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OHIO honors excellence in faculty research and teaching at recognition ceremony


Thirteen Ohio University faculty were honored for their accomplishments in research and teaching during a recognition ceremony Oct. 26. The event celebrated the 2017 Presidential Research Scholars and the winners and finalists of the Presidential Teacher Award and the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“This evening is really about recognizing the great work that has been done and encouraging others to follow in your footsteps as we collectively work together to better our community, our state, our nation and our world,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis told the audience of faculty, administrators, students and the award recipients’ family members and friends gathered at the Walter Hall Rotunda.

David Descutner, interim executive vice president and provost, noted that Ohio University is fortunate to be home to world-class faculty.

“Your contributions to curriculum, mentorship and scholarship are the very heart and soul of the transformative learning experience we provide at Ohio University,” he said.

Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College, noted that Ohio University has approximately 1,200 full-time faculty, “an amazing collection of highly talented people.”

“It’s all the more remarkable then to consider the accomplishments of the small set of individuals we recognize tonight—individuals who rise to the top of this much larger group, in terms of their performance in the classroom and in their scholarly pursuits,” he said.

Faculty Awards

Ohio University celebrated the 2017 recipients of the Presidential Research Scholars and Presidential Teacher Award and Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recipients and finalists at an event Oct. 26. Photo credit: Evan Leonard/Ohio University.

Five faculty members were recognized as the 2017 recipients of the Presidential Research Scholar awards: Avinash K. Kodi, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Hao Chen, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Daniel Phillips, professor of physics and astronomy; Julie S. Owens, professor of psychology; and Steven W. Evans, professor of psychology.

The awards program recognizes mid-career faculty members who have garnered national and international prominence in research, scholarship and creative activity. Each award recipient will receive $3,000 to be used at the scholar’s discretion as an honorarium or to support research or creative works.

Faculty Awards

OHIO administrators celebrate the 2017 Presidential Research Scholars. From left to right: Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College; Daniel Phillips, professor of physics and astronomy; Steven W. Evans, professor of psychology; David Descutner, interim executive vice president and provost; Avinash K. Kodi, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Julie S. Owens, professor of psychology; Hao Chen, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; M. Duane Nellis, president. Photo credit: Evan Leonard/Ohio University.

Brittany Peterson, associate professor in the School of Communication Studies and the coordinator of e-learning for the Scripps College of Communication, was chosen as the winner of the Presidential Teacher Award. The award is presented to a a full-time, tenured faculty member from one of OHIO’s campuses.

The other finalists for the award were Joann Beningo (Communication Sciences and Disorders), Barbara Mahaffey (Human Services Technology-Chillicothe) and Dusan Sormaz (Industrial and Systems Engineering).

Faculty Awards

Presidential Teacher Award winner Brittany Peterson, associate professor in the School of Communication Studies and the coordinator of e-learning for the Scripps College of Communication, center, with award finalists Joann Beningo (Communication Sciences and Disorders), left, and Dusan Sormaz (Industrial and Systems Engineering), right. Not pictured: Finalist Barbara Mahaffey (Human Services Technology-Chillicothe). Photo credit: Evan Leonard/Ohio University.

Jodie Foster, a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, was named the winner of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to a full-time Group II faculty member from one of OHIO’s campuses.

The other finalists for the award were Rebecca Code (Biomedical Sciences), Pamela Kaylor (Communications-Lancaster) and Leah Sheridan (Biomedical Sciences).

Faculty Awards

From left to right: Finalist Leah Sheridan (Biomedical Sciences), Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching winner Jodie Foster (Biological Sciences), Finalist Rebecca Code (Biomedical Sciences) and Finalist Pamela Kaylor (Communications-Lancaster). Photo credit: Evan Leonard/Ohio University.

Teaching award winners will hold the Presidential Teacher or Provost Teacher for three years and receive $1,000 each year. The selection committees for both awards reviewed portfolios, visited classrooms and conducted interviews of the finalists and their department chairs, school directors, or division coordinators. The criteria include excellence in teaching and meritorious academic pursuits, both inside and outside the classroom.

The event was sponsored by the offices of the Executive Vice President and Provost and Vice President for Research and Creative Activity.