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COEHS 2009-10 Faculty Excellence Award Winners
September 15, 2010
MACOMB, IL -- A few faculty members in Western Illinois University's College of Education and Human Services were recently recognized at the COEHS "Opening of School" reception. Six faculty members were honored for their contributions to WIU and the COEHS. The awards and award winners for the 2009-10 academic year follow, with comments from Lance Ternasky, COEHS associate dean:
Excellence in Teaching Award
James West, associate professor, instructional design and technology (IDT)
"The awards committee was impressed by the variety and number of courses Jim taught. During the review period, he taught eight different courses, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and in multiple formats, including traditional, weekend and online," Ternasky noted. "More important than these considerations, however, were his expectations of the sort of learning that would take place in his classes. His service-learning projects move students into the community and are complemented by the development of coherent practical plans, undergirded by evolving critical thinking skills. He encourages students to capitalize on their strengths, while actively and simultaneously addressing their weaknesses. In addition, his office hours are supplemented by email, instant messaging and social websites, such as Facebook. His availability is assuredly a major factor in the high course evaluations he consistently receives."
Excellence in Internationalizing the Campus Award
Fetene Gebrewold, professor, health sciences
"As a former international student and now a U.S. citizen and educator, Fetene has paid close attention to international higher education issues and ways to internationalize the WIU campus and surrounding communities. In 2009, he received a Rotary Grant for University Teachers that was designed to support teaching in low-income countries. This grant permitted him to travel to Ethiopia to teach public health and to address timely public health issues, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, reproductive wellbeing and child malnutrition. It also enabled him to forge an alliance between WIU and Haramaya University," Ternasky explained. "Just last Fall, he drafted a Memorandum of Understanding agreement for international educational cooperation -- the first of its kind on campus -- between the Board of Trustees of Western Illinois University and Haramaya University. The agreement will permit student and faculty exchanges and promote the University's commitment to internationalization."
Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award
Christine Anderson, assistant professor, special education (which is part of the curriculum and instruction as of Fall 2010)
"Christine's interest in technology is tied to her desire to educate teachers who are comfortable modeling the use of technology in their own classrooms to enhance student participation and performance," Ternasky noted. "To accomplish this, she has strategically explored four areas in order to meet this challenge. She has learned new, and updated her existing, technology skills through professional-development opportunities offered at Western. She has modeled course instruction infused with cutting-edge technology tools. She has required the use of technology in assignments and presentations, and she has provided an abundance of scaffolding through technological supports, such as WesternOnline and other electronic mediums."
Excellence in Multicultural Teaching Award
Holly Nikels, associate professor, counselor education
According to Ternasky, Nikels' work in the AT&T-funded PACERS mentoring and academic support program for at-risk students provides a clear example of her achievements in multicultural education. In 2008, AT&T funded Nikels' proposal for the Rock Island (IL) High School PACERS (Positive Achievement and Creativity Equals Righteous Success) program, "an intensive mentoring, academic and volunteer-based program developed through school and community efforts and Western Illinois University," with a $375,000 contribution.
"This innovative program was designed to help at-risk students attain personal, social and academic success. PACERS provides a longitudinal intervention starting during the freshman year and ending at high school graduation. The 30 students in the program were among the lowest performing in the Rock Island District when they began. Seven made the Rock Island High School academic honor roll this past year," he said.
Excellence in University and Community Service Award
Bill McFarland, associate professor, counselor education
"Bill's service activities are impressive and cover the spectrum of what belongs in such a category. He is actively involved with his community and has, for example, played a key role in the creation of Quad Citians Affirming Diversity (QCAD), a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people and their allies together to build an inclusive community through support, education and advocacy," Ternasky said. "For me, an illustrative indication of his level of engagement can be seen in the department's recent reaccreditation experience. Bill served as point person and principal author of the self-study. The accrediting organization, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), ultimately noted the department met all 258 standards, with no deficiencies, eventually resulting in a maximum eight-year reaccreditation. CACREP was so impressed that auditors requested permission to use the counselor education department's document as a training example for other institutions."
Excellence in Scholarly and Professional Activity Award
Pamela Godt, associate professor, curriculum and instruction
"Pam has been involved in research studying reading, writing and the motivation to learn for the past 30 years. Beginning with recognition of her doctoral dissertation research by the International Reading Association as the 'Outstanding Dissertation of the Year' three decades ago, Pam's work has been consistently held in high regard over the years. She has delivered dozens of presentations -- the venues have ranged from local community groups to international audiences -- and authored several publications during her career. Her work and related recommendations have not only been well-received by teachers in neighboring school districts, but also are valued by professional colleagues, including those who heard her present at the University of Oxford."
The COEHS Awards of Excellence mirror the WIU Provost's Awards of Excellence and are awarded annually.
For more information, contact Dana Moon, director of marketing and community relations in the College of Education and Human Services, at (309) 298-1690 or DM-Moon@wiu.edu.
Posted By: WIU News, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606