Seven Wilkes University faculty and staff members were honored for their work teaching and advising students at the annual TREC Awards Ceremony. The awards are presented by the university’s Teaching Recognition and Effectiveness Committee (TREC). The following were honored:
- Carpenter Award: Jon Ference, associate professor of pharmacy practice, and Gina Zanolini Morrison, associate professor of the division of global history and languages, received the Carpenter Award. The award, the highest teaching award at Wilkes University, recognizes outstanding teaching by full-time faculty members who have taught at the university for at least three years. Ference has been at Wilkes for six years and Morrison has been at Wilkes for 18.
Ference teaches in the areas of cardiovascular therapeutics, women’s health and Information Mastery. He also coordinates the pharmaceutical care lab clinical skills series, and serves as the director of pharmacotherapy education at the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education – Family Medicine Residency Program, where he also provides patient care in the hospital, outpatient clinic and nursing homes.
Morrison teaches in the division of global history and languages. She taught multicultural education for 10 years in the education department and is now helping to prepare students pursuing the doctorate in educational leadership degree, teaching courses in leadership, diversity and societal change and qualitative research methods, among others.
- Outstanding New Faculty: Chris Henkels, assistant professor of chemistry, received the Outstanding New Faculty Award. The award recognizes one new tenure-track faculty member who demonstrates outstanding initiatives in the classroom as well as excellence in teaching, advising and potential for leadership on campus. Henkels has been at Wilkes for three years. He teaches general chemistry and biochemistry lecture and laboratory courses, and continues his post-doctoral research program.
- Academic Support Award: Dina Udomsak, assistant director and instructor in the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business & Leadership, received the Academic Support Award. The award recognizes full-time, non-faculty support personnel who facilitate classroom or experiential initiatives and learning among students, demonstrating leadership and initiative in educational experiences in the process. Udomsak has been at Wilkes for eight years. She teaches the personal and professional development (PPD) class in the school of business.
- Outstanding Advisor Award: Debra Chapman, biology education specialist, received the Outstanding Advisor Award. The award recognizes academic advisors who demonstrate excellence in academic advising based on workload, philosophy and testimony by advisees. Chapman has been at Wilkes for 33 years. Chapman encourages enthusiasm for science in her students with hands-on learning labs and guest speakers in the classroom. Beyond the classroom, Chapman has created collaborative programs with area elementary schools, allowing Wilkes students the unique opportunity to teach children basic science principles.
- Interdisciplinary Award: Abas Sabouni, assistant professor of electrical engineering, received the Interdisciplinary Award. The award recognizes teachers who demonstrate the advancement of interdisciplinary learning through course pairing, team teaching or course projects. Sabouni has been at Wilkes for one year. He has had success at an early stage in his career at Wilkes for his engagement in different interdisciplinary projects across Wilkes departments, and developing interdisciplinary courses as well as cross-disciplinary team teaching during fall and spring 2013-2014.
- Innovative and Nontraditional Teaching: Dorinda McHenry, adjunct instructor of education, received the Innovative and Nontraditional Teaching Award. The award recognizes teachers who successfully incorporate innovative or nontraditional strategies in at least one class. McHenry has been at Wilkes for six years.