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News Release

Aug. 22, 2018

Northwest announces Rogers as 2019 Governor’s Award winner, 6 honored as Faculty Excellence Award recipients

Northwest Missouri State University during its opening meetings Wednesday honored six individuals as recipients of its 2018 Faculty Excellence Awards in recognition of their teaching, scholarship and service during the last year.

Continuing the institution’s long-standing tradition of naming one of the honorees as Northwest’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education recipient, the University announced Dr. Michael Rogers, an associate professor in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, will receive the 2019 award next spring. Rogers, who joined the Northwest faculty in the fall of 2009, specializes in teaching computer science education, Internet of Things, app and game development, and 3D printing.

“I am very impressed with the contributions of this year’s recipients of the Faculty Excellence Awards,” Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman said. “These recipients are excellent representatives of our high quality faculty at Northwest. They are exemplary in their fields of study. They contribute to their departments and schools in meaningful service, and they prioritize student learning every day. Through their contributions and role modeling, these six outstanding faculty members make Northwest a better place to learn.”

The Governor’s Award is sponsored by the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education and presented annually to an outstanding faculty member of each of Missouri’s four-year public institutions. Northwest’s recipient is chosen from faculty members who receive the University’s Faculty Excellence Award for teaching.

For the Faculty Excellence Award, one recipient was selected in each of the three categories of teaching, scholarship and service from nominees representing Northwest’s six professional schools, and one recipient was selected in each category from nominees representing the five academic departments comprising the College of Arts and Sciences, for a total of six award winners.

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

The 2018 recipients and a summary of remarks from their nominations are provided below.


Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching

Dr. Michael Rogers, associate professor in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Rogers is respected by faculty and students for his innovation, teaching methodologies, work ethic and investment of time with students outside of class. Based on his research of new technology, knowledge gained from attending national conferences and from relationships with industry professionals, he has implemented bleeding-edge technology in four classes. Students are highly motivated to enroll in his courses, usually filling all available seats.

Outside the classroom, Rogers established a makerspace to provide students hands-on experience with new technology. He also collaborated with colleagues to obtain a Google grant to provide online and face-to-face training and support to K-12 educators teaching computer science concepts.

Dr. Michael Rogers

Brenda Ryan, retired senior instructor in the Department of Language, Literature and Writing

Ryan, who retired last spring, impacted many lives in a positive way during her 28 years of teaching at Northwest. Her global index score on course evaluations submitted last fall and spring were 3.9 and 3.8. Almost all of her classes were Northwest Core courses, in which it is often more difficult to receive high marks. 

Without exception, student comments offered high praise for Ryan’s teaching skills, describing her as “best teacher ever” and “greatest teacher at Northwest,” and another wrote “she had a powerful effect on my life.” Her nominator stated, “Brenda is probably the most gifted teacher that I’ve worked with in my 24 years at Northwest.”

Brenda Ryan

Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship

Dr. Jerry Qin, assistant professor in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Qin had a successful scholarship year, during which he published six peer-reviewed articles. Two articles were published in prestigious journals, and four were published in significant international conference proceedings. His research in the field of security, privacy and machine learning is well-established, based upon the 530 citations for his publications.

In addition to his own publications, Qin contributed to the research community by reviewing 20 papers in 2017. He served as a program committee member for two conferences, as a reviewer on the NSF Networking Technology and Systems proposal panel, and a session chair at an international conference. 

Dr. Jerry Qin

Richard Sonnenmoser, associate professor in the Department of Language, Literature and Writing

Sonnenmoser had a successful year in the category of scholarship, producing four new publications in 2017-18. Three creative nonfiction pieces were published in three different journals. An academic piece titled, “Freedom of the Quad: Academic Integrity, Free Speech, and the Goldwater Institute Model Legislation,” was published in the spring edition of the Journal of Higher Education Management. 

In addition, he has two book-length manuscripts as well as two additional creative nonfiction pieces in circulation that are expected to find publication. 

Richard Sonnenmoser

Faculty Excellence Award for Service and Student Support

Dr. Elyssa Ford, associate professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Ford’s dedication to student success and to the University is evident in several ways. Last year, she provided valuable experiences to students through 13 internships and attendance at conferences. She leads the International Scholarship Committee, whose work resulted in two students receiving Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships and another two who have passed the initial screening. 

Ford sponsors three student organizations, and her role with the Society of Presidential Scholars involves her heavily in Northwest’s annual Celebration of Quality academic symposium. She serves as the regional coordinator for Missouri History Day, which brings 200 public school students to campus. She is a member of the Curriculum and Degree Requirements Committee, which entails a heavy workload, and she serves as a member of two campus advisory boards.

Dr. Elyssa Ford

Dr. Nissa Ingraham, associate professor in the School of Education

Ingraham’s numerous accomplishments show a deep commitment to serving students, colleagues and the University. She was the sole conduit to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for the approval of more than 100 separate certification and licensure areas, and she submitted more than 1,000 documents to ensure all education programs were properly approved. She steered advisors and students through state policy changes and individualized 10 independent study courses to ensure all education majors earned licensure with none having their graduation delayed.

In addition, Ingraham resuscitated a flagging master’s degree, volunteered as the Horace Mann Laboratory School’s Spanish language teacher, and served on several University and School-wide committees.

Dr. Nissa Ingraham


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215