The accomplishments and integrity of four outstanding faculty members were recognized by Faculty Senate April 8 at its spring luncheon. Presented by senate chair Dr. Patrick Pauken and Dr. Mark Gromko, vice provost for academic programs, the awards come with a commemorative plaque and $1,000 cash award.
Honored were Dr. Terry Rentner, journalism, with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Dr. Marilyn Shrude, musical arts, with the Recognition for Chair/School/Director Leadership; Dr. Lynda Dee Dixon, interpersonal communication, with the Faculty Mentor Award, and Dr. Frank Glann, BGSU Firelands, with the Community Involvement Award.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Terry Rentner has “shown that good scholarship complements good teaching and service through her continuing excellence as a BGSU faculty member,” said School of Communication Studies doctoral student William Wiget, one of Rentner’s nominators for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Rentner has been a campus leader for many years. She began teaching at the University in 1987, becoming chair of the journalism department in 2004. She served as head of the public relations sequence in the department from 1992-2004.
“From the moment I first met Terry, there was an instant feeling that she was a leader, someone I could turn to in my beginning years as a professor. Terry is passionate in her dedication to BGSU as an institution and to the journalism program,” said Dr. Victoria Ekstrand, journalism, in support of Rentner’s nomination.
“She has worked constantly to encourage faculty and student development and to support our own research programs. From the big projects—like working tirelessly to change the drinking problem on BGSU’s campus—to the small but critical aspects of academic life—such as reducing our advising load and working to control a smaller school’s burden of heavy service loads—Terry has been a true professional and a positive force for the department and the field,” Ekstrand said.
Her contributions have been recognized numerous times. Rentner was awarded the BGSU Chairs and Directors Leadership Award in 2007, the BGSU Outstanding Young Scholar Award in 2000 and the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Excellence Award in 1996, in addition to other honors. Last year, President Sidney Ribeau appointed her to the BGSU Centennial Committee.
Rentner has spearheaded an award-winning BGSU campaign to address binge drinking by countering student misperceptions about peer behavior. She became a member of the University Committee on Alcohol Issues in 1998, and Dr. Ed Whipple, vice president for Student Affairs, appointed her to the Drug, Alcohol and Sexual Offenses Coalition in 2006.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Rentner on a variety of projects related to alcohol use, misuse and abuse by traditional-aged college students,” said Jill Carr, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “She has committed a tremendous amount of time, energy and dedication to this issue.”
Rentner is responsible for obtaining several large federal and state grants that have allowed her and other BGSU health professionals to focus more time and resources on offering students positive alternatives to drinking and more information on the risks and consequences of alcohol consumption, Carr added.
Her dedication to BGSU and the School of Communication Studies has not kept Rentner from being involved in professional organizations. She has been a member of the Public Relations Society of America for over 20 years and is the advisor to the BGSU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which she has helped with the award-winning DEBUNKIFY tobacco myth campaign, as well as the Do It Now BGSU campaign to increase registration of organ donors.
Rentner graduated from BGSU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1982, a master’s degree in mass communication in 1988 and a doctorate in sociology in 1995.
Recognition for Chair/School/Director Leadership
Shrude, who came to BGSU in 1984, has served as chair of the musicology/composition/theory department since 1998. During her tenure, she has greatly expanded the scope of the department, in particular its offerings in contemporary and world music, as well as its interaction with the rest of the University.
A sought-after composer and performer in her own right, Shrude has significantly raised the profile of the department, and the college, by her successful efforts to implement a doctor of musical arts degree in contemporary music, a project she worked toward for more than 20 years. Approved in 2005, the program is now in its third cohort and has attracted international attention.
Shrude has also been instrumental in the creation of an additional new degree for the college—a bachelor of music degree in world music—and has formulated its curriculum as well as overseeing the required accreditation of the master of music in ethnomusicology degree.
In cooperation and collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences, she has expanded music opportunities to the Arts Village and the BG Experience, and has initiated two new instructor positions, in world music and general music. Importantly, she has revamped Music 101 classes from huge sections taught by adjunct faculty to a lecture-plus-small-group format supervised by a tenured faculty member, for a much more intimate learning experience.
In other outreach efforts, she encourages faculty in the department to teach BG Experience classes and has been instrumental in encouraging online courses for music majors and general education in music. She has also further developed the department’s involvement with programs in Florence, Italy, and, most recently, Corfu, Greece.
“Marilyn’s unflagging support of the music/composition/theory faculty and our projects, her recognition of and pride in our accomplishments, and her consistently selfless leadership of the department are much appreciated by her department members and within the College of Musical Arts,” wrote one of her many nominators for the award.
Faculty Mentor Award
Dixon is, in all aspects of University administration, research, teaching and service, “outstanding,” wrote Dr. Lara Lengel Martin, acting chair of interpersonal communication (IPC), in nominating her colleague for the faculty mentor recognition. “In mentoring, however, her effort and expertise go beyond the level of outstanding. Lynda is a mentoring expert.”
She was cited for welcoming new faculty and mentoring them even before they have made the decision to come to Bowling Green, making it clear that “junior faculty were supported and offered assistance to succeed,” according to Dr. Sandra Faulkner, IPC.
Always concerned with faculty’s well-being, both personally and professionally, Dixon is generous in sharing her wealth of experience and information, her nominators agreed. In a department with many junior faculty, her insight and assistance with teaching as well as research is much valued. “In her mentoring of faculty and graduate students, she makes sure we all know what professional standard and performance is expected of us if we are to succeed in this profession,” wrote Dr. Radhika Gajjala, IPC.
As a specialist in intercultural communication, she also offers valuable expertise in pedagogy on difference, race and ethnicity, and has been “an inspiration” for faculty and graduate students of color, Gajjala said.
Dixon has an extensive background in working with graduate students, having been graduate program coordinator for the school’s master’s and Ph.D. programs in interpersonal communication. She was also interim associate dean of the Graduate College in 2001-02. “She has administered her responsibilities with great care,” said Gajjala.
Recognition for Community Involvement
Glann’s 35-year record of achievement as an interpersonal communication faculty member and director of theatre activities at BGSU Firelands, as well as his nearly half-century affiliation with the Huron Playhouse, serve as testimony to his unswerving commitment to the arts in the Firelands region, said Dr. Andrew Kurtz, acting associate dean of engagement and outreach at Firelands.
A BGSU alumnus, Glann returned to the area each summer beginning in 1959 to work at the Huron Playhouse, which is sponsored by the theatre and film department. In 1970 he became a full-time faculty member at BGSU Firelands.
In the mid-1980s, when the future of the playhouse was a real concern, it was Glann’s efforts to reconnect with alumni and his enthusiastic efforts on the program’s behalf that were invaluable, said Dr. Ronald Shields, chair of theatre and film. The playhouse has become highly successful and the longest continuously running summer theatre in the country. “One cannot overemphasize how deeply his personality and love of the program have shaped how the Huron Playhouse has been supported by the Huron community,” according to Shields.
And although he and his wife, Jann Graham Glann, can be credited with the development of one of the nation’s premier summer theatre programs, said Kurtz, “Dr. Glann has always seen the Huron Playhouse as an extension of his commitment to theatre education,” and has used it to expose countless students and community members to the duties and responsibilities of running a summer theatre program.
To Glann, theatre education is “only one aspect of a robust arts and education environment” fostered by the presence of the playhouse. His name is synonymous with arts education in the region, “a point underscored by the outreach efforts he singlehandedly organized during playwright Edward Albee’s visit in 2005,” Kurtz said.