Rüedi Ray recognized for faculty mentorship

Ray-Art
Katerina Rüedi Ray (center) celebrates her Faculty Senate Faculty Mentor Award with her School of Art colleagues and Provost Joe Whitehead (back left) and President Rodney Rogers (back right) at the 2019 Faculty Excellence Awards.

Dr. Katerina Rüedi Ray, professor of art history, has offered “wise and patient counsel” to numerous faculty members as they’ve established their professional careers. For this guidance, along with her wisdom, professionalism and commitment, Rüedi Ray was honored with the 2019 Faculty Mentor Award on April 16 at the Faculty Excellence Awards.

Presented by Faculty Senate, the Faculty Mentor Award recognizes outstanding professional support of colleagues in the development of teaching, research and service initiatives. Rüedi Ray, who was director of the School of Art from 2002-17, received $1,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Dr. Angela Nelson, associate professor in the Department of Popular Culture and chair and graduate coordinator in the Department of Ethnic Studies, nominated Rüedi Ray for this award.

“I [have admired] her wisdom and professionalism, her constructive ways of discussing difficult issues in the monthly Arts and Sciences’ chairs’ and directors’ meetings, and her commitment to research and scholarship,” Nelson wrote.

In 2016, when Nelson was tasked with asking someone to serve as her writing mentor, she immediately thought of Rüedi Ray.

“Although I knew she was a very busy faculty-administrator, I asked her to be my mentor because I knew she would be great,” Nelson wrote. “Katerina, without hesitation, agreed to serve as my writing mentor. For almost three years, she has helped me on a journey to reclaiming the passion I have for research and writing about African-American popular culture.

“Since my alliance with Katerina, I have published one book chapter, one journal article and have one journal article under review. I am currently writing two journal articles. I give credit to Katerina for walking alongside me as I am finding my ‘research and writing’ self again.”

Charles Kanwischer, School of Art director, had similar praise for Rüedi Ray.

“I’ve directly benefitted from Katerina’s mentorship,” he wrote in support of her nomination. “I was an assistant professor in the process of applying for tenure and promotion when she arrived at BGSU. With her support, I was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and professor in 2010.

“I know firsthand that Katerina’s particular skill as a mentor arises from her remarkable listening ability. Her priority is always to assist candidates in realizing their own agendas. She never imposes her own opinions. Instead, Katerina skillfully transposes insights gained from her distinguished career as an architect and scholar of architecture into lessons useful to faculty across all of our studio and scholarly domains.”

Rüedi Ray’s impact isn’t limited to the School of Art. She has successfully mentored faculty members in architecture, popular culture and Africana studies.

“She’s the most judicious, open-hearted and selfless colleague with whom I’ve worked in nearly 30 years of teaching,” Kanwischer wrote.

Rüedi Ray has been at BGSU since 2002.