This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Northwest Missouri State University

Faculty Awards

College Dean's Awards

The Dean's Faculty Award Program recognizes superior faculty performance in each of the three traditional areas of academic responsibility: teaching, research and service.  Booth College of Business and Professional Studies also recognizes performance in a fourth category, student support. The College of Education and Human Services recognizes faculty for performances in leadership and collaboration.  All full-time faculty holding a board-approved appointment in the University are eligible for the awards.

2013-14 Dean's Award Recipients

Booth College of Business and Professional Studies

Teaching Dr. Ben Blackford Business
Research Dr. Naveen Musunuru Agricultural Sciences
Service Dr. Deb Toomey Business
Student Support Jacquie Lamer Communication and Mass Media

 College of Arts and Sciences

Teaching Dr. Rick Toomey Natural Sciences


Dr. Himadri Chakraborty Natural Sciences
Service Dr. Joel Benson Humanities and Social Sciences

College of Education and Human Services

Teaching Shantel Farnan Professional Education
Innovation Gina McNeese Health and Human Services
Mentoring Dr. Roger Neustadter Behavioral Sciences


Governor's Award for Excellence in Education

The Governor's Award for Excellence in Education is presented annually to an outstanding faculty member from each of Missouri's four-year higher education institutions. Recipients are selected based on several criteria: effective teaching, effective advising, service to the university community, commitment to high standards of excellence, and success in nurturing student achievement. Northwest's winner is announced in the fall and receives the award at a reception in Jefferson City the following spring.

2014 Governor's Award Recipient

The 2014 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching is Dr. Rick Toomey, associate professor of chemistry.  The nomination letter below highlights Dr. Toomey's exemplary work on behalf of students and Northwest:

Dr. Richard Toomey stands out for not only his dedication to his students, but his dedication to his craft. His student evaluations averaged 1.025 (range of 1 to 1.1 old scale) for Spring 2012 and 3.975 (range of 3.9 to 4.0 new scale) for Fall 2012. His student comments were equally outstanding.  Examples of student comments include: 

The instructor made this course enjoyable even though I am terrible at chemistry. He never gave up on me and was very helpful.

He really made me interested in chemistry and I’m now thinking about majoring in it. I feel like I have learned a lot in class and wouldn’t switch it for anything. Thank you for everything!

Always responsive to requests for help, doesn’t give you the answer but walks you through it to find it out on your own. He definitely goes above and beyond.

Thank you for caring about your job and making a potentially boring class very interesting.

Great teacher, made a hard class seem engaging and useful.

Dr. Toomey demonstrated his dedication to the craft of teaching by attending the AVID conference and workshop and then applying the lessons learned to his classroom. He invested a great deal of time in “flipping” his classroom. He has also pioneered the use of the PollEverywhere website to make his classes interactive and he presented on this technique to the Avid Roundtable Group on the use of PollEverywhere in conjunction with a 10-2 teaching approach. The Provost asked Rick to serve on the Student Success Task Force and subsequently Rick co-chaired the Academic Success Sub-Committee. Rick also has chaired the Missouri Academy Faculty Advisory Committee for six years. Rick’s student support activities are a direct reflection of his dedication to his students.

Finally, let me comment on my personal observations of Rick’s interaction with students. Rick often conducts his office hours sitting with students going over lesson materials in the C3 eatery in the center of Garrett Strong. He does not passively sit in his office doing other work—rather he is out, visible and available to students. I can also attest to the time during evenings and just about every weekend that he puts into course preparation and additional instruction for students. I am witness to this as I often work late and on weekends (mostly due to my inefficiency during the week) and he is working after I leave and before I arrive and after I leave on weekends.

We have a lot of great teachers who are totally dedicated to students and I hope we recognize them all over the years. This year I am nominating Rick Toomey as the best of those great teachers.