Hoag receives chair award, Wrighten lauded for mentorship

Dr. John Hoag, chair of the economics department, received the Recognition for Chair/School Director Leadership Award from his peers April 9, while Mary Green Wrighten, University Libraries, was presented the Faculty Mentor Recognition Award. Along with the awards came a commemorative plaque and $1,000.

John Hoag

John Hoag
“If I were recruiting students for Bowling Green, I think the single best argument I could make would be to say, ‘We have faculty like John Hoag—or at least one such, namely John Hoag himself—and that, I am sure, you won’t find anywhere else.” So wrote Dr. Ken Quinn, economics, in nominating Hoag for the award, adding, “I don’t know anyone whose commitment to the integrity of the educational process is stronger and deeper than John’s.”

Quinn’s was one of many enthusiastic letters of support for Hoag, who has been chair of the department for 14 years. “Because of the diversity of research interests in the department, John has rightly seized on our common passion for quality teaching to be the glue that holds the department together,” wrote Dr. Timothy Fuerst, economics. “John is a strong supporter of the department’s regular teaching discussions, is the principal advisor for our majors, and is a co-organizer of the annual Economics Teaching Conference that the department hosts for economics teaching faculty throughout the tri-state region. Finally, John runs the ‘teaching group’ of college faculty that meets monthly to discuss myriad issues in pedagogy.”

“When I began at BGSU 18 years ago, I thought I knew what it was like to provide a solid educational experience for the typical student,” wrote Dr. Mary Ellen Benedict, economics. “However, little did I understand what went on in and out of the classroom in order for that experience to be ‘extraordinary.’ John Hoag ensures that all tenure- and nontenure-track economics faculty receive extensive training on teaching.” Benedict attributed the numerous teaching and advising awards won by economics faculty to this strong preparation.

Hoag began a series of workshops in which seasoned faculty teach and learn with new faculty about issues revolving around teaching economics, handling classroom issues and grading, developing guidelines and expectations for applying merit documents and writing peer reviews, setting expectations for recruitment criteria and interview questions and more—and invited other College of Business Administration faculty. He also began a mentoring program in the department.

He is a “tireless promoter of the research activity within the department,” Fuerst said. He regularly reviews grant applications and comments on papers and presentations under preparation. “I find this remarkable because our research interests are quite diverse, and there is much to read because the department is so productive.”

According to Dr. Peter VanderHart, “John has also taken on a large number of leadership positions in our college and across the University.” In addition to being president of the College Strategic Planning Committee and a member of the Council of Chairs, Hoag has been secretary and president of the Faculty Council. At the University level, he has served on several Ph.D. committees as well as on the Academic Enhancement Advisory Council as chair of the Professional Development Advisory Committee. Outside the University, he has been a peer reviewer for the Council for the Exchange of Scholars.

“I consider John a model teacher, a model administrator and—along with anyone who knows him, I’m sure—a model human being,” summarized Quinn.

Mary Green Wrighten

Mary Green Wrighten
Since coming to BGSU in 1990, Wrighten has been one of the driving forces behind an array of programs related to multiculturalism. She has also “offered outstanding support for colleagues, particularly colleagues of color and those wanting to help Bowling Green fulfill its diversity mission. She works tirelessly to promote social justice for BGSU,” wrote Dr. Sherlon Brown, School of Intervention Services.

In her role as associate professor and multicultural services librarian, Wrighten assists the entire University but especially the ethnic studies department. “Her expert knowledge and professional service has been invaluable to countless numbers of faculty, staff and students as she has assisted with the development of manuscripts, presentations and grant materials,” wrote nominator Dr. Dafina Lazarus Stewart, higher education and student affairs.

She has also long endeavored to promote her colleagues’ participation in University governance through her own participation in the Africana Faculty and Staff Caucus, of which she is again chair this year.

Wrighten has taught courses in ethnic studies, library science and the Pre-College Enrichment and College Access programs. She also shares her knowledge through frequent presentations at academic conferences, wrote Dr. Lessie Cochran, School of Intervention Services. In 2002, she partnered with faculty from the College of Education and Human Development to present at a Phi Delta Kappa International Education panel session on establishing libraries with South African educators and sharing work with Ukrainian and Kenyan educators.

She is a board member for the Academic Investment in Math and Science (AIMS) program, and has long been a key planner for the annual Africana Studies Colloquium, which gives students from Bowling Green and nationally the opportunity to present their research.

Last year, she worked with Brown and Dr. Lillian Ashcraft-Eason to create a pictorial and historical tribute titled “Images of Me (1950-2008): BGSU Women of Color” for the Women’s Studies 30th anniversary celebration.

“Her teaching, research and service are ethical, professional and exemplary,” Brown wrote. “She exudes a passion for working with and supporting faculty, administrators and students to ensure that whatever the task, it is done in a compassionate manner.”

April 13, 2009