Fairmont State University’s outstanding faculty members were recognized on Wednesday, April 19, during the Recognition of Faculty Achievement luncheon for their exemplary efforts throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.
The event was hosted by the Faculty Development Committee, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Fairmont State Foundation. Funding for the awards and grants is provided by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Fairmont State Foundation.
“I deeply appreciate the Faculty Development Committee’s efforts along with those of Dr. Christina Lavorata’s office to bring us together to celebrate and recognize the great achievements of our faculty. Thanks to the Fairmont State Foundation for funding and support so that our outstanding faculty can be honored. Students choose Fairmont State primarily because of the quality of our academic programs and the faculty in those programs. I know that to you our students always come first,” said FSU President Maria Rose.
The following faculty members were honored at the event: T. Jean Engebretson, William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence; Amanda Metcalf, Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award; Leisa Muto, Faculty Recognition Award; Susan Cato-Chapman, Fairmont State Foundation Fellow Award; Janie Leary, Ashley Shroyer and Amy Sidwell, Fairmont State Foundation Fellow Award; Kimberly Derico, Excellence in Academic Advising Award. Theresa Jones, a member of the Faculty Development Committee, emceed the event.
The following faculty members were promoted to Full Professor: Veronica Gallo, Debra Hoag, Frances Young. The following faculty members were recognized for their promotion to Associate Professor and received Tenure: Leia Bobo, Daniel Eichenbaum, Michael Ransom, Susan Ross, Amy Sidwell, Joshua Smallridge. The following faculty members were honored with Emeriti Status: Joseph Blankenship, James Dunlevy, Sharon Hiltz, Nancy McClure, Maria Rose. The following faculty members were granted sabbaticals: Alexis Hicks, Ashley Shroyer, Phillip Yeager.
The following faculty members were recognized with Years of Service Awards: 20 years, Tia Como, Kenneth Millen-Penn, Ann Shaver; 25 years, Warren Baker, Matthew Scanlon; 30 years, Randall Baker, Roxann Humbert.
“Celebrations such as today’s luncheon truly bring to light the achievements and hard work that the faculty do, and the Foundation is proud to share in your successes by providing awards that will further your work in support of educating our students,” said RJ Gimbl, President of the Fairmont State Foundation. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and donors to the Fairmont State Foundation, we congratulate all of you on your achievements, your dedication to your work and for making Fairmont State University the successful institution that it is today.”
Jean Engebretson, William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence
The William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes full-time faculty at Fairmont State for outstanding achievements, unusual dedication or accomplishments in teaching. Leisa Muto, Assistant Professor in Accounting in the School of Business, presented the award to Dr. Jean Engebretson, Professor of Accounting.
“Dr. Jean Engebretson, or Dr. E as her students call her, has demonstrated this excellence since she was hired in 2008,” Muto said. “Her dedication to teaching extends far beyond the classroom through her annual Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program. Dr. E, along with her students, travel from late January to early April to various locations in four counties. At the VITA sites, students prepare income taxes for free and gain real-world experience, all under the watchful eye of Dr. E. The VITA program, which she organizes and supervises, provides a service to the community and also direct educational benefits to participating students.”
Students and colleagues submitted letters in support of Engebretson’s nomination. One student stated: “Her real-time quizzes expected students to be listening and engaged. Her classes, and her expectations, are the single greatest contribution to my own success.” Another student said, “Dr. E’s courses were far and away my favorite at Fairmont State. They were also the hardest.”
Engebretson thanked the Faculty Development Committee for the honor.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award, particularly because it is an award for teaching,” Engebretson said. “In the last couple of years, we, in the Accounting Department, have spent a lot of time redesigning our classes to make them more interactive. We have also continued to incorporate real-world experiences like VITA into our program. Over the last eight years, we have prepared over 9,000 income tax returns and helped over 4,500 taxpayers in our state. Over 120 Accounting students have participated in the program during that time. Together we have volunteered almost 7,000 hours.”
Amanda Metcalf, Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award
The Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award honors and encourages innovative and distinctive teaching by faculty at Fairmont State. Leisa Muto presented the award to Amanda Metcalf, Associate Professor of Physical Education.
Muto said that Metcalf is outstanding in her efforts to enhance the student experience, and her research-driven approach to course design demonstrates innovation in teaching. She told the story of what she experienced when observing Metcalf’s Performance Based Assessment course as part of the award process. Metcalf used various forms of technology to create a multimodal learning experience.
The class began with a video mashup of a 1989 aerobics championship set to Taylor Swift’s recent hit “Shake It Off.” After the video, the students and observers participated in an online polling quiz with their cell phones. After that PowerPoint was used to establish learning objectives and introduce new information to the students, such as how to calculate target heart rate zone. Then students had to get up, jog in place and take their pulse.
“There was so much happening in this class. There was constant energy and motion, but it was all completely relevant and focused to the topic that day: Heart Rate Monitors in Physical Education. I enjoyed your class. I learned something in your class. You are an outstanding teacher,” Muto told Metcalf.
Leisa Muto, Faculty Recognition Award
The Faculty Recognition award is presented in honor of a faculty member who has demonstrated a sustained, energetic and successful commitment to teaching. Susan Ross, Associate Professor of Physical Education, presented the Faculty Recognition Award to Leisa Muto, Assistant Professor of Accounting in the School of Business. Muto is a Certified Public Accountant and holds multiple degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in Italian studies, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in Latin and a master’s degree in professional accounting.
Muto redesigned her Principles of Accounting I and II courses to reflect a “flipped learning environment” pedagogical model in which there are four main components: a “sticky” syllabus; activity-based learning; the creation and use of videos to flip content of the course; and the use of a student peer mentor.
“I think the words of students and colleagues say a lot about Leisa, and I was glad I had the pleasure to sit in on one of her classes and observe her dynamic personality and interactions with students in the classroom,” Ross said. “She cultivates a motivating learning environment that is focused, yet stress-free, relaxed and student-centered. She treats every student in the class as important and valued. She uses students’ names and gives lots of positive feedback. It was clear that students were actively engaged in a supportive learning environment.”
One of her students stated in a letter of support: “Ms. Muto is one of the best professors at FSU, and I believe she is more than deserving of this award.”
Susan Cato-Chapman, Fairmont State Foundation Fellow Award
Erica Harvey, Professor of Chemistry, presented the Fairmont State Foundation Fellowship ($1,500) to Susan Cato-Chapman, Assistant Professor of Theatre. Cato-Chapman will use her award to finish her teacher certification in the Alexander Technique, a study into the art and science of human design and coordination.
In her proposal, she wrote: “The Alexander Technique is used worldwide to help people move mindfully through life. It shines a light on inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension and is a simple yet powerful approach that offers the opportunity to take charge of one’s own learning and healing process. It is not a series of passive treatments but rather, an active exploration that changes the way one thinks and responds in activity.”
Harvey said that Cato-Chapman made a compelling case for use with musicians, actors, athletes and stressed-out students.
Janie Leary, Ashley Shroyer, Amy Sidwell, Fairmont State Foundation Fellow Award
Erica Harvey, Professor of Chemistry, presented the second Fairmont State Foundation Fellowship ($1,500) to Janie Leary, Assistant Professor of Community Health Education in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance; Amy Sidwell, Associate Professor of Community Health Education; and Ashley Shroyer, Associate Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing.
As a result of this project, students in both programs will experience how lessons from the classroom translate into real-life health promotion initiatives. The team will involve students in the coming year in the design and offering of the second FSU Substance Abuse/Health Relationships Fair, which is making its debut this spring as a partnership between faculty from the Community Health Education and Nursing programs.
Kimberly Derico, Excellence in Academic Advising Award
The Award for Excellence in Academic Advising is presented to honor the demonstrated excellence and commitment that academic advisors play in the education, personal development and success of their advisees. This year’s award winner is Kimberly Derico, Assistant Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing. Derico was nominated by her student Haley Swiger.
“The nomination highlights Professor Derico’s ability to make each student feel important by knowing their names, smiling and greeting students each time she sees them, always checking to ensure that classes and exams are going well, asking them about their personal lives and making sure that they are able to balance those lives with their academics, and taking the time to listen to the responses without interruption,” said Pam Stephens, Coordinator of Academic Advising and the RBA Program, who presented the award.
“Not only does Professor Derico encourage students to do the best that they can, but her advisees feel that she truly cares about them as students and that she wants them to be successful nurses and individuals.”