Rogers State University recognized nine faculty members for excellence in teaching, service and scholarship during the university’s annual convocation ceremony held Aug. 9.
Dr. Emily Dial-Driver, professor of English, was honored with the Pixley Faculty Award for Excellence, which is the university’s highest honor bestowed on a faculty member. She also won the award in 1998.
All award recipients are selected on the basis of a peer nomination and review process conducted by the RSU Faculty Senate. The Pixley Award is made possible by the Pixley Endowment for Excellence in Education at RSU.
Dial-Driver edited and contributed to several books, including “The Truth of Buffy: Essays on Fiction Illuminating Reality” and “Fantasy Media in the Classroom” that were nationally published. She also has written the “Guide to College Writing” textbook that has been used nationally. She serves as fiction editor for the RSU journal “Cooweescoowee” and serves on the editorial board for “Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry.”
In addition to developing numerous RSU courses in English and humanities, she developed two nationally sold composition telecourses. She previously has been recognized with the faculty service award (2005) and the Oklahoma Leadership Academy Outstanding professor (1999-2000).
Dial-Driver was also recognized with the Gladys L. and Carl G. Herrington Excellence in Scholarship and Research Award in the School of Liberal Arts.
The School of Liberal Arts presented the Gladys L. and Carl G. Herrington Excellence in Teaching Award to Dr. Laura Gray, professor of English. Gray has taught numerous university classes, including teaching/co-teaching classes within other academic departments. Her peers noted she consistently brings the most out of her students, pushing them to develop and demonstrate critical thinking in their writing.
Dr. Kevin Woller, professor of psychology, was recognized with the Gladys L. and Carl G. Herrington Excellence in Service Award for the School of Liberal Arts. Woller has personally led or advised students in the coordination of campus and community activities, including blood drives, numerous charity drives, the “Special Day of Care” for abused women and children and many other activities that have touched the lives of thousands of Oklahomans.
The School of Business and Technology presented the Pfizer Excellence in Teaching to Cliff Layton, assistant professor of applied technology, whose peers say he sets the department’s gold standard for interaction with online students. For his online networking courses, he has been known to make appointments for his students to work with him in the on-campus labs in order to tackle major student questions.
Dr. Joel White, assistant professor of sport management, received the Pfizer Excellence in Scholarship Award in the School of Business and Technology. White has developed new courses and designed the curriculum for the new fitness management option, as well as updated the curriculum for the sport management degree. His research in accreditation standards has been crucial to the development of the recent program revisions. He also has continued his research and submitted articles for publication.
Dr. Massood Saffarian, associate professor of business, was recognized with the Pfizer Excellence in Service Award for the School of Business and Technology. He has provided the university considerable service on departmental and university committees, including the university assessment committee. He also served as program chair of the Oklahoma Accounting Educators Meeting held at RSU and volunteered to repeat as program chair. He also actively works with his student advisees throughout the school year.
The School of Mathematics, Science and Health Sciences presented the Pfizer Excellence in Teaching to Claudia Glass, assistant professor of biology. Her peers note that Glass has the ability to inspire and motivate students to perform at their best, while providing a warm, friendly classroom environment. She ensures her students participate in field trips that supplement their biology lessons and create opportunities for students to network with peers and potential employers.
Dr. Sue Katz Amburn, professor of biology, was recognized with the Pfizer Excellence in Scholarship Award for the School of School of Mathematics, Science and Health Sciences. During the past year, Katz Amburn presented at national and regional conferences, published a book review and co-authored a paper for the “Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education” and served on the advisory board for a microbiology text book.
Clem Ohman, director of the RSU Emergency Medical Services program, received the Pfizer Excellence in Service Award for the School of Mathematics, Science and Health Sciences. Ohman serves as the coordinator for an American Heart Association training site that certifies regional health care professionals. He has worked with state departments to secure RSU as a host site to administer the registry examination to candidates seeking national and state paramedic and emergency medical technician (EMT) certification. He was recently named the Oklahoma Medical Technicians Association’s educator of the year.