Wilkes University recognized 14 faculty and staff members at the 2019 Teacher Recognition and Effectiveness Committee (TREC) Awards Ceremony. Nine awards are presented for excellence in teaching and advising. The recipients of this year’s awards are:
Helen Davis, associate professor of English, received the Carpenter Award for Teaching. The award, considered Wilkes’ highest honor for teaching, recognizes an outstanding member of the faculty and includes a $1,000 award and framed certificate. The awardee is nominated by his or her full-time colleagues and must have been a full-time employee for at least three years.
In the letter of nomination, Ellen Newell, assistant professor of psychology, wrote: “Davis exemplifies the Wilkes University mission. She seeks to be an exceptional teacher and has become extremely well known on campus among our students as a teacher who subtly integrates interesting and diverse topics into her English courses to help keep student interest high while simultaneously helping them hone their writing and analytical skills.”
Davis uses diverse and inclusive curricula to foster her students’ abilities to think critically, communicate effectively and engage actively in the world around them. She was awarded the Faculty Advisor Award for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in 2018. She was awarded the inaugural President’s Award for Diversity in 2016. She was awarded the Multicultural Teaching Award for the 2011-2012 academic year, which “celebrates outstanding, creative guidance of students in support of multicultural education.” She also received the “Diversity Leader Faculty Award” from the Wilkes Center for Global Education and Diversity in 2011.
Davis was on the taskforce that created the structure for the Wilkes University Honors Program, serves as the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences representative on the Honors Program Advisory Council and served as Interim Co-Director of the Program for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Other awards and honorees are:
Theresa Rule, office assistant in pharmaceutical sciences, received the Academic Support Award. This award is given to a member of the Wilkes University staff who facilitates classroom or experiential initiatives and learning among students. Academic support is defined as an individual who is not on faculty at Wilkes, but participates in educational offerings including classroom activities, laboratory activities, or coordination of experiential learning opportunities.
Wei Du, assistant professor of electrical engineering, received the Outstanding New Faculty Award. The award recognizes one full-time, non-visiting faculty member in his or her second or third year of full-time teaching at Wilkes University who demonstrates excellence in teaching, advising and service. The awardee is nominated by his or her department chair.
Jonathan Kuiken, assistant professor of global cultures, received the Alumni Mentoring Award. The winner is nominated by alumni to recognize a teacher who continues to mentor students post-graduation.
Linda Winkler, professor of anthropology and global cultures, received the Innovative and Non-Traditional Teaching Award. Students nominate faculty for the award that recognizes a teacher who successfully incorporates innovative or nontraditional strategies into at least one class. Teaching innovation includes effective small group, collaborative methods; advanced use of technology in the classroom; consistent student-centered, interactive classroom experience; engagement in outside-the-classroom learning experiences that enrich student mastery of concepts and theories; and engaging students in joint faculty-student research projects.
Linda Guitierrez, assistant professor of biology, and Yong Zhu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received the Scholarship Award. This is awarded to a faculty member who demonstrates commendable success in the area of research and scholarly activity that influences Wilkes University and its students.
Christopher DeFrancesco, adjunct professor in pharmacy practice, was awarded the Adjunct Faculty Award. The award goes to an adjunct faculty instructor who demonstrates excellence in teaching through innovative practices and forming relationships with students.
Andreea Maierean, assistant professor in political science, was awarded the Multiculturalism Award. The award goes to a faculty member who demonstrates leadership in the advancement of multiculturalism ideals in the classroom.
The Outstanding Advisor Award recognizes one academic advisor from each college who is nominated by students for demonstrating excellence in academic advising based on load, advising philosophy and testimony by advisees. This year’s recipients are:
- Kimberly Ference, associate professor and faculty of practice in pharmacy practice, received the Outstanding Advisor Award for the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy.
- Lisa Kadlec, associate professor of biology, received the Outstanding Advisor Award for the College of Science & Engineering.
- HyeRyeon Lee, assistant professor of hospitality leadership, received the Outstanding Advisor Award for the Sidhu School of Business.
- Ellen Newell, assistant professor of psychology,received the Outstanding Advisor Award for the College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences.
- Joyce Victor, assistant professor and director of undergraduate nursing, received the Outstanding Advisor Award for the Passan School of Nursing.