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TWU to honor faculty at Honors Convocation


DENTON — Texas Woman’s University will honor 10 faculty members in a celebration of excellence Thursday, April 19 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. William Cissell — the Cornaro Award; Dr. Junehee Kwon and Dr. Toni Roddey, the Mary Mason Lyon Award; the late Dr. Sterling Smith — the Humphries Award; Dr. Anne Simpson — Distinction in Service; Dr. Nora White — Innovation in Academia; Dr. Jody Oomen-Early — Distinction in E-Learning; and Dr. Ann Malecha — Distinction in Scholarship. Recognition also will be given to Dr. Ron French, professor of kinesiology and TWU’s nominee for the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award; and Dr. Glen Jennings, professor of family sciences and TWU’s nominee for the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

The Cornaro Award — Dr. William Cissell

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 2007 recipient is Dr. William Cissell, professor of health studies.

One of his nominators said Dr. Cissell “is one of the founding fathers of the health education field as it stands today.” He was a member of the task force that established the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, and is listed as one of the “pioneers of health education” in journals and books about the history of the health education field. He often is asked to speak at international and national conferences regarding his contributions to the competency standards for health education. He also is a member of the Health Education Hall of Fame of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Dr. Cissell has directed community programs related to HIV/AIDS and secured millions of dollars in grant funds to develop and implement programs relating to HIV/AIDS prevention.

Dr. Cissell joined the TWU College of Health Sciences in 1989, and served as chair of the health studies department from 1995 to 1998. He will retire from the university in May.

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. Junehee Kwon, associate professor of nutrition and food sciences, and Dr. Toni Roddey, associate professor of physical therapy at the TWU Houston Center.

Dr. Junehee Kwon

Dr. Kwon began teaching at TWU in 2000. Since that time, she has published eight research-based articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has been the author or co-author of more than 20 abstracts presented at national meetings.

In 2006, Dr. Kwon was the recipient of a summer research stipend award funded by the TWU Institute for Women’s Health — Women’s Health Initiative. She was named a TWU Chancellor’s Research Fellow in 2003-04 and again in 2004-05. She served two terms on the TWU Faculty Senate, and has served on several committees within the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

One of her nominators wrote of Dr. Kwon, “Her ability to successfully provide top-quality courses, individualized academic advising and relevant and award-winning research, while also balancing campus-wide, community and familial obligations, has motivated me individually as well as other students.”

Dr. Toni Roddey

Dr. Roddey received her doctorate in physical therapy from TWU in 1999 and joined the faculty at the university’s Houston Center in 2000. Since that time, she has been a leader in physical therapy instruction and research.

Dr. Roddey has an extensive research background in shoulder dysfunctions and currently is working on pioneering new research focusing on lower back pain and the use of the core abdominal muscles to strengthen the back. She has authored or co-authored more than 20 articles in The American Journal of Public Health, The Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy, The Journal of Strength Conditioning Research and others.

One of her nominators wrote, “Dr. Roddey is passionate about challenging her students to a higher level of clinical excellence. She brings enthusiasm and passion to her research and serves as an invaluable resource for other clinicians’ research endeavors as well. Her knowledge and experience are irreplaceable.”

The Humphries Award — Dr. Sterling Smith

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 is the late Dr. Sterling Smith, professor of biology.

In his nearly 30 years at TWU, Dr. Smith worked with all students seeking certification to become science teachers in the public schools. One of those students wrote of Dr. Smith’s guidance, “When things seemed overwhelming, he never failed to help build my confidence with thoughtful words of encouragement.”

Dr. Smith served 14 years on the TWU Faculty Senate and was elected speaker four times. He also served more than 40 years as a leader of the Boy Scouts of America, and served 18 years with the Denton Kiwanis Club. He also held office in the National Society for College Science Teachers, and in the Northeast Region of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.

At the time of his death in a mountain-climbing accident in 2006, Dr. Smith was preparing to serve on the Denton Independent School District Board of Trustees. His seat on the board was filled by his wife, Dr. Jeanetta Smith, who will accept the Humphries Award in his honor.

The Distinction in Service Award — Dr. Anne Simpson

The award for Distinction in Service is presented to a faculty member who has developed an exemplary record of service to one’s component, the university, one’s professional field of study and/or the community. This year’s recipient is Dr. Anne Simpson, associate professor of reading and director of TWU’s Reading Recovery Center.

As director of TWU’s Reading Recovery Center — one of only 22 Reading Recovery Training Centers in the nation — Dr. Simpson assists more than 100 school districts in their implementation of Reading Recovery, an early-intervention program for first-graders who are at risk of failure in learning to read.
She and a team of faculty and staff organize the annual Billie J. Askew Reading Recovery/Early Literacy Institute, which attracts more than 2,000 Reading Recovery educators and early literacy teachers from throughout the United States. Dr. Simpson currently serves as secretary of the Reading Recovery Council of North America, a professional organization with more than 7,500 members in the United States and Canada. She also serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Reading Recovery.

Dr. Simpson also makes many contributions to her community. She regularly volunteers at the Presbyterian Night Shelter and The Samaritan House in Fort Worth, serving meals to the homeless and the sick. She also has provided more than 500 volunteer hours as a tutor to first-graders in the Denton Public Schools since 2002. One of her colleagues speculated that “service” is Dr. Simpson’s middle name.

The Innovation in Academia Award — Dr. Nora White

The award for Innovation in Academia is presented to a faculty member who has influenced the university in a manner that continually contributes to new growth and progress. The 2007 award recipient is Dr. Nora White, associate professor of reading.
Dr. White’s colleagues called her “a woman of vision.” That vision led to the opening of the Center for Qualitative Inquiry, a resource that has proven invaluable for TWU students and faculty alike.

Prior to the center’s opening, access to many of the research tools necessary to collect and analyze qualitative data was limited. Because many of these resources are quite costly, Dr. White wanted to make them available to all student and faculty researchers at the university. The center opened in 2005.

Since that time, it has become a key resource for qualitative researchers at TWU. Faculty throughout the university use the lab for their research and teaching, and more than 100 graduate students have utilized its high-tech tools.

One of her colleagues said the lab “is an outstanding example of how one dedicated educator can make a lasting difference to the academic quality of life.”

The Distinction in E-Learning Award — Dr. Jody Oomen-Early

The award for Distinction in E-Learning is presented to a faculty member who has made distinguished contributions to e-learning through program or curriculum development or teaching. This year’s recipient is Dr. Jody Oomen-Early, assistant professor of health studies.

Since joining the TWU Department of Health Studies in 1999, Dr. Oomen-Early has been a pioneer in developing the department’s online bachelor and graduate health studies programs. Begun in 2001 with only two courses, the online bachelor of health studies program has grown into an outstanding e-learning model that is emulated by other universities throughout the United States.

Dr. Oomen-Early has received consistently high accolades for her online courses and teaching methods. She also helped launch the online master’s of healthstudies program and is working to bring the doctoral health studies program online. Under her leadership, both the online bachelor’s and master’s in health studies programs have grown by an average of 28.3 percent annually. Her research on providing feedback in the virtual classroom recently was accepted for publication in The International Journal of E-Learning.

Many of those who nominated Dr. Oomen-Early for this award were students. One wrote, “Through emails and other correspondence, I felt personally connected as part of the class. Dr. Oomen-Early was able to convey her genuinely warm and caring personality with infectious enthusiasm through a much de-personalized cyberspace.”

The Distinction in Scholarship Award — Dr. Ann Malecha

The award for Distinction in Scholarship is presented to a faculty member who has evidenced a distinguished record of scholarship and dedication to improving knowledge and understanding in their discipline. The 2007 recipient is Dr. Ann Malecha, associate professor of nursing at the TWU Houston Center.

Dr. Malecha began her TWU career as a doctoral nursing student at TWU’s Houston Center, focusing her research efforts on violence against women. Her research continued as a faculty member at TWU. Her recent research extends to studying the national nursing shortage in relationship to the stresses that confront nursing students and nurses in the early years of their career. Under Dr. Malecha’s leadership, this pioneering research project involves 40 nursing students from all TWU campuses.

Dr. Malecha’s work has been published in the Journal of Women’s Health, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, The American Journal of Nursing, Nursing Research, The Journal of The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and numerous other periodicals.

As research director for TWU’s Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing in Houston, Dr. Malecha gives support and expert advice in research design, methods, analysis and manuscript development to nursing students and faculty. As one nominator said, “Dr. Malecha is the type of colleague and professional that all nurses wish to work with. She inspires us to keep striving to reach our highest potential.”


For Further Information Contact:

Karen Garcia
Senior Copywriter
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: kgarcia@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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