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TWU Home > Marketing & Communication > News Releases

TWU to recognize faculty at Honors Convocation


 DENTON — Texas Woman’s University will honor eight faculty members in a celebration of excellence Thursday, April 20, during Honors Convocation. Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, located at Oakland and Sawyer streets on TWU’s Denton campus.

TWU faculty receiving recognition are: Dr. Susan Chaney — the Cornaro Award; Dr. Susan Sheriff — the Distinction in Teaching Award; Dr. Carolyn Bednar and Dr. Frances Thompson — the Distinction in Service Award; Dr. Rebecca Estes and Dr. David Rylander — the Mary Mason Lyon Award; Regina Campbell — the Humphries Award; and Dr. Russell Greer — the Distinction in E-Learning Award.

The Cornaro Award — Dr. Susan Chaney

The Cornaro Award recognizes an outstanding faculty member for excellence in teaching, scholarship and achievement. The award is named in honor of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro de la Piscopia, the first woman ever to receive a doctoral degree (University of Padua, 1678).

The 2006 recipient is Dr. Susan Chaney professor of nursing and coordinator of the nursing master’s degree program at the TWU Dallas-Parkland campus.

A TWU alum, Dr. Chaney is credited by her colleagues for the development and success of the Family Nurse Practitioner program at TWU. She is highly regarded by her graduate students, and, as one colleague wrote, “uses a variety of teaching methodologies in the classroom, visits students in the clinical area and spends significant amounts of time mentoring them.”
In addition to her faculty and administrative role, Dr. Chaney is active in the university community through her participation on many TWU committees including the University Review Committee, the University Faculty Grievance Committee and the University Library and Media Services Committee. She also maintains a part-time clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner for Parkland Hospital’s Homeless Outreach Medical Services.

As another colleague wrote, “Susan has a strong desire to give back to her community. She has been a role model not only to her students, but also to her colleagues in the nursing profession. Susan has an unwavering dedication and endless energy to whatever she endeavors, whether it is her clinical rotations, teaching or volunteering in her professional organizations, community and especially to TWU.”

The Distinction in Teaching Award — Dr. Susan Sheriff

The Distinction in Teaching Award is presented to TWU faculty who have distinguished records of teaching and dedication to improving their teaching and the learning of their students.
The 2006 recipient is Dr. Susan Sheriff, associate professor of nursing at the TWU Dallas-Parkland campus.

Dr. Sheriff has taught in the undergraduate and graduate nursing program at TWU for more than 20 years and has been at the forefront in developing online graduate nursing courses. She also was instrumental in creating the simulation laboratory, where TWU undergraduate students experience clinical situations through role play and teaching by graduate students.

Colleagues credit Dr. Sheriff’s “sensitivity to student needs” for her role in developing the pilot project “Student Self Sectioning,” which allows students to select their clinical sections at locations that are convenient to their situation. As a colleague wrote, “It was extremely successful as evidenced by student evaluations rating the process a nine on a scale of 10 and by the reduction of student add/drops at the beginning of the semester from 28 to one.”

The colleague added, “Students consistently evaluate her highly for both her didactic and clinical teaching skills. She makes and extra effort to ensure that all students are progressing and often tutors students who need additional supportive learning activities to succeed.”

Dr. Sheriff is well respected and admired for her teaching skills. As another colleague wrote, “Susan’s most valuable contribution to teaching is her ability to reach and meet the learning needs of the new generation of visual learners. She is a master storyteller and provides a vivid verbal illustration of how to apply concepts she teaches into nursing, and the students are able to visualize the practice scenarios.”

This colleague finished by writing, “Dr. Sheriff is a teacher with the flexibility, intelligence and expertise to provide an excellent role model for the students she influences as well as the faculty who work with her.”

The Distinction in Service Award

The Distinction in Service Award is presented to TWU faculty who are developing distinguished records of service to their component, the university, their professional field of study and/or the community. There are two recipients this year — Dr. Carolyn Bednar and Dr. Frances Thompson.

Dr. Carolyn Bednar

Dr. Bednar is a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. She has served TWU for more than 15 years, and as one colleague noted, she is “truly a scholar and noted teacher and she is most outstanding in the area of service — to the university and the community at large.”

Dr. Bednar has served on more than 30 academic, professional and administrative committees at TWU and been a chair of many of them. For several years she has coordinated the exchange program between TWU students and students from the School of Public Health and Nutrition at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (AUNL) in Monterrey, Mexico. Dr. Bednar has received national recognition from the American Dietetic Association Foundation for her many years of managing this international exchange program.

Dr. Bednar is recognized nationally and at the state level for her excellent research and her leadership skills. Later this spring she will be recognized as the Texas Distinguished Scientist by the Texas Dietetic Association.

Dr. Bednar is extremely dedicated to her students. She is the faculty advisor of the “Nutrition and Food Sciences Graduate Club” and, as one of its student members wrote, “She is very instrumental in helping us find competent presenters for the club owing to the vast contacts that she maintains. She has often helped the group ask questions and moreover asked questions that we students were interested in, exhibiting her ability to think from our perspective.”

A colleague wrote, “Dr. Bednar is tireless in her efforts to maintain a nationally recognized nutrition department and still goes the extra mile to contribute to the university and the community.”

Dr. Frances Thompson

Dr. Thompson is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at TWU. She is the author of numerous publications, including texts focused on activities for mathematics students from elementary school through high school, articles in math education journals and other instructional materials produced for various venues, including state educational agencies.

A colleague wrote, “Dr. Thompson’s expertise in mathematics education is recognized throughout the state and she is frequently asked to consult on relevant mathematics education issues.”
Another colleague said, “Dr. Thompson is an outstanding example for other faculty members and provides the necessary guidance and inspiration for younger members.”

Dr. Thompson’s students also sing her praises. One wrote, “Dr. Thompson introduced me to the concept that students learn differently because of their learning styles. Her desire to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn is her motivation for teaching future teachers methods to reach all learners.” Another former student writes, “Dr. Frances has had a tremendous impact on how I view math. Because of this, it has had a domino effect on the teachers I have influenced and on the students I have taught.”

As one nominator put it, “The positive comments from her students are numerous and consistently refer to her knowledge of mathematics, as well as her patience, kindness and willingness to share her considerable expertise as a teacher and a teacher of teachers.”

The Humphries Award — Regina Campbell

The Humphries Award for Dedication to TWU is presented to faculty who have, through their loyalty and actions, proved to be a model to all and a treasure to TWU. This year’s recipient of the award is Regina Campbell, associate professor of occupational therapy at TWU’s Dallas-Presbyterian campus.

Ms. Campbell is in her 30th year with TWU, having shaped the minds of multiple generations of occupational therapists. In addition to her many years of teaching and other service to TWU, Ms. Campbell has lent her influence to a number of professional organizations, including the Texas Occupational Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association.

One colleague wrote, “Ms. Campbell exhibits boundless energy and unlimited passion in fulfilling her roles which support the quality of education, giving to the community and advancing the recognition and reputation of the TWU School of Occupational Therapy. Reggie has had numerous national and state leadership roles and assumed them with an unswerving commitment.”

Another fellow faculty added, “Through awards and acclamation, Regina Campbell has been identified as a treasure by her students, her community and her profession. We nominate her not only for past accomplishments, but with the certainty that her energies will continue to enrich TWU – her home for 30 years. Her commitment to the university is unfailing. She is our treasure.”

Ms. Campbell’s many awards and honors include The Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award and recognitions of service by the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Texas Occupational Therapy Association. In 1996, she received the high honor of being named a Fellow by the American Occupational Therapy Association, which marks the dedicated elite within the occupational therapy profession. Ms. Campbell also has served as the chairperson of TWU’s Fanny B Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship Advisory Board since 2001.

The Mary Mason Lyon Award

The Mary Mason Lyon Award is presented to faculty members who are developing excellent records of teaching, research and service. Award recipients this year are Dr. Rebecca Estes, assistant professor in the School of Occupational Therapy, and Dr. David Rylander, assistant professor of marketing.

Dr. Rebecca Estes

Dr. Estes began teaching at TWU in 2000. As one nominator wrote, “Since that time she has shown outstanding commitment to teaching, research and service to TWU. She initiated the development of the Center of Assistive Technology (CAT) on the Denton campus. Through the (center), Dr. Estes taught occupational therapy students about the uses and benefits of technology in fostering independence. Furthermore, through the CAT, Dr. Estes developed community contacts that have benefited the university in innumerable ways.”

Colleagues also credit Dr. Estes with developing the Certificate of Occupational Therapy (COTA) to Master’s of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Bridge Program. This program provides a way for practicing occupational therapy assistants to further their careers by obtaining a master’s degree in occupational therapy. A colleague wrote, “Dr. Estes has dedicated huge amounts of energy and time, including on weekends, to design and develop courses and teach the students in this program.”

Dr. Estes also is the co-coordinator of TWU’s Occupational Therapy Ph.D. program. As a colleague notes, “She is providing valuable insight and a wealth of knowledge to a well-respected program.

Dr. Estes has demonstrated a true commitment to teaching at TWU, which goes above and beyond ordinary expectations.”
As one of her students said, “Dr. Estes definitely stands out as an amazing professor. She strives to provide every occupational therapy student with the needed information, skills and clinical reasoning that is required for a successful future.”

Dr. David Rylander

Dr. Rylander came to TWU in 2001 and is an assistant professor of marketing in TWU’s nationally recognized School of Management. One colleague wrote that Dr. Rylander is “endeared by those he teaches.” Proof of this is the fact that the MBA students awarded him their “2005 MBA Professor of the Year” award and the undergraduate students have nominated him for an “Outstanding Faculty Advisor” award during TWU’s Redbud awards for the last several years. Dr. Rylander was named an “Outstanding Faculty Advisor” in 2004.

As a Sam Walton Fellow, Dr. Rylander is a co-sponsor of TWU’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, which has received numerous local, regional and national recognitions through their competitions. Service to the university and community also is important to Dr. Rylander. He served as the chair of the State Employee Charity Campaign (SECC) in 2004 and is willing to help many campus organizations with his ideas and marketing skills.

One colleague notes that Dr. Rylander’s “research is exceptional.” He has received many “best paper awards” and has encouraged fellow faculty and students to work together on research projects. Currently, he is working on a major research project involving the car buying experiences and patterns of women.

Another colleague wrote, “Dr. Rylander is an example of a well rounded professor with teaching, scholarship, research and service. He excels in everything he does and is well liked by faculty, staff and students.”

A former student agrees. He wrote, “Dr. Rylander accepts nothing less than the best from his students. He encourages his students to think critically, to research current marketing practices, to identify new marketing trends and to discover our potential while competing in an increasingly global economy.”

Distinction in E-Learning — Dr. Russell Greer

The Distinction in E-Learning Award is a new award and is presented to faculty who have made distinguished contributions to e-learning through program or curriculum development or teaching. TWU’s first recipient of this award is Dr. Russell Greer, associate professor of English.

Dr. Greer has served TWU since 1996 and is considered a pioneer and expert in developing online courses. He was recently honored as an “Outstanding E-Learning Professor” by the TWU’s Office of Lifelong Learning — a testimony to his dedication and talent as a teacher.

Dr. Greer has developed and taught 12 different courses for 100 percent online delivery and offers online components for 12 other face-to-face courses. One colleague notes, “the teaching materials he creates for students are rich with detailed information and go far to reach students’ different learning styles.”

According to a nominator, Dr. Greer “is the favorite teacher for most of our students, and the student evaluations are proof of the high regard students hold for his teaching.” Students describe his classes as “fun, thought-provoking and challenging” and see him as “brilliant, caring and organized. That his classes fill up before anyone else’s in the department is no surprise to any of his colleagues.”

Dr. Greer is not only lauded for his teaching, but also is a leader in the use of technology. He is a member of the university’s Information Technology Committee and leads his department’s technology committee. He offers workshops to fellow faculty on topics such as plagiarism software and keeps them abreast of the latest available technology. Dr. Greer also is leading the effort in developing an online master of arts in literature. He continues to go above and beyond by contributing to the department’s website and maintaining the Blackboard (TWU’s online degree teaching program) site for English majors, “two services he offers us without being asked.”

One nominator summed it up when she wrote, “He represents all that is excellent about TWU and demonstrates the kind of teaching that we at the university value, online and off.”


For Further Information Contact:

Amanda McKeen Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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