, University of London.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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