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Faculty/Staff Spotlight

Sept. 8, 2016

15 faculty members honored with Dean’s Faculty Awards

Northwest Missouri State University has announced 15 faculty members as recipients of its 2016 Dean’s Faculty Awards in recognition of their teaching, collaboration, research and service achievements during the last year.

Recipients of the Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching are now eligible to become Northwest’s 2017 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education. Northwest will announce its recipient of the Governor’s Award during a program at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.

Northwest Faculty Senate President Dr. Sue Myllykangus, the University’s 2015 Governor’s Award winner, announced the latest class of Dean’s Faculty Award winners with Dr. Mike Steiner, Northwest’s associate provost of undergraduate studies and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Greg Haddock, associate provost of graduate studies and special programs, Aug. 24 during the University’s faculty meeting.

Continuing a long-standing tradition for at least one more year, the Dean’s Faculty Award recipients were selected to represent each of Northwest’s three academic colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and Human Services, and the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth College of Business and Professional Studies.

The College of Education and Human Services and the Booth College, however, were dissolved at the conclusion of the 2015-16 academic year as part of an academic restructuring that launched professional schools in the place of the former academic colleges. While the new structure implemented this fall retains the College of Arts and Sciences, it now includes six professional schools focused on agricultural science, business, communication and mass media, computer science and information systems, education, and health science and wellness. 

All full-time faculty holding a Board of Regents-approved appointment at the University are eligible for Dean’s Faculty Awards.

The 2016 recipients and a summary of remarks from their nomination forms are provided below.

College of Education and Human Services

Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching: Dr. Jerrold Barnett

Graduate and undergraduate student comments consistently reflect that Barnett’s course materials are relevant and current, while his courses are rigorous, interesting and engaging. He revises lectures, assignments and exams for every course each trimester to reflect the most recent research, and he has “flipped” all of his graduate courses, requiring additional reading and preparation by students prior to class each week. 

“Dr. Barnett not only loves what he does, but he encouraged us and made us appreciate what we were learning,” one student said. “He not only gave us a broad knowledge of educational psychology, but kept us up-to-date with current topics and events in education.”

Barnett is a professor in the School of Health Science and Wellness and joined the Northwest faculty in 1983. He teaches courses that include educational psychology, cognitive psychology and research methods in school counseling.

Dr. Jerrold Barnett

Dean’s Faculty Award for Collaboration: Dr. Victoria Seeger

Seeger accepted the task of coordinating Northwest’s bachelor’s degree completion programs in elementary education and special education at Northwest-Kansas City, and she is a champion for students enrolled in the programs. She helped organize the program, recruit students and collaborate with faculty to ensure the program is a quality one.

She has shown persistence and dedication toward launching and sustaining the programs. She remains connected to students on Northwest’s Maryville campus, including her campus advisees with whom she meets regularly.

An assistant professor, Seeger joined the Northwest faculty in 2014 and teaches elementary education courses in the School of Education.

Dr. Victoria Seeger

Dean’s Faculty Award for Innovation: Dr. Sue Wood

Wood works tirelessly ad unselfishly to bring about change and improvements in the field of education. Most recently, she spearheaded a collaboration to redesign education programs at Northwest.

She is well-read and attends conferences to stay current on issues and best practices, and she seeks out professionals in the field to provide expertise and models. Wood has the vision for facilitating change, and she knows how to effectively bring people together for a common cause.

Wood is an assistant professor in the School of Education and joined the Northwest faculty in 2013.


Dr. Sue Wood

Booth College of Business and Professional Studies

Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching: Dr. Tiebing Shi

Shi uses an innovative teaching methodology that engages his students in the application of the concepts they learn. He uses stories and video clips to illustrate how professional companies apply theories, frameworks, concepts or models to solve business problems. A team-based, major course project affords students the opportunity to apply what they learn during their coursework to solve realistic business problems.

In addition, Shi employs teamwork-boosting assignments by forming teams of students and having each team create a team name that reflects their personality, values and ambitions. The exercise has students engaging in team-based competition that induces stronger intentions for students to contribute to their team’s tasks. Students’ contributions to the team exercise also improve their individual performance in the classroom.

Shi, an assistant professor in the School of Business, joined the Northwest faculty in 2010. He teaches courses in advertising and promotion, consumer behavior, marketing management, and international marketing and business.

Dr. Tiebing Shi

Dean’s Faculty Award for Research: Dr. Casey Abington    

Abington has an active research agenda that has resulted in publications and presentations of her work.

During the last academic year, one of her articles was published in the International Journal of Economic Research. Additionally, she attended the Missouri Valley Economics Association Annual Meeting where she served as a discussant for two paper presentation sessions. She also reviewed an article submitted to the Regional Business Review.

Abington attended regional and national meetings of the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and was lead faculty on the ACBSP Spring 2016 Quality Assurance Report.

Abington is an assistant professor in the School of Business and joined the Northwest faculty in 2010. She teaches courses in economics and financial management.

Dr. Casey Abington

Dr. Joy Daggs Dr. Bayo Joachim Dr. John Katsion Brian Swafford Dr. David Shadinger Dr. Nathan Wilson

Dean’s Faculty Award for Service: Dr. Joy Daggs, Dr. Bayo Joachim, Dr. John Katsion, Brian Swafford, Dr. David Shadinger and Dr. Nathan Wilson

The collection of faculty members in the School of Communication and Mass Media were tasked with developing an online, competency-based master’s degree in strategic communication.

The effort required them to learn a completely different style of assessment, delivery and engagement. Additionally, the curriculum is a hybrid of many areas, which requires the efforts of all of the participating faculty.

The program was been built from the ground-up and will be a model for competency-based education for public institutions throughout the nation.

Dean’s Faculty Award for Student Support: Allison Hoffmann

Hoffmann led several new initiatives focused on student success and retention for the School of Business last year.

She coordinated the School of Business’ living and academic learning community, which included providing co-curricular opportunities for students. She also implemented sections profession-based essentials and experience for students in the living and learning academic community.

Hoffmann served as academic advisor for 175 undergraduate students in the School of Business and is one of the most proactive advisors when it comes to identifying students who are struggling with their academic performance.

Hoffmann advises Northwest’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, Delta Mu Delta, the Sigma Kappa sorority and the Sigma Society service organization. She supports students across campus in her role as the director of University Seminar.

Allison Hoffmann

College of Arts and Science

Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching: Dr. Stuart Robinson

Robinson’s creative and collaborative approaches to teaching art education include collaborating with the School of Agriculture’s R.T. Wright Farm to shear sheep and process and spin raw wool for use in his design with fibers course. His students collaborated with sculpture students and faculty in the presentation of papermaking workshops. He collaborated with Maryville High School and Maryville Middle School, as well as Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School, to create field experiences for students. He teamed with a faculty member in the School of Education to develop a long-term visual literacy project to produce integrated lessons for elementary students and use art to explore common core standards.

Robinson has been instrumental in leading Northwest's art program to revise its curriculum to meet changing certification requirements at the state level. He also has been selected to be the higher education representative member of a statewide commission to explore issues in teaching and learning in art, the Missouri Art Education Association, where he has presented workshops on his teaching collaborations.

Additionally, Robinson has developed a partnership with the Maryville Public Art Committee and serves on its board.

He is an assistant professor in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and joined the Northwest faculty in 2014. He teaches courses focused on art education.

Dr. Stuart Robinson

Dean’s Faculty Award for Research: Dr. Ming Chih Hung

During the last six years, Hung has published six articles in refereed journals, including three in the last year. He also has completed three book reviews, two official reports to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and one report to the Formosat-2 Image Application and Distribution Center at Taiwan University. During the last six years, he has completed 35 presentations at professional conferences throughout the world with three of his papers included in the conference proceedings.  In this past year alone, Hung has presented six academic papers at local, national and international conferences from Taipei to Tampa. His papers include application of geographic information systems (GIS) in multiple arenas and pedagogical questions for the best practices in teaching.

Hung also uses his scholarship and professional development to advance the educational experience of students. He has been active in the redesign of the geography/GIS program in addition to his work with Northwest’s GIS master’s degree program. His continued scholarship has enabled him to provide expert mentorship for 23 completed master’s theses while supervising a number of undergraduate research projects.

Hung is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and joined the Northwest faculty in 2003. He teaches traditional and online geography courses.

Dr. Ming Chih Hung

Dean’s Faculty Award for Service: Dr. Richard Sonnenmoser         

Sonnenmoser serves on Department of Language, Literature and Writing’s Academic Advisory Committee, the Creative Writing Committee, the Executive Committee and the Graduate Committee in addition to serving as the department’s assistant chair. He also contributed to proposals for new bachelor’s degrees in writing and creative writing.

Sonnenmoser serves on Northwest’s Academic Appeals committee, sitting in on numerous difficult student appeals cases and volunteering to serve as chair of an Academic Appeals subcommittee charged with revising Northwest’s academic dishonesty policy. Sonnenmoser organized the subcommittee for initial input, generating a survey to gauge faculty views about the current policy, gathering and compiling data regarding academic dishonesty charges across departments during a five-year period, researching academic dishonesty policies and processes from a variety of universities, and finally writing the proposal itself. The proposal offers sweeping changes to the University’s academic dishonesty policies and processes to strengthen the culture of academic integrity at Northwest.

At an academic department level, Sonnenmoser has been heavily involved in proposing new language, literature and writing programs; department recruitment processes; retention of language, literature and writing majors; and the establishment of events such as first-year student book group readings, a poetry and fiction reading featuring Northwest faculty members, and the inaugural Northwest Day of Writing.

He is an associate professor and joined the Northwest faculty in 2008. He teaches a variety of writing and publishing courses.

Dr. Richard Sonnenmoser

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