FSU Outstanding Faculty Honored with Faculty Achievement Awards

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fairmont State University’s outstanding faculty members were recognized during the Faculty Achievement Reception for their exemplary efforts throughout the academic year.

“Fairmont State truly is set apart by this tremendous faculty. While we can tout an excellent faculty-to-student ratio, as compared to larger institutions, that statistic only becomes meaningful when we consider the quality of our faculty,” said FSU Interim President Maria Rose.

The following faculty members were honored at the event: Dr. Kenneth Millen-Penn, William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence; Dr. Rebecca Giorcelli, The Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award; Dr. G.H. “Budd” Sapp, Excellence in Academic Advising Award; Amanda Beafore, Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Fellow Award; Amanda Beafore and Connie Moore, Regional Service and Engagement/Economic Development Grant; Julie Reneau, Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Grant; Pat Snively, Bob Cable and Dr. Frank Lee, Instructional Improvement Grant.

William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Kenneth Millen-Penn

Dr. Kenneth Millen-Penn, Professor of History, received all of his degrees in the State University of New York (SUNY) higher education system, earning a B.A. in History from Oneonta State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Binghamton University. His doctoral dissertation, titled “From Liberal to Socialist Internationalism: Konni Zilliacus and the League of Nations, 1894-1939,” explored through the eyes of one its civil servants, the rise and fall of the League of Nations during the interwar years.

Prior to joining the faculty at Fairmont State in 1995, he taught history at Binghamton University, as well as Bloomsburg University, Lycoming College and Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. During a leave of absence in 2000-2001, Millen-Penn taught history at the Alabama School of Math and Science, a magnate residence high school in Mobile, Ala., designed to serve students seeking pre-college advanced study in science, math and the humanities.

Millen-Penn has presented numerous papers at professional conferences and has numerous publications in the form of articles, encyclopedia and dictionary entries and book reviews. In 2006, he gave the FSU Presidential Lecture for that year titled, “So Help Me God: American Presidents, Christianity and the American Nation,” which was published in 2007 by the Fairmont State Occasional Papers. Most of Millen-Penn’s research deals with U.S. and European political history.

Since coming to FSU, Millen-Penn has taught numerous history courses, from U.S. and world introductory history courses to upper-level courses in American and world history. He developed courses dealing with the religious views of American presidents, a history of criminal justice in American history, a graduate course in criminal justice in American history, a course on the 1960s, as well as restructuring, revising and teaching the African-American history course.  He, along with now Emeritus Professor and past Boram Award winner Jack Pulsifer, revamped the history major, allowing students to obtain a B.S. as well as B.A. in History thereby providing more opportunities and options for history majors at FSU.

A student nominator wrote that: “He has displayed all of the key attributes for being a successful teacher: devotion to his students, thorough knowledge of  his field, a gentle humor, and a willingness to engage in complex questions, choose a side, and still attribute value to the other side’s opinion.”

Apart from having excellent professors and attending excellent universities as an undergraduate and graduate student, Millen-Penn credits part of his teaching success at FSU to his own family background. Like many students at FSU, Millen-Penn was a first generation college student, having been raised in a working class family, in Binghamton, N.Y. He understands the culture out of which many of FSU’s students come, and he relates his own experiences as a student to theirs, allowing him to better connect with them and influence their education and intellectual experiences.

The Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award

Dr. Rebecca Giorcelli, Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Coordinator of Information Systems, is also a graduate faculty member. She earned her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University.

Prior to joining the faculty at Fairmont State in 2005, she gained more than 10 years of experience in research and development in the field. Positions held include Research Engineer within the Division of Safety Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (1995-2001) and Senior Scientist and Operations Branch Supervisor at the Institute for Scientific Research, Inc. (2001-2005).

Giorcelli was one of the first faculty members within the FSU School of Business to work through the Learning Technologies Center to design and teach online undergraduate courses. She was also instrumental in designing and delivering the Student Projects with Applications in Concept Engineering (SPACE) course, a multi-disciplinary course funded through NASA to expose students to science and technology concepts. As the Information Systems Program Coordinator, Giorcelli has taken the lead to review and revise the program curriculum to better align with industry needs and accreditation criteria. 

Giorcelli has taught a number of different Information Systems courses, including many upper-level courses. She developed an online version of Information Systems 2235 and also teaches a Project Management course in the MBA program.

Giorcelli has been highly active in research since her arrival to FSU and has been awarded more than $525,000 in research grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Title II program. She completed a Faculty Fellowship through NSF in the summer of 2006. She is currently the Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded Advancing Computing Curricula and Expanding Learning Experiences through Re-engineered and Accelerated Technology Education (ACCELERATE) project, a collaborative effort among the computing disciplines at FSU to revise the curricula for the 21st century. Giorcelliis a founding member of the Undergraduate Research Advisory Council (URAC) and has regularly participated as a research reviewer for the Undergraduate Research Program, the NASA Space Grant Scholars Program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program.

She is married to Mark Giorcelli and they have two sons, Trey and Tyler.

Award for Excellence in Academic Advising

Dr. G. H. “Budd”Sapp is a Professor in the School of Education at Fairmont State University. He was a summa cum laude graduate of Fairmont State and its Teacher Education Program. His Master of Science degree and doctoral degree were earned at West Virginia University.

Sapp teaches both undergraduate and graduate professional education courses and his courses are offered as online courses, enhanced courses and face-to-face courses. The courses he instructs include the following: Advanced Educational Psychology, Advanced Human Growth & Development, Secondary Classroom Organization & Practices, Advanced Secondary Classroom Organization & Practices and Online Course Management Strategies. In his tenures a college faculty member, he has been named a Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Teaching Fellow, was awarded the Fairmont State Faculty Achievement Award, was selected as the American Legion College Educator of the Year in West Virginia, was named the recipient of the Fairmont State University William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellenceand has now been selected as the Award of Excellence in Academic Advising.

Sapp began his teaching and coaching career at Fairmont Catholic School. He came to Fairmont State after 17 years of public school teaching experience at North Marion High School, where he taught science, biology, anatomy and physiology, as well as sports medicine and first aid. He coached football, basketball and golf and was also the athletic trainer at North Marion.  In addition, he was the president of Faculty Senate and was the advisor for several co-curricular activities. As a high school teacher, Sapp was named RESA VII Teacher of the Year and was selected Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Sapp has served as an evaluator for several grants including the following: Learning FAST funded by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and CITERA and ExPEDITE funded by the National Science Foundation. He has served as president of the Fairmont State Alumni Association Board of Directors and is also member of the Fairmont State Athletic Association Board of Directors. He has served on numerous school and institutional committees.  Sapp is the chairperson for the Salvation Army advisory board in Marion County, as well as a volunteer and member of a variety of civic and community organizations. He is a Board of Examiners Chairperson for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Sapp is the treasurer for the West Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He is a member of a variety of professional associations and has presented papers at the local, state, national and international levels. In addition, Sapp is the Director of Leadership Marion, which is primarily sponsored by Fairmont State and the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, along with Pierpont Community & Technical College.

He is the son of Marian Meale Sapp and the late Gerald H. (Bud) Sapp. He is married to Robin L. Dalton Sapp and they have two daughters, Brigitte and Brooklyn.

Fairmont StateFoundation, Inc. Fellow Award

Amanda Beafore is an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Coordinator of the Simulation Lab. Following in her mother and grandmother’s path, Beafore became a third generation registered nurse, earning an Associate Degree in Nursing in 2002. While working full-time at Fairmont General Hospital in the Special Care Unit, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from FSU in 2004.

In 1993, the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. initiated and funded a program for faculty development called the Fairmont State Foundation Fellow Program. The Faculty Development Committee recommends one person to be named a Foundation Fellow for the calendar year. The person so named receives a $4,000 stipend.

Beafore’s proposal request was to obtain funding for comprehensive training on the state-of-the-art Simulation Center currently used by the School of Nursing and Allied Health Administration. The training is in addition to that which she has already received and is required through the simulation vendor. Beafore’s teaching strategy is not only timely, but also directed toward improving critical thinking skills and collaborative behaviors of future graduates.

Regional Service and Engagement (RSEED) Grant

Amanda Beafore is an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Coordinator of the Simulation Lab. 

Connie Moore earned a B.S. in Nursing in 1972 and an M.S. in Nursing in 1988 from West Virginia University. Moore served as an Associate Professor/Senior in the School of Nursing and Allied Health Administration at FSU before she began phased retirement in 2009. 

Beafore and Moore applied jointly for a grant to support a new program using the FSU Nursing Simulation Center in collaboration with area hospital pediatric staff. This project will make use of the lab located in Colebank Hall to challenge the healthcare providers with realistic pediatric emergency scenarios without risk to patients, refresh existing and develop new, pediatric management skills, familiarize healthcare providers with simple and effective management plans for the critically ill child and develop crisis resource management skills and improve appreciation of teamwork’s contributions to improving patient care.

Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Grant

Julie Reneau, Temporary Assistant Professor of Education, received her Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University in 1987. She continued her education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, where she received a Master of Education degree with an emphasis in elementary education. She plans to complete a doctorate in special education at West Virginia University in spring 2012. Reneau’s grant proposal was titled “Focusing with the Flip:  Using Video Analysis to Enhance Supervision of Practicum Experiences.”  She was awarded $2,000.

Instructional Improvement Grant

A new grant was offered this year to fund projects with direct instructional benefits. Two proposals from Fairmont State University were selected for funding.

Pat Snively and Bob Cable in the Department of Athletics submitted a proposal requesting instructional materials focused on providing students with access to vital technology. Snively and Cable plan to purchase six training units, which will allow students access to hands-on learning with an Automated External Defibrillator. The training is necessary for students to receive their American Red Cross and American Heart Association certifications.

Dr. Frank Lee, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, submitted a proposal to purchase two Tablet Personal Computers for instructional use. Lee will investigate how Tablet Personal Computers can improve classroom instruction through added accessibility. He will also evaluate and select appropriate and expedient apps for use in the classroom.

Promotion and/or Tenure, Sabbatical and Emeritus Status

The following FSU faculty members have been awarded promotion and/or tenure, sabbatical, and emeritus status:

  • Awarded tenure were T. Jean Engebretson, Rebecca Giorcelli and Jaci Webb-Dempsey.
  • Promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure were Joseph Blankenship, Constance Edwards, Veronica Gallo, Debra Hoag and Richard Pierce.
  • Promoted to professor were Andreas Baur, Denise Kirchoff, Donna Long, Deborah Nestor, Rhonda Sanford and Elizabeth Savage.
  • Awarded Emeritus Status were Gary K. Bennett, Ronald Goodwin, Joan Lawrence, Jeffrey Poland and Rebecca Shaupp.
  • A sabbatical was granted for Deborah Nestor.

About the photo: From left to right are Connie Moore, Dr. G.H. "Budd" Sapp, Amanda Beafore, Julie Reneau, Dr. Frank Lee and Dr. Rebecca Giorcelli.