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2010 Provost's Award of Excellence Winners

September 23, 2010


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MACOMB, IL - - Six Western Illinois University faculty members have been named 2010 Provost's Award of Excellence Winners. They will be recognized for their achievements at a 3:30 p.m. reception Wednesday, Oct. 13 in the University Union Lamoine Room.

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (CITR) at WIU organized six-member committees charged with determining excellence in each of the determined areas.

"I'm pleased to present the Provost's Awards of Excellence to the WIU faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves," said Provost Jack Thomas. "I'd like to acknowledge their commitment to students and to the University. Each recipient represents the quality of the educators and staff here at WIU."

Provost's Award of Excellence in Teaching with Technology - John Cooper, professor of music

According to the selection committee, "Dr. Cooper has shown progressive integration of technology into his teaching through innovation in the development of technology enhanced teaching spaces, digital applications for developing music knowledge and skills, and use of the Internet to enable anytime/anyplace opportunities for his students to learn and practice. The integration of technology into his teaching practice includes the delivery of instruction in rich media formats through online technologies including websites, content management systems and mobile devices. His work provides students with hands-on experience in the use of technology to develop music notation and audio content through the use of innovations, such as music engraving, recording and distribution applications. He is currently developing a system to provide immediate assessment feedback from performance exams so students can use the results as an interactive study aid for continuous skill improvement."

Provost's Award for Internationalizing the Campus - Roberta Di Carmine, associate professor, English and journalism

"As a film professor, Di Carmine selects films incorporating global perspectives and supplements them with critical readings providing non-U.S. perspectives on issues including gender relations and politics," the selection committee noted. "Students watch and analyze films from all over the world, thus gaining invaluable insight into daily life and values in these countries. She regularly presents her research at conferences around the world, and she is frequently asked to chair conference panels regarding Italian and European cinema. Her book, 'Cultural and National Identity in Italian Colonial Cinema,' will be released by the Swiss company Peter Lang Publishing. She organized the 2007 WIU Asian Film Festival and arranged screenings for African films during the 2008 African Literature Association Conference hosted by WIU. She has also been actively involved in recruiting international graduate students to the English and journalism department. And as faculty sponsor of the Film Students' Club, Di Carmine offers her expertise and leads discussions on international films."

Provost's Award for Excellence in University/Community Service - William McFarland, professor, counselor education (WIU-Quad Cities campus)

"Professor McFarland's commitment to his department and discipline are evident in the voluminous work of preparing the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) self-study document and work with the visiting team," the committee noted. "The impact of this work is long-standing for the department, and its affirmative reception is reflected in the team's report and its use as a model accreditation plan. His dedication to his profession is evidenced by his sharing his expertise with the Quad Cities community by serving on local boards of directors; increasing awareness of issues relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community; and working as a domestic violence volunteer for Family Services of the Quad Cities."

Provost's Awards of Excellence in Multicultural Teaching - Jo-Ann Morgan, associate professor of African American studies

According to the award committee, "Morgan has shown longstanding dedication to multicultural teaching in her discipline and to diversity across the University and community. She demonstrates excellence in fostering multicultural awareness in all areas of her professional practice, including her teaching focus on the cultural interaction of diverse groups throughout history, development of the African American studies (AAS) lecture series and her public television program, '15 Minutes with Jo-Ann Morgan.' Her efforts in multicultural teaching have led to positive outcomes, such as broadening the AAS curriculum and developing multicultural instruction, mentoring students on diversity-related projects for Undergraduate Research Day, raising awareness of multicultural issues in the campus and Macomb communities and grant writing and award-winning scholarship."

Provost's Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performative/Professional Activities - David Rohall, associate professor, sociology and anthropology

"Rohall is a versatile scholar," the committee noted. "Between August 2006 and July 2009, he contributed to the larger research community through six funded grants yielding more than $100,000, six refereed publications, three book chapters, six conference presentations and the production of book 'Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives,' which is in its second edition and has been widely adopted by many universities. Rohall stated that his mission is to 'make his research relevant to students and officials at the local, regional and national levels,' which he has been successful in doing in his role as director of the Western Survey Research Center, a position he accepted in 2007. Prevailing in competition with other national-level scholars, Rohall received the 2009 Thomas J. Hawkins Visiting Scholar Award from the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point (NY) and the 2007 Charles H. Coates Commemorative Award from the University of Maryland-College Park, given to alumni who make significant contributions in the area of military sociology."

Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching
- James West, associate professor, instructional design and technology (IDT)

"Dr. West's student evaluations are thoroughly impressive, and they confirm that his attention to students matters a great deal," stated the committee. "In his courses, he connects IDT theory to the particular needs and situations of the students, finding ways to make each class work effectively for an array of students with varying backgrounds, abilities and goals. He accomplishes this with inventive pedagogy that emphasizes student collaboration, online technologies, including use of wikis (an online collaborative writing tool), student peer-review and in-class team exercises. Additionally, his commitment to teaching is underscored by his work on curriculum development, particularly the creation of a new minor in IDT. Finally, it is evident that Dr. West's scholarship powerfully and effectively informs his teaching. He has presented his work on collaboration and learning at major conferences, in academic and professional journals, and most impressively, he published a book, co-authored with Margaret L. West, 'Using Wikis for Online Collaboration,' with Jossey-Bass in the JB Online Teaching and Learning Series."


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