Cameron University faculty members honored with awards

Cameron University faculty members Dr. Brad McCoy, Dr. Edris Montalvo, Dr. Joanni Sailor, Dr. Aubree Walton, Dr. Wendy Whitman Cobb and Dr. Sheila Youngblood have been honored with awards recognizing their contributions to Cameron’s academic community. McCoy received the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, Montalvo was honored with the Faculty Award for Excellence in Service, Sailor received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Student Research, Walton was honored with the Hackler Award for Teaching Excellence, Whitman Cobb received the Bhattacharya Endowed Lectureship for Excellence in Research Award, and Youngblood received the Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching.

Ronna Vanderslice, Vice President for Academic Affairs (left)  congratulates faculty award recipients (l t r) Dr. Aubree Walton,  Dr. Edris Montalvo, Dr. Wendy Whitman Cobb, Dr. Sheila Youngblood, Dr. Joanni Sailor and Dr. Brad McCoy.“Recognizing dedicated faculty members is a joy,” says Dr. Ronna Vanderslice, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “These award recipients share a common goal that is unbounded by academic disciplines; that is, to assist Cameron students in completing their educational goals by providing exceptional learning experiences.”

Dr. Aubree Walton, Associate Professor in the Department of Business, received the 2018-19 Harold and Elizabeth Hackler Award for Teaching Excellence, Cameron’s highest faculty honor. The Hackler Lectureship in Teaching Excellence was established in 1996 by Cameron alumni Harold and Elizabeth Hackler to recognize outstanding contributions by faculty in the lives of Cameron students. Through the endowment, Walton will receive a stipend and a grant for professional development. Her name will be added to the Hackler Award honor roll plaque.

The nomination for Walton cites her as someone who “patiently helps students after class, thoroughly describing concepts and walking students step-by-step through key processes.” The nominator writes that Walton is “always willing to help students master concepts which can be challenging to comprehend. Students leave these mentoring and advisory sessions with more confidence and willingness to work harder in class.

A 1999 CU alumna who subsequently earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, Walton joined the Cameron faculty in 2002.  She is a Certified Public Accountant and is licensed to practice law in Oklahoma.

“My personal approach in both professional and personal relationships is best summarized as ‘the pursuit of excellence in service to others,” Walton says. In a statement of her teaching philosophy, she notes, “I attempt to establish challenging but fair expectations for students. I primarily teach accounting and law courses, and a majority of my students are preparing for service-oriented careers. I encourage students to consider how their dedication to excellence, or lack thereof, influences their profession, clients and community. I attempt to model a dedication to excellence through my own work product, through prompt communication and feedback on student performance, through professional conflict resolution, through my service to the account/law professions, and by fostering an open and respectful learning environment.”

The Bhattacharya Endowed Lectureship for Excellence in Research Award was presented to Dr. Wendy Whitman Cobb, Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences. In the nomination, Whitman-Cobb was cited as “an extremely productive scholar.” The nominator noted Whitman Cobb’s scholarly achievements, including the publication of three books, presentations at numerous conferences, and more. “Related to her own scholarship, Dr. Whitman Cobb brings current research into her classroom to benefit her students,” the nominator wrote. “Dr. Whitman Cobb uses her expertise as a researcher and scholar to mentor and provide enriching educational opportunities for Cameron students...While establishing an impressive publication record here at Cameron, she has also maintained high standards of teaching and service.”

Faculty Excellence Awards were presented to four members of the faculty in recognition of their contributions to Cameron’s academic community.

Dr. Brad McCoy received the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, which recognizes an adjunct faculty member who performs superbly in the classroom. He has served as an adjunct since 2004, teaching courses in several disciples. The nominator cited McCoy’s “sustained passion and excellence,” as well as his “demonstrated competence, enthusiasm and attention to matters that students and the University expect.” McCoy was lauded for embracing every opportune and challenge as it presented and his willingness to teach new courses in areas where Cameron had a need and he has expertise. “Dr. McCoy teaches by truly learning about and engaging each student…(he) excels at knowing his students…He knows students because he is available to students and he cares about students.”

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Service recognizes a faculty member who has applied his/her professional expertise beyond the classroom to advance the university and its constituents. Dr. Edris Montalvo, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences, was honored with the award. The nominator refers to Montalvo as “a stalwart in terms of department and university service,” mentioning Montalvo’s sponsorship of Operation College Kids, his position as Chair Elect and now Chair of Faculty Senate, and his position on the university’s General Education Committee. The nominator also imparts that Montalvo assists Dr. Jennifer Dennis, Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, with research projects. “I wholeheartedly believe that the strength of Cameron University lies in its employees and their commitment to the goal of educating students from every background, every day…I am appreciative that Cameron University has also provided me with opportunities to learn while serving to do my part.”

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Student Research, which recognizes a faculty member who has an excellent, sustained record of mentoring student research and scholarship, was presented to Dr. Joanni Sailor, Associate Professor of Psychology. The nominator noted that Sailor “has been active in teaching Cameron University graduate students how to perform qualitative research.” The quality of research her thesis students have performed under her guidance and mentorship has resulted in publication in peer reviewed journals. “I hold mentoring student research as an important part of not only being a faculty member at Cameron University, but also as part of my contribution to the field of Psychology,” Sailor says. “Mentoring student research allows me to work one-on-one with students and provide individual attention to learning skills that cannot be obtained through any other method in our program. Although I do not mentor large numbers of students at any given time, I believe the mentoring I have provided has had a great impact on these students and their lives. I mentor student research because the opportunities that open up to a student because of the research experience can be life changing.”

The Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching recognizes a full-time faculty member who performs superbly in the classroom. Dr. Sheila Youngblood, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Engineering and Physics, was the recipient. One nominator wrote that Youngblood “is deeply passionate in her teachings and determined to do whatever she can to help her students succeed…She frequently notifies her engineering students of new internships, jobs, scholarships and more as soon as possible.” The nominator continues with, “While she is more than willing to help anyone who asks and is doing their part to help themselves, she doesn’t spoon-feed nor give special treatment. Her dedication is clearly founded in making sure that the students not only do well through their college careers, but excel in the workforce after their degree.” Another nominator wrote, “Dr. Sheila Youngblood’s teaching brings to life the CU mission.”

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April 23, 2019