UNCG Research

2015-16 Research Excellence Awards

Zimmerman and MacLeod, philosophy and music education

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by UNCG Research.

UNCG Research congratulates Dr. Michael Zimmerman and Dr. Rebecca MacLeod, our 2015-2016 Research Excellence Award winners.

Dr. Michael Zimmerman receives the Senior Research Excellence Award for his scholarship in philosophy. Zimmerman, who specializes in theoretical ethics, has published prolifically, and his work has had a major impact on his discipline. He has written nine books – an extremely high output in his field, co-edited two anthologies, and produced over 40 refereed articles in prestigious academic journals. He has also published over 25 invited articles, a reflection of his national and international reputation as a major scholar and authority in his areas of expertise. In 2011, Zimmerman was invited to deliver the Hagerstrom lectures, Sweden’s most distinguished lecture series in philosophy. The Hagerstrom lectures are known internationally for featuring the most eminent philosophers of our time.

Zimmerman’s body of research in ethics, value theory, the theory of action, and the philosophy of law is acclaimed for its brilliant argumentation, subtlety, profound insights, and major advances. The professor is considered one of the leading writers on the theory of value and a substantial contributor to understandings of moral responsibility and the theory of punishment.

Born and raised in England, Zimmerman received his BA in philosophy from Yale University, and his MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In 1998, he received the UNCG Junior Research Excellence Award. He is one of only two researchers to be awarded both the Junior and Senior Research Excellence Awards since the program began in 1988. He been awarded two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships and is a member of the editorial board of Ethics, the leading journal in the field.


Dr. Rebecca MacLeod receives the Junior Research Excellence Award for her scholarship in music education. With over 30 invited and peer-reviewed articles in primary journals in her field and over 40 research presentations at major international and national venues, MacLeod has produced a body of work well beyond the expectations of researchers of her rank in her area.

Colleagues place MacLeod among the top researchers in string music education in the United States. The 2014 winner of the American String Teachers Association Emergent String Researcher Award serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Research in Music Education and String Research Journal, provides reviews for International Journal of Music Education, and chairs the American String Teachers Association Research Committee.

The associate professor’s research interests center on underserved populations, vibrato technique, music teacher education, and music perception. She is particularly well known for her extensive community-engaged research. MacLeod is the founding director of the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program, a partnership with the Greensboro Symphony that provides students at Peck Elementary, at Title I school, with free violin and cello instruction. Another of her efforts, the Peck Alumni Leadership Program, provides elementary students free private string lessons in exchange for mentoring a fellow student.

Dr. MacLeod directs the string education program at UNCG and conducts the UNCG Sinfonia. Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, she was the assistant artistic director and conductor of the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra in Tallahassee, Florida. She received her BS in Music Education at Duquesne University and her MM and PhD in Music Education at Florida State University.


The campus-wide Research Excellence recognition program was established in 1988 on the principle that creating and diffusing knowledge is a formal obligation of the University. Work by awardees contributes in an exemplary fashion to this end. Each year, a scholar at the rank of professor receives the Senior Research Excellence Award and a cash honorarium of $7,500, while a scholar at the rank of assistant or associate professor receives the Junior Research Excellence Award and $4,500.

Awardees are selected based on the importance of their contributions to the field, the originality of their work, the execution of their research, the pattern of their research productivity, and the academic reputation of the journals, publishing houses, exhibitions, and professional presentations in which their work has appeared.