Faculty award winners (left to right) Dr. Madhu Rao, Dr. Daniel Madigan and Dr. Laura Landry-Meyer

Faculty award winners (left to right) Dr. Madhu Rao, Dr. Daniel Madigan and Dr. Laura Landry-Meyer

Faculty leadership, service and mentoring honored at luncheon

At a time when academic freedom is being challenged across the country, it is especially important to recognize the efforts of faculty whose efforts bespeak the importance of academic contributions to society, Dr. Bob Boughton, chair of Faculty Senate, said at the annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon April 13.

Three outstanding faculty members were honored at the event:

Faculty Mentor Recognition
Faculty regard for Dr. Dan Madigan becomes clear when reading his many nominations for the Faculty Mentor Recognition. His nominators credit him with improving their teaching and encouraging them in their careers, selflessly stepping into the background on collaborative projects. His manner of taking time to listen, carefully considering each situation and offering wise advice without pressure is highly valued.

Madigan, English, is the former director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) and now the interim director of the Scholarship of Engagement office. He has taught at BGSU since 1990.

“Dan’s history as an educator, leader and director of the CTLT, combined with his great people-to-people interaction skills, makes him an incredible networking resource,” wrote Nina Assimakopoulos, musical arts. “His support in providing access to pertinent written information, organizations and people is generous, far-reaching and incredibly valuable.”

At CTLT, he organized workshops for new faculty as well as faculty learning communities. Dr. Hassan Rajaei, computer science, recalls joining a Madigan-led, new-faculty learning community, which he describes as one of his best investments of time at BGSU. But “Dr. Madigan provided special mentorship which went beyond the faculty learning communities. . . . He has provided invaluable consultation, support and guidance which helped me establish my career at BGSU.”

Dr. Andrew Hershberger, School of Art, wrote that Madigan not only co-founded and directed a research and teaching faculty learning community, but also helped the group give presentations and submit journal articles on their experience, always crediting the work to the tenure-track faculty instead of himself. “He is the kind of professor and colleague I aspire to be every day: kind, rigorous, thoughtful, funny and inspirational.”

Recognition for Chair/School/Director Leadership
From non-tenure-track and junior tenure-track faculty to the interim dean of the College of Business Administration, the word on Dr. Madhu Rao is unanimous: He is a model leader, department chair and University community member.

In the seven years since Rao has been chair of the Department of Applied Statistics and Operations Research, he has moved the department forward while fostering a climate of cooperation and accomplishment, according to his nominators.

“What is striking about Madhu as a leader is that he instills in his department members and others around him the values of citizenship, responsibility, productivity and support of others in achieving department, college and University goals,” wrote Dr. Nancy Merritt, interim dean of the college.

Noted for being exceptionally hard working, Rao has led change within the department that has recently resulted in a strongly positive program review, in addition to three successful searches for three tenure-track faculty and three instructors.

“He has been very encouraging to the new faculty and has helped guide them through the various steps necessary to gain tenure and promotion,” a group of faculty nominators wrote.

Rao, who has been with BGSU since 1982, also coordinates closely with the department’s partner programs in mathematics and statistics and computer science, in addition to maintaining ties between alumni and the department.

Under his guidance, the department has become the first in the college to incorporate the scholarship of engagement in faculty tenure and promotion documents, and he has invited others to share the products of his and the faculty’s efforts in that area.

Recognition for Community Involvement
Dr. Laura Landry-Meyer, School of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), brings absolute commitment and considerable professional expertise to helping community organizations that meet the needs of children and families. She also at times brings her own physical labor, her nominators wrote.

A founding board member, first treasurer and currently vice president/president-elect of the Cocoon Shelter for battered women and their children, Landry-Meyer “has contributed in every way to strengthening the shelter,” wrote Michelle Clossick, the shelter director and a former BGSU employee. “She and her family have provided much of the physical labor necessary to get the shelter ready for residents.” She also brought an organizational structure, a development plan, fiscal policies and financial stability, “all in the first year,” Clossick said. Her service as treasurer has been her single greatest accomplishment, bringing the center into compliance with all local, state and national fiscal requirements and achieving credibility “beyond what would have been possible with such limited staffing,” Clossick wrote.

Landry-Meyer helped found and is still a board member of the Ohio Grandparents Coalition, a grassroots organization dedicated to meeting the needs of grandparents and family members raising grandchildren. She also assisted the statewide Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force with developing policy recommendations, which included the creation of a Kinship Navigators program in each county to help caregivers steer through the social services system. “Currently, she is conducting an evaluation on the (Lucas County) kinship navigation program and is mentoring two undergraduate students with this project,” wrote Dr. Deborah Wooldridge, FCS director.

She is also involved with the American Red Cross of Greater Toledo’s Older Adult Outreach Program and is assisting the Adopt America Network from Toledo with two federal grants. Here, too, she is mentoring an undergraduate student in the process, Wooldridge noted.

Landry-Meyer integrates service learning into her course Collaborative Partnerships for Children and Families. Her students have participated in such activities as collecting data for United Way of Toledo’s Community Investment Plan 2006.

“In many ways, Laura’s passion for teaching and impacting the lives of students is similar to her passion for service as they are both about bettering the lives of others,” Clossick observed.

“Dr. Landry-Meyer embraces the concept of community involvement and models behavior for others to learn from as they engage in community outreach, service and engagement,” Wooldridge concluded.
April 17, 2006