BGSU faculty were in the spotlight Oct. 26 at the annual Faculty Recognition Dinner. Awards were presented in several categories, and faculty with at least 15 years of service to the University were honored, along with those who have recently retired.
Two faculty members, Dr. Lawrence J. Daly, history, and Dr. David S. Newman, chemistry, have been with BGSU for 40 years. Another 11 faculty are celebrating their 35th anniversaries at the University. (For a list of all faculty honored, click here.)
Presented were the Master Teacher Award, the Faculty Distinguished Service Award and the President’s Awards for Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students by Faculty and Staff.
Dr. Brett Holden, Chapman Learning Community at Kohl and English, was presented the Master Teacher Award (See related story).
Faculty Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Ronald Lancaster, computer science, received the Faculty Distinguished Service Award. Presented by Faculty Senate, the award carries a $1,000 prize and an engraved plaque.
Dr. Ronald Lancaster
Lancaster’s efforts over the last 30-plus years have enhanced the quality of the educational experience at Bowling Green, according to a group of nominators from computer science. “The environment in which we work has been changed for us all in at least some small way, and often in many ways, by his contributions,” they wrote.
The extent of Lancaster’s influence is vast, his many nominators explained, and impacts both students and faculty. As a member and often chair of numerous committees, from the University Computing Council to the Information Technology Committee, he helped shape the structure of the student computer laboratory facilities, build the structure of the BGUnix interface and develop the telephone and online course-registration systems.
Lancaster developed and maintains the popular Excel spreadsheet used by faculty to record scores for students, and offers training in its use each year. “If you are an administrative staff member in almost any endeavor on campus, the computer interface you use was influenced by Dr. Lancaster when he directed our Project 90 effort to upgrade our administrative systems. That work continues today as Dr. Lancaster continues to play a role in our BG@100 efforts,” his nominators wrote.
“Ron Lancaster’s role as chair of the Project 90 Steering Committee was a massive and all-encompassing one—overseeing the entire project from planning to implementation,” wrote Dr. Christopher Dalton, senior vice president for finance and administration.
Lancaster also helped develop the perpetual academic calendar and the University time grid, served on the North Central Association accreditation committee and played a major role on the Capital Planning Advisory Committee. He has served in many other, nontechnology-related roles at the departmental and University levels.
Lancaster is distinguished by a combination of technical expertise, desire to excel, superb organizational skills, willingness to work hard and “remarkable ability to motivate others,” wrote Dalton.
President’s Awards for Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students by Faculty and Staff
Two advising awards were presented this year, to Dr. Andreas Luescher, of the Architecture/Environmental Design Program in Visual Communication and Technology Education (VCTE), and to the staff of the Advising Center in the College of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Andreas Luescher
Luescher, who received $1,000 as a resource for future advising projects, has been with BGSU since 1999. An energetic advocate on behalf of students, he describes himself as an optimist who by nature takes a long-range view, and encourages students to do the same.
“More than simply shepherding students through the process of course selection, I believe students must be encouraged/challenged to enlarge their horizons sufficiently to enable a perspective which allows for growth, development, understanding and change,” he says, adding that he challenges students’ “biased preconceptions about their academic life.”
Student nominators wrote of Luescher’s enthusiasm and unstinting efforts to transmit to them the work ethic and skills necessary to succeed in the field and to get into graduate programs.
Chin-Ming Chang, a former student of Luescher’s who is now in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote, “After being taught by Luescher and the interchange of ideas with him, I realized what I should do to achieve my goal and challenge my ability. Dr. Luescher also allowed me to gain confidence to move up to the next level and confront the challenge.” Chang describes Luescher as an “optimum adviser.”
Alexandra Sliwinski, another recent graduate of the architecture program, said Luescher helped her put her previously unformulated goals into perspective. “We had countless meetings, both formal and informal, about what I wanted from an education and how I could go about getting everything I desired.”
As Jeremy Davis, another recent graduate, wrote, “Andreas is a true mentor and I have faith that his passion for teaching and advising will continue to push other students to their full potential, as he did to me.”
In addition to his individual work with students, Luescher is the undergraduate appeals officer for VCTE and faculty adviser of the BGSU chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).
One of his missions for his students is to expand the boundaries of small-town life. A founding member of the Toledo Design Center, he provides frequent opportunities for them to engage in projects with others outside Bowling Green to change the urban landscape of northwest Ohio.
He established a relationship between the AIAS chapter at BGSU and its Young Architects Forum, for which he is faculty adviser. He also organized collaborations between the student design chapters at BGSU, including AIAS, the American Society for Interior Design and the American Institute for Graphic Arts. As a result, the number of AIAS members grew from 20 to more than 40 this year.
The health and human services Advising Center is the co-winner of the award and received $1,500 for its advising projects.
Director Matt Webb and staff members Louise Kimpel, academic adviser and nursing coordinator; Nancy Andrade, administrative assistant, and Chris Gebers, secretary, along with advisers Melissa Tag and Mackenzie Wysong, both College Student Personnel graduate students, say they strive to be a “friendly, caring partner for our students as they navigate the academic environment at BGSU.”
The college follows a dual advising model in which advising staff work primarily with first-and second-year students in the areas of career exploration and academic success. Faculty advisers employ their expertise in working with upperclassmen who have chosen a major.
The college implemented mandatory advising for first-year students during 2004-05, a year ahead of the University-wide initiative. “Doing so has strengthened our awareness of each student’s particular concerns and has created an environment where students are more comfortable approaching and working with the staff in our office,” the team wrote.
College of Health and Human Services Advising Center group (from left to right) Matt Webb, director; Chris Gebers, secretary; Amanda Bowling, graduate student in College Student Personnel, and Nancy Andrade, administrative assistant.
Given the competitive nature of some of the college’s programs, effective advising is important to retention and to helping some students find alternate programs where necessary.
Advising Center staff teach two sections of UNIV 100-University Success courses, which they view as an extension of their advising relationship with students. The staff also offers a one-hour course to students on academic probation, geared to providing intensive support to students with low grade-point averages.
Student feedback has been positive. Described by students as “friendly, honest and trustworthy,” the staff, from the director to the secretaries, won praise for their approachability and caring attitude.
“When I first came to BGSU, I thought I would feel very uncomfortable and lost when it came to figuring out my academic pathway. I didn’t feel that way for long, because the very first day of orientation, I met with my academic adviser,” wrote Nicholas Reinmeyer. “From that point on, the task . . . was not difficult at all. . . . The amount of help given to me and the courtesy with which it was given has been incredible for me throughout my college career.”
“Over the past four years, the advisers and staff at the College of Health and Human Services have been a joy to work with,” wrote Gina Ulm. “As a student who plans to further her education past an undergraduate degree toward a doctoral degree in physical therapy, it was important to me to graduate in four years, and the staff . . . made it a point to help me fulfill my goal.”
“It is easy to see they take pride in what they do and it is evident in the work they accomplish and the relationships they build. They are a wonderful asset to my education and experience here at BG,” summed up Kari Harter.