Folkins honored for ongoing distinguished service


BOWLING GREEN, O.-As a scholar, faculty member, colleague and administrator, Dr. John Folkins, a professor of communication sciences and disorders, has been a leader at Bowling Green State University for the past 10 years. He was recognized by Faculty Senate with the Distinguished Service Award at the April 10 Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony.

The Distinguished Service Award spotlights the importance of the outstanding continuous service of a dedicated faculty member to the development and enhancement of the University. Folkins received an engraved plaque and $1,000.

Well known nationally for his scholarship and advocacy for people with communication disabilities, Folkins contributed to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act before coming to Bowling Green, noted nominator Dr. Lynn Hewitt, chair of the communication sciences and disorders department.

He brought that sense of leadership to BGSU, where he first served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, addressing the needs of faculty and students. After stepping down from that role, he became CEO of the University's Research Institute (now called the Office of Technology Transfer), fostering the licensing of intellectual property created by BGSU faculty members. This also entailed meeting with external groups and advocating on behalf of BGSU, Hewitt said.

During his time at BGSU, he has participated in wide-ranging committee work from the departmental to the University levels.

"As a department chair, I have very much valued his willingness to serve on committees and offer his years of experience as a resource to the department," Hewitt said, adding he is a strong supporter of student and faculty teaching and research. "This is always done in a collegial and friendly manner, and it is always a pleasure to work with John owing to his tact and his strong support of departmental efforts."

At the University level, he has been a strong presence as chair of Faculty Senate and on numerous committees.

Folkins has also taken a keen interest in student learning and has pursued new knowledge through faculty learning groups at the Center for Teaching and Learning. His involvement in the topic has extended to the national level, and he was invited last year by the Carnegie Institute for Science to participate in a conference on developing skills for the 21st century work force.

Since returning to the BGSU faculty, he has also become re-engaged in service to his discipline. "In addition to serving as a peer reviewer, he has been elected to the steering committee of the Special Interest Group for Higher Education at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), for which he presently serves as associate coordinator," and has been appointed to the ASHA Financial Planning Board, Hewitt wrote.

(Posted April 11, 2013 )