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Thursday, April 11, 2013 BGSU
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Faculty excellence spotlighted at awards ceremony

Teaching, scholarship, research, mentoring, advising, community involvement — BGSU’s faculty excel on many fronts. Their efforts and achievements were honored yesterday (April 10) at the Faculty Recognition Awards ceremony and reception.

The University’s highest honor for teaching went to Dr. Timothy Murnen, School of Teaching and Learning, who was named the 2013 Master Teacher by the Student Alumni Connection. The award is given to faculty who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their students. Murnen was lauded as a role model for future teachers.

Her formidable scholarship has made her a nationally known figure in the study of family demographics, and she has been a tireless promoter and supporter of other BGSU faculty’s research agendas. The University expressed its regard for Dr. Wendy Manning, sociology, by naming her a Distinguished Research Professor.

Faculty Senate presented four awards.

Dr. John Folkins, communication sciences and disorders, received the Distinguished Service Award for his continuous service to the University, the department and his profession.

Two people received Community Involvement Awards:

  • Dr. Joe Chao, computer science, for his work with students in the University-based Agile Software Factory, designed to provide real-world learning opportunities for students while creating software projects to meet community needs.
  • Kimberly Spallinger, English, for her work with programs that bridge the language and culture gap for international students and community members.

Dr. Victor Odafe, chair of the Department of Natural and Social Sciences at BGSU Firelands, received the Leadership as a Chair/School Director Award for his outstanding management of the wide-ranging department.

In terms of mentoring and advising faculty and students, Dr. Mary Ellen Benedict, Distinguished Teaching Professor of economics and chair of the economics department, is tops, say her nominators. Benedict received both the Faculty Mentor Award, presented by Faculty Senate, and the President’s Award for Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students by Faculty and Staff. A champion for equity, she has helped guide younger faculty, with special attention to women, promoted the research agenda of the department, worked closely with students and developed plans to increase the number of undergraduates majoring in economics.

Also receiving the President’s Award for Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students was Thomas Gorman, an assistant dean and director of advising in the College of Health and Human Services. His tremendous service and commitment to students at BGSU spans over 25 years.

For his work with graduate students, Dr. L. Fleming Fallon, a Distinguished Teaching Professor of public health in the College of Health and Human Services, received the President’s Award for Collaborative Research and Creative Work. The group designed specific health promotion interventions and developed a proposed salary band system for determining the employee cost of medical insurance at BGSU.

Two faculty members were honored with the Elliot L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Basic Research/Creative Work, which recognizes innovative, basic research/creative work conducted by faculty members in collaboration with undergraduate students.

  • Dr. Allie Terry-Fritsch, art history, received the award for her work with student Shawn Lopez on a project at the Smithsonian, an example of how faculty can inspire a passion for research in undergraduates.
  • Dr. Cordula Mora, psychology, worked with Merissa Acerbi, an undergraduate student researcher in the University’s J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind and Behavior, to develop a study that looked at the homing pigeon’s ability to utilize its innate magnetic compass, while trying to understand where in the pigeon’s brain magnetic compass information is processed.

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research honored two faculty members.

Capping an extraordinary period of publishing and national recognition, Dr. Timothy Messer-Kruse, ethnic studies, was presented the Olscamp Research Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements over the previous three years. Messer-Kruse’s groundbreaking revisionist study of the infamous Chicago Haymarket Riot and Trial has put him in the national spotlight both in scholarly and popular media.

In the four short years since receiving her Ph.D. and joining the economics faculty, Dr. Zheng Zeng has already produced a significant body of work, with more in the pipeline. Her achievement and potential were recognized with the Outstanding Young Scholar Award, given to enhance the academic career of junior faculty by providing discretionary funds for the support of future scholarly activities.

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BGSU dances, bikes ‘for the kids’

The BGSU community once again has gone the distance to help sick children. Organized by students, last weekend’s Dance Marathon raised $313,465. Of that total, the Bikes for Tykes ride raised $98,299.

That helped the University surpass $3 million in the amount it has raised for Mercy Children's Hospital over the past 18 years. 

Open forums help inform reaccreditation team

As part of the University's reaccreditation process, a team from the North Central Association Higher Learning Commission will visit the Bowling Green and Firelands campuses next Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16.

The accreditation team would like input from faculty, staff and students and will be hosting a number of public forums. A full schedule can be found here.

Retirement reception, Latino Issue Conference in brief

Bid farewell tomorrow to the faculty and staff of the Social Philosophy and Policy Center on their joint retirement. Next week, the 19th annual Latino Issues Conference will explore the topic of “Refining the Latino/a image in Today’s Society.” Read more In Brief.


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April 11, 2013