June 12, 2007
By Morgan Moore and George Mauzy
Ohio University-Zanesville's Sheida Shirvani and Mark Waters of the Eastern Campus have been named this year's Regional Campus Outstanding Professors.
The award was created to formally recognize faculty members at Ohio University's five regional campuses who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The recipients receive a $3,000 stipend for each of the next two years.
Shirvani, a professor of communication, has taught courses ranging from Fundamentals of Human Communication to Gender and Family Communication in her 20 years with the Zanesville Campus. Known for innovative teaching methods, she is credited with introducing analyses of videotaped speeches by well-known personalities, a technique that since has become a trend in communication classes around the country. Shirvani has served on and chaired several campus and university committees, including OU-Z's Faculty Council.
"I was honestly speechless," Shirvani said of learning she was selected for the award. "I am overwhelmed with the trust and honor that my colleagues have placed on me."
Shirvani founded the Zanesville chapter of Omicron Alpha, an honor society for communications professionals, in 1997. The Ohio Communication Association recognized the chapter in 2006 with its Distinguished Student Organization award.
Shirvani is dedicated to her research, which focuses on gender, culture and technology. Since 1999, she has been published five times in peer-reviewed journals and has two articles set for publication this fall. She has delivered 35 professional presentations, many of which focused on research in intercultural, cross-cultural and gender communication.
Waters, an associate professor of biology, also has demonstrated a deep commitment to teaching and research, integrating the two whenever possible. A faculty member on the Eastern Campus since 1999, he developed the course Biology of Sex Difference, offered only at OU-E. He consistently engages his students in scientific research, and in 2005, two students accompanied him to present at the Fifth World Congress of Herpetology in South Africa.
Waters' work has brought international attention to the Eastern Campus. He acted as a consultant to the BBC natural history unit as it filmed Sir David Attenborough's "Life in Cold Blood," a documentary on reptiles and amphibians that used eastern Ohio as a filming location. Much of Waters' research focuses on snakes, and in 2002, he was awarded a patent for designing a cage to accommodate dangerous animals.
Waters has participated in many aspects of service to the university. He has represented OU-E before the Ohio Board of Regent and to the Ohio University Bicentennial Campaign meetings and Council for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.
"It is a wonderful honor to be nominated and chosen for this award by my peers," Waters said. "Winning this award is humbling, and I am very happy to be recognized for my work. It is especially pleasing because I know there are many suitable winners among the regional campuses."
Shirvani and Waters were chosen by the award selection committee, which includes one faculty member from each of Ohio University's five regional campuses. Each campus may nominate one faculty member for the award.