Monday, May 10, 2010

Ceremony honors faculty for outstanding service and achievement

The University of Illinois Springfield held its annual Faculty Honors and Recognition Reception on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Provost Harry Berman presided over the ceremony honoring faculty members who have received tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emeritus status. Four major awards -- the Pearson Faculty Award, the Spencer Faculty Service Award, Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award and the Faculty Excellence Award -- were also presented.

The Pearson Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Scott Day, associate professor of Educational Leadership. The award recognizes a faculty member who has established a record of teaching excellence and supports his or her continuing development as a teacher and a scholar. The award was established by a gift from Dr. Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.

“Dr. Day exemplifies the commitment to excellence in teaching,” said Ringeisen in presenting the award. “During his tenure, he has taught and developed numerous courses in the field of Educational Leadership. The Department has greatly enlarged its faculty during his tenure as program chair. The Masters degree in Teacher Leadership online program, administered by the Department of Educational Leadership, has become one of the premier online programs of its type in the United States.”

The Spencer Award was given to Ted Mims, professor of Computer Science. Honoring Robert Spencer, founding president of Sangamon State University, this award recognizes faculty who best exemplify the ideal of the “professor-citizen” through public service and service to the academic community.

“Professor Mims exemplifies the high expectations of the public service field and service to the academic community envisioned by Robert Spencer,” said Ringeisen. “He has been the chair of the Computer Science Department for 18 years. The department has flourished under his leadership from 70 to 500 students in 2007. He has remained a mentor for his faculty and an inspiration to the students as the program enjoyed tremendous student growth and faculty expansion.”

Laurel Newman, associate professor of Business Administration was honored with the Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award. The award was established by Burks Oakley II, who helped launch UIS’ online programs. For the past four years, Newman has served as the Director of Online Programs and has taught numerous different courses in the Business Administration Department.

“Her contributions have helped UIS attain an excellent national reputation for excellence in the field of online instruction and learning,” said Ringeisen. “In particular, she is the driving force behind the group known as Community of Practice in E-Learning – COPE-L – an ongoing faculty development seminar. In addition, her teaching evaluations remain at an exceptionally high level.”

The Faculty Excellence Award was given to Carolyn Peck, associate professor of Human Services. This award is given to a senior faculty member who is honored not only for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, but also for serving as a role model and mentor to other faculty.

Peck began her career in 2002 at UIS, teaching courses in the field of Gerontology. She has received numerous letters of appreciation from various state and federal agencies that deal with the aging population for her contributions in this field. Her evaluations are consistently, exceptionally strong, and she uses a host of different teaching techniques for her students including field trips, guest speakers, and other experiential activities.

“Above all, what led to her receiving this award is her thoughtful demeanor, her calming presence in sometimes difficult committee deliberations, and her role as a mentor to new faculty,” said Ringeisen.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were John Barker, Keith Burton, Adriana Crocker, David Larson, Amy McEuen, Donald Morris and Ali Nizamuddin. Will Miller was promoted to the rank of full professor.

Receiving the designation of emeritus faculty were Gary Butler, Deborah McGregor, David O’Gorman, and Annette Van Dyke. Mary Addison-Lamb, Anthony Halter and Greg Reynolds were also recognized for their retirement.

Sabbatical leaves were granted to Leanne Brecklin, Sharon Graf, Xiaoqing Li, Christopher Mooney, Baker Siddiquee and Ryan Williams.

All promotions, tenure, sabbatical leaves, and emeritus status are approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

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