ATHENS, Ohio (June 12, 2006) -- Ohio University recently awarded the 2005-06 Regional Campus Outstanding Professor Award to two faculty members.
Associate Professor of Communication David Lucas from the Ohio University Southern Campus and Professor of Art Margaret McAdams from the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus were this year's winners.
"Each year we recognize no more than two individuals, and Professors Lucas and McAdams are richly deserving awardees. Both David and Margaret have made strong contributions across the board. We are proud of their accomplishments and pleased to have them among our colleagues," said Charles Bird, vice president for University Outreach and Regional Campuses.
The award, now in its fourth year, was created to formally recognize faculty members at Ohio University's five regional campuses who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Each award recipient receives a $3,000 stipend for the next two years.
Lucas' most noteworthy contribution in the classroom has been his interaction with students beyond the walls. He frequently engages his students in conducting research in his innovative communications classes, examining customs and cultures of groups and countries outside their familiar knowledge base around the world. That ties into his primary interest and work of the qualitative research method folknography, about which he recently published a book that he describes as a guide on how to use the method, "The Handbook of Folknograpy." He defines folknography as a research method that requires interviewing members of a certain socio-cultural or geographic population and then analyzing the themes of the interviews to better understand that demographic population
Lucas developed a new Tier III course in 2002, Cultural Inquiry in Various Contexts, which also ties to folknography. While he has taught numerous communications courses, he has also taught a course in international studies and several in Spanish. Preferring to think of himself as a learning engineer rather than a teacher, his teaching philosophy centers on interactive instruction and learning, the success of which is reflected in his students' positive feedback.
He has taught international courses in Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and Spain and taken students on trips to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam to study diverse cultures.
"I am humbled, but happy to receive this honor," Lucas said. "My efforts as a faculty member at Ohio University have been and will be directed toward my students. I seek to engage them in meaningful learning and also in research. Actually, I found my locus and focus in one of Karen Sandell's teaching colloquiums. I decided that I was a learning engineer. My task is to engineer ways, means, and mediums of learning for each student in each of my courses."
Regarded as a gifted, inspirational, and transformational teacher, McAdams prides herself in the achievements of her students. Her central goal in teaching is to convey to incoming freshmen the vast and dynamic range of art in both concept and aesthetic form. In doing so, she aims to instill a sense of self-confidence in her students. She does not separate her teaching from producing art. Not only does she teach many media, she uses the vast array of media in her own work.
McAdams' teaching accomplishments include more than 20 of her former students now teaching in K-12 public school, several of whom have earned degrees in studio art and Visual Communications from Ohio University, as well as several who have earned degrees from other universities, and a number of former students who have been accepted into a variety of competitive art shows. McAdams has had more than 180 juried and invitational exhibitions and numerous awards, grants, and fellowships.
She credits much of her creative research to her extensive international travels. She has studied and researched art and artifacts in England, France, Italy and China.
"Being a studio art professor, I was particularly honored that my colleagues from diverse disciplines at Chillicothe believed my efforts and accomplishments in teaching, scholarship and service were deserving of a nomination," said McAdams. "Surprise, excitement and gratefulness are only a few of the emotions I felt when learning that I received this distinction. This recognition encourages me to continue to aspire to excellence in teaching art, creative endeavors and service."
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