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Provost's Award of Excellence Winners

October 8, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Six Western Illinois University faculty members have been named 2012 Provost's Award of Excellence Winners. They will be recognized for their achievements at a reception beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the University Union Lamoine Room. The campus community is invited to attend.

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 Ken Hawkinson. "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 for Academic Excellence in Teaching
Erin N. Taylor, associate professor, Department of Political Science

The selection committee noted: "Taylor writes: 'The underlying goal in all of my courses is fundamentally the same: to prepare my students for their lives as democratic citizens.' Dr. Taylor achieves this goal with a teaching style that is 'centered on student involvement,' and this involvement occurs at every level of undergraduate and graduate learning at Western. Dr. Taylor has taught FYE sections, general education courses, upper-level political science classes for majors, and a graduate course. Her approach to teaching at all levels shows solid pedagogy and innovation. The breadth and quality of her teaching made her a standout candidate for this award. In addition to excellent teaching, she led the overhauling of the assessment of student learning metrics for her department producing better data for the political science faculty. Professor Taylor clearly demonstrates a high level of energy that she injects into her classroom interactions with her students."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in University/Community Service
Jennifer L. McNabb, associate professor, Department of History

The selection committee said, "She has demonstrated a solid commitment to the Western Illinois University and the Macomb community by actively participating in a multitude of committees and organizations. Dr. McNabb has served as the chair of the University Graduate Council and the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines Committee, and has served as an active member of several committees, including the Faculty Senate, University Honors Council, Faculty Orientation Leader, University Research Council and the Laser Printing Costs Committee. Within her department, she has chaired numerous committees and she has served as the faculty adviser for the Associated Students of History. Dr. McNabb has served as an organizational team member and kitchen supervisor for the Wesley United Methodist Church Thanksgiving Meal Service, supervised the Associated Students of History philanthropic activities and is a member of the Fellheimer Board of Trustees. This list is simply the highlights. She exemplifies everything this award stands for."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performative/Professional Activities
Seung Won Yoon, associate professor, Department of Instructional Design and Technology

According to the selection committee, "Dr. Seung Won Yoon is a prolific researcher. During the three-year period under consideration, he was primary author on five articles, second author on five articles, a participating author on five articles and he published three book chapters. Seven of his articles were published in journals that have a 20 percent or less acceptance rate. He has also participated in international, national, regional and local conferences, and his presentations have been selected as one of the top 10 research papers presented at the Academy of Human Resource Development conference twice in the past four years. He supplements his research with service activities, and he is a leader in his professional community. Yoon regularly updates his courses to incorporate new research and technological innovations. His work promotes Western Illinois University in the state, region, nationally and internationally."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in Internationalizing the Campus Douglas A. Druckenmiller, associate professor, School of Computer Science

The selection committee said, "Dr. Druckenmiller has shown a strong interest and enthusiasm for incorporating global perspectives into the classroom. His greatest contribution to internationalizing the campus came through the unique grant funded dual degree program he helped create which sent WIU students and faculty to universities in Sweden and France, and he brought students and faculty from those institutions to both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. This dual degree program brought positive recognition to our institution both in the United States and Europe, and helps demonstrate our institutional commitment to internationalization."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in Teaching with Technology
Paul A. Schlag, associate professor, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration

According to the selection committee, "Professor Schlag strives to use his passion for technology to enhance student educational opportunity, and to foster passion in his students for recreational activities as a means to promote human development. His teaching philosophy is built in part on the idea that students learn with technology, not just from it. Towards this end, students in his classes are immersed in relevant technology contexts that develop skills for understanding the world, accessing and evaluating information, and organizing and presenting knowledge. Towards integrating technology into classroom communication and management, Dr. Schlag employs a wide range of digital tools. One such effort is SchlagNet, a course management site that consolidates communication channels such as Twitter feeds, and course content enhancement such as Delicious web links about additional discipline related topics. This integrative method helps students learn to communicate using tools that reflect current trends in the discipline, and provides a sense of timeliness and immediacy about course topics that provides a galvanizing point for class activity."

Outstanding Academic Adviser
Kelly A. Morris, University Advising and Academic Services Center

According to the committee, "Ms. Morris has served as a WIU academic adviser in the Office of Academic Services for 10 years and during this time has helped numerous students achieve their academic goals. She routinely carries an advising caseload of more than 100 students, all of whom have been admitted under alternative admission standards. She meets with all of her advisees every two weeks, and has taken it upon herself to meet with those students on academic probation weekly in order to improve their academic functioning. Ms. Morris also excels at teaching a section of University 100 to assist these students. Her hard work has made a difference to her advisees, who consistently rate her high on her knowledge about course and degree requirements as well as resources and support services on campus. Her overall evaluations show that she is helpful, easily accessible, knowledgeable and understanding."

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