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Sept. 4, 2013
Dr. Charles McAdams, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwest Missouri State University, has announced three faculty members as winners of this year’s Dean's Faculty Awards.
Dr. Richard Toomey, associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences, received the Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching; Dr. Himadri Chakraborty, associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences, received the Dean’s Faculty Award for Research; and Dr. Joel Benson, professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, received the Dean’s Faculty Award for Service.
The Dean's Faculty Award Program recognizes superior faculty performance in each of the three traditional areas of academic responsibility: teaching, research and service. All full-time faculty holding a board-approved appointment at the University are eligible for the awards.
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. Richard Toomey, Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching
Toomey stands out not only for his dedication to students but his dedication to his craft. His student evaluations average 3.975 on Northwest’s 4.0 scale and student comments are equally outstanding.
Toomey has demonstrated his dedication to the craft of teaching by attending the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) conference and workshop and applying the lessons learned to his classroom. He has also pioneered the use of Poll Everywhere, a website designed to make classes more interactive. He presented his technique to an AVID roundtable group.
Toomey serves on the Student Success Task Force and subsequently co-chaired the Academic Success Sub-committee. He has chaired the Missouri Academy Faculty Advisory Committee for six years.
Dr. Himadri Chakraborty, Dean’s Faculty Award for Research
Chakraborty epitomizes how research should involve students and inform teaching. He also demonstrates that researchers at Northwest can be successful in obtaining external funding and be successful in producing significant peer reviewed publications. He has excellent teaching evaluations, and his student support and University service exceed expectations.
In addition to having two articles published, he presented five papers and workshops last year at the American Physical Society 43rd Annual Meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Anaheim, Calif. He also gave lectures at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mandi, the Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in Delhi and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences in Kolkata, India; the American Physical Society Annual March Meeting in Baltimore; and at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, N.J.
Dr. Joel Benson, Dean’s Faculty Award for Service
Benson offers outstanding service to the University and its students in numerous capacities, and he has served the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences beyond the normal call of duty.
Benson has served as the coordinator of the department’s graduate program for many years. He also is active in recruiting for the program, handles applications and supervises graduate assistants in the department. Additionally, he serves the department, and greatly assists the chair, by developing the department’s course schedule and room assignments.
He has continuously served the University with a high level of activity in faculty governance and committee work. Benson served last year as the department representative to Faculty Senate, chaired the Admissions and Advanced Standing Committee, and serves this year as the Faculty Senate president-elect. As a member of the Senate Executive Committee, he regularly articulates the importance of University service by senior faculty and accepts the responsibility of doing so himself by agreeing to serve next year as the Faculty Senate president.
Benson has further served students for more than two decades as a Freshman Seminar instructor and continues to do so by working with Honors Program students in an Honors Freshman Seminar.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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