Cameron University faculty members Dr. Susmita Hazra, Dr. Jarred Kelsey, Doris Lambert, Dr. Dana Lee, Dr. John K. Masters and Dr. Ann Nalley have been honored with awards recognizing their contributions to Cameron’s academic community.
Dr. John K. Masters, associate professor in the Department of Business, is the recipient of the 2021-22 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.
The nominator noted that Masters “is an engaging instructor, fostering positive, supportive and challenging learning environments within all of his business and management courses.” He was also cited as having a very innovative teaching approach through the development of authentic and current case projects.
In a statement describing his teaching philosophy, Masters noted that he developed his teaching style by observing his own teachers, stating, “learning comes, in part, from making the topics come alive for the students.” Masters stated that he is proudest of the high-impact learning experiences he has developed while at Cameron, citing his role as coach for CU’s Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team. “I believe participation on this team has had a life-changing impact for many of our students as they have discovered that they can compete with anyone they meet,” Masters wrote.
He also noted his creation of the Business Case Competition, calling it “one of the most valuable learning experiences available to our students. It provides an opportunity for the students to bring their learning to life and to see how it will apply in their careers.”
Masters also touched on assessing student learning, saying, “Preparing, delivering and assessing student learning all play a role in promoting learning. Doing them well requires of me the same things I ask of my students: work outside the classroom and hard thinking. Teaching and learning are both hard work, but they sure can be fun.”
Dr. Jarred Kelsey, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, Physics & Engineering, was selected to receive the Bhattacharya Research Excellence Award. One nominator wrote, “He instills confidence in his students and provides support throughout the entirety of the research project, which can span multiple semesters. He allows his students the freedom to choose different aspects of the project that they would like to explore….Allowing us to pursue a particular aspect of our research project and the direction we wished to go keeps research students constantly engaged and interested in the project.”
Kelsey says that undergraduate research has given him a surprising opportunity to teach students. “The time in lab with students has allowed me to help educate them about the possibilities that exist beyond their undergraduate education,” he says, adding, “Through research, I have been able to see my students grow and think about chemistry and themselves differently.”
Faculty Excellence Awards were presented to four members of the faculty in recognition of their contributions to Cameron’s academic community.
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. E. Ann Nalley,professor of chemistry, is the 2021-2022 recipient. The nomination documented Nalley’s history of service to Cameron University, to the community, and to state, national and international organizations, noting, “She has positively impacted the lives of a great number of people around the world who find science to be a path to better communication with, and understanding of, the world and people around us.”
Dr. Susmita Hazra, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering, is the recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Student Research. The award recognizes a faculty member who has an excellent, sustained record of mentoring student research and scholarship. Since joining the CU faculty in 2017, Hazra has offered a variety of research opportunities to physics and engineering students, resulting in publication in numerous peer-reviewed journals and presentations at approximately 30 conferences. One nominator referred to Hazra’s devotion to her students and research as “impressive.” Hazra’s research projects encompass a wide-range of topics, including space weather, astronomy, biomedical engineering, atmospheric physics, and physical and astronomy education.
Doris Lambert is the honoree for the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, which recognizes an adjunct faculty member who performs superbly in the classroom. An adjunct professor at Cameron since 1982, she teaches a variety of courses in the music program. She also serves as the minister of music at Fort Sill’s New Post Chapel. Lambert’s students have referred to her as “inspirational,” “exceptional,” “knowledgeable and passionate” and “encouraging.” Many cited her commitment to helping her students succeed. In her statement of teaching philosophy, Lambert describes herself as a lifelong student of music and cites her commitment to achieving excellence in teaching.
The Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching recognizes a full-time faculty member who performs superbly in the classroom. Dr. Dana Lee, associate professor in the Department of Agriculture, Biology and Health Sciences, is the recipient. Referred to as “a phenomenal professor,” Lee was cited as developing fun and interesting experiments that fully engage her students. One nominator wrote, “I have always learned so much in Dr. Lee’s classes, and much of that can be attributed to how she teaches her classes. She engages the students like no other professor!” Another noted, “She is an amazing teacher who always goes beyond to make sure we are learning in a new way.”