University News

Provost's Award of Excellence Winners

November 4, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- Five Western Illinois University faculty members and one academic adviser have been named 2013 Provost's Award of Excellence Winners.

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
James Kenny, professor, Department of Management and Marketing

The selection committee noted: "Dr. Kenny shared with the other contenders for this award the attributes of great teaching: effective engagement in and beyond the classroom. What sets him apart is the transformational effect he has on his students from their first class to entering upon a career path, challenging them to develop their potential at every step of the way. Dr. Kenny's nomination displays a methodical, acute and professional mind. He documents an impressive array of publications showing active engagement in his discipline well beyond WIU. He uses this up-to-date material allied to his contacts within the field in his classes. This, in turn, allows liaison with companies to provide career opportunities to students. His record of job placement serves as the benchmark achievement of his endeavors. The response of one student summed it up when he wrote: 'You are an amazing professor, mentor and friend.'"

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in University/Community Service
Katrina Daytner, professor, Department of Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies

The selection committee said, "Dr. Daytner's record of achievement admirably demonstrates how she has brought her philosophy of service to life. She has provided quality service at every level, from her department and college to the University and her profession. In addition to serving on four departmental committees, she was also a member of college committees and acted as chair of the graduate symposium subcommittee. She has played a significant role on the steering committee of the Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Team from 2009-2011, served on the presidential search committee, and began a term on CAGAS. Dr. Daytner's most significant work has been with Western's First Year Experience program, including her leadership in reviewing the program. This review led to substantive changes in the program to better serve students. She also has contributed to her profession through professional organizations, such as the Midwestern Education Research Association."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performative/Professional Activities
In Lee, professor, Computer Science

According to the selection committee, "Dr. Lee believes that faculty members' research activity 'should be directly linked to their teaching practices to guide students to stay abreast of the latest research and practices in their disciplines.' This philosophy was born out of Dr. Lee's record of scholarship between Aug. 1, 2009 and July 31, 2012. During that period, he published 10 referred articles in a number of professional journals. While the publications were diverse, they were related to his teaching in effective adoption and use of emerging technologies. The articles were published in highly-regarded journals and were widely cited. He also authored one book, edited six books and published chapters in four books during this evaluation period. Dr. Lee presented at local, national and international conferences as well, including five keynote speeches. He has served as an external grant reviewer, and he holds two editor-in-chief positions and is an advisory board member for three international organizations. Dr. Lee is also active in a variety of service activities at the department, college and University level."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in Multicultural Teaching
Alphonso Simpson, professor, Department of African American Studies

The selection committee said, "Dr. Simpson embodies the criteria for excellence in multicultural teaching through his enthusiasm for teaching, engaging students, research and publication in the area of African American and multicultural studies. While always infusing his classes with content, perspectives and various methodologies in multicultural studies, Dr. Simpson also emphasizes the respect for difference. He has co-coordinated, created and delivered a course on race, class and gender as part of the Dealing with Difference Institute. Whether he is teaching in the classroom, working as a mentor or leading the United Voices of Western Inspirational Singers, Dr. Simpson is working toward creating collaborations in all venues. In 2012, he spearheaded and developed a cohort of 10 students for the Annual National Council for Black Studies, and Western's group was the largest cohort of undergraduates selected to present their research projects."

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence in Teaching with Technology
Win Phippen, professor, School of Agriculture

According to the selection committee, "Professor Phippen's philosophy is built on the foundation that the field of agriculture (and related technologies) are changing rapidly. He shows great creativity in creating a total experience in the classroom, the laboratory and the field. His lectures include discussion grounded in exploring agricultural technology in the news, engaging students with real life examples that transfer to the learning environment. In the lab he has developed numerous lessons that provide rich discipline-related experience most of which use the latest industrty technology to perform cloning, gene mapping, gene sequencing and DNA typing. Dr. Phippen enhances the learning experience with trips to leading industry laboratories to provide students with a real-life context where they see the latest technologies in action. His efforts through the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative grant provides students with the latest in lab technology and internship experiences using technology.

Outstanding Academic Adviser
Cheryl Hutchins, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Academic Adviser

According to the committee, "Ms. Hutchins has served as a WIU academic adviser in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences since 2010, carrying a caseload of 284 students. She has the trust of the department in teaching introductory classes and attending special programs involving students, and she receives glowing evaluations from students. Her students have noted her organizational skills and promptness in providing answers, as well as her stellar listening skills. They have also noted that when she meets with a student, that student is her number one priority, and she does all she can to help her students succeed and to feel welcome."

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