Willis Award

Dr. Clyde Willis (center), former dean of the College of Health and Human Services, with Dr. Alexander Goberman (left), communication disorders, and Dr. Jefferson Holcomb, criminal justice, joint winners of this year's Clyde R. Willis Faculty Development Award.


Two faculty members earn Willis Award

For the first time in its three-year history, the Clyde R. Willis Faculty Development Award has two recipients.

Dr. Alexander Goberman, communication disorders, and Dr. Jefferson Holcomb, criminal justice, have been named this year’s winners of the award from the College of Health and Human Services.

The award is named for former health and human services Dean Clyde Willis, who retired in 2002 after 18 years in the position. It is given on the basis of teaching, scholarship and service during the previous year, with emphasis on accomplishments in research and with preference given to junior, probationary faculty whose accomplishments represent significant progress.

Goberman and Holcomb have each made “excellent contributions” to their respective departments, the College of Health and Human Services, BGSU and their professions, according to Dr. Linda Petrosino, the college’s current dean.

“They both are making substantial progress in their academic careers in all areas of teaching, research and service,” she noted, calling them “equally deserving” of the award. “Both are highly sensitive to the needs of students, and each has made contributions to improve the quality of the educational experience of their students.”

Goberman has been at the University since 2000, the same year he earned his Ph.D. in communication sciences from the University of Connecticut. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the same field from that university in 1995 and 1997, respectively.

Since coming to Bowling Green, the licensed speech-language pathologist has led the development of an undergraduate research program in the Department of Communication Disorders. Through the University, he has also received three research development grants. His research interests include acoustic analysis of speech and infant cries, variability in normal speech production, speech production in individuals with Parkinson’s disease and effects of medication on Parkinsonian speech.

Goberman has been the lead author of 10 refereed papers published since 2001 and, during the same period, the lead author or presenter of seven refereed conference presentations. He is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Subcommittee on Motor Speech Disorders and the Northwest Ohio Parkinson’s Disease Foundation board.

Holcomb earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees in criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University, in 1995 and 2000, respectively. His bachelor’s degree in criminology is from Auburn University.

He was an instructor in sociology and criminal justice at BGSU before becoming an assistant professor in 2000. In 2004-05, he was named a Distinguished Faculty Adviser by the University and was a finalist for the Master Teacher Award.

A former probation and parole officer in Florida, Holcomb contributed to the development of BGSU’s master’s degree program in criminal justice and received a grant from the Anderson Foundation for creation of an annual lecture series, the Criminal Justice Forum. Since 2001, he has co-authored two books and three book chapters or monographs, and been the lead author or presenter of 10 refereed conference presentations. He also co-chairs the College of Health and Human Services’ Wood County Hospital Advisory Committee.

Goberman is the second member of the communication disorders faculty to win the Willis Award. Dr. Jeffrey Searl, who has since left BGSU, was the first recipient, in 2003. Last year, the honor went to Dr. Nancy Orel, director of the gerontology program.

August 1, 2005