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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 4, 2013

Booth College recognizes 4 as Dean’s Faculty Award recipients

Dr. Greg Haddock, acting dean of the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth College of Business and Professional Studies at Northwest Missouri State University, has announced the names of three faculty members who are recipients of the Dean's Faculty Award.

Dr. Ben Blackford, assistant professor in the Department of Business, was awarded the Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching; Dr. Naveen Musunuru, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, was honored with the Dean’s Faculty Award for Research; Dr. Deb Toomey, assistant professor in the Department of Business, received the Dean’s Award for Service; and Jacquie Lamer, instructor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media, received the Dean’s Faculty Award for Student Support.

The Dean's Faculty Award program within the Booth College of Business and Professional Studies annually recognizes superior faculty performance in each of four traditional areas of academic responsibility: teaching, research, student support and service. All full-time faculty holding a board-approved appointment at the University are eligible for these awards. Each honoree receives a plaque and a stipend for travel or supply funds.

A sampling of remarks from each award winner’s nomination form appears below.

Northwest will recognize its 2013 Dean’s Faculty Award winners from all three academic colleges during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, on the first floor of the Administration Building. One faculty member is selected from among each academic college’s Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching winners as the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, which also will be announced during the ceremony.

Dr. Ben Blackford

Dr. Ben Blackford, Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching

Blackford has proven himself as an excellent teacher whom students elect to take classes with during any given trimester. He diligently designs his courses to incorporate methodologies that engage students in learning concepts and helps them apply their understanding to hands-on projects. Blackford’s end-of-trimester student evaluations are consistently above the department average, and in the past academic year his average student evaluation was a 3.8, with 4.0 being the best.

Additionally, Blackford taught Freshman Seminar, supervised numerous internships, completed two courses for Quality Matters accreditation, developed a graduate course that has been approved by faculty of Northwest’s Master of Business Administration, and revised a strategy textbook with Dr. Les Digman, the 10th edition of “Strategic Management: Competing in the Global Information Age.”

Blackford demonstrates all the qualities of a devoted teacher who cares about their learning. He works diligently to develop different methodologies to engage his students.

Dr. Naveen Musunuru

Dr. Naveen Musunuru, Dean’s Faculty Award for Research

Musunuru published two journal articles during 2013 and is a member of multiple teams that have secured extramural funding to support research and service activities. He is heavily involved in student research activities and has contributed multiple manuscript reviews for the Regional Business Review and the Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Dr. Deb Toomey

Dr. Deb Toomey, Dean’s Award for Service

Toomey is devoted and works tirelessly as a member of multiple committees, task forces, and roundtable sessions. Her student support is exemplary, and she contributes to the university at all levels.

She served as a faculty senator for the Department of Business and on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. She was charged to chair the Admissions and Advanced Standing Committee. Toomey also served on the Freshman Seminar Curriculum Committee, which was charged with revising the program’s format to help freshmen gain optimum experience in their first year at Northwest.

Toomey participated in the Title IX task force and served as an investigator to decipher how it impacts the University. She serves as a mediator for the Panhellenic Council, which serves as the administrative and governing body of Northwest’s five sororities.

Additionally, Toomey participated on leadership roundtable, the Advisory Committee on Student Advising, Northwest’s rebranding focus group, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) roundtable, the Student Success Task Force and the Earth Day Activity Planning Committee. She was a speaker at Northwest’s Celebration of Excellence and presented two sessions as part of a University professional development series.

Toomey was identified as the lead faculty member in the Booth College to ascertain that the business program continuously meets and exceeds accreditation standards with the Association of Council Business School Program (ACBSP). She attended the ACBSP National and regional conferences to stay abreast of requirements and relevant changes that might impact accreditation.

Toomey is involved in numerous department-level programs including Knacktive, the Logan Foundation Scholarship for MBA students, advising transitioning merchandising majors, advising MBA candidates at Northwest’s Kansas City Center and organizing a trip to VML in Kansas City.

Jacquie Lamer

Jacquie Lamer, Dean’s Faculty Award for Student Support

As advisor to the Advertising Club, AdInk, Lamer participates in regular speaker sessions with working advertising professionals. She coordinates an annual bus trip to Kansas City for the Kansas City Ad Club’s Career Day and coordinates an advertising and multimedia agency tour each spring. She also organized a trip to PlattForm Advertising, an agency that has shown a particular interest in Northwest students. It has become a successful partnership and one rooted in a desire to cross-pollinate our students.

She advises about 30 students who are members of AdInk and assisted them with the organization’s first-ever presentation at the AAF-KC Career Day.

She was nominated for the 2013 Outstanding Organizational Advisor Award for AdInk and a 2013 Tower Service Award.

Lamer also hosts a blog for students interested in jobs and internships related to advertising and internet fields. She makes a concerted effort to stay on top of postings, and she tweets notices to help students receive job or internship announcements in real time.



For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468