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Reception honors UIS faculty achievements

April 29, 2008

Contact: Donna McCracken, 217/206-6716, dmccr1@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD – Achievements by faculty at the University of Illinois at Springfield were recognized at the annual spring reception, held April 28 on campus. Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Harry Berman presided over a ceremony honoring faculty members who have received tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emeritus status. Four major awards – the Pearson Faculty Award for Teaching, the Spencer Award for Service, the Oakley Award for Excellence in Online Teaching, and the Faculty Excellence Award – were also presented.

The 2008 recipients of the four major faculty awards presented at UIS
This year's recipients of the four major faculty awards presented at UIS are (from the left) Mary Bohlen, associate professor of Communication, Pearson Award; Sharron LaFollette, associate professor of Public Health, Spencer Award; David O'Gorman, professor of Business Administration, Oakley Award; and Bill Abler, associate professor of Human Development Counseling, Faculty Excellence Award.

The eleventh annual Pearson Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Mary Bohlen, associate professor of Communication. Presenting the award, Ringeisen noted that Bohlen brought "extensive experience as a wire service reporter to UIS. Most fundamentally, she teaches students how to write – and does that exceedingly well. But she also addresses the impact of the media on society, particularly on women and adolescents. She is a creative teacher and a caring and attentive advisor." Bohlen has been a member of the UIS faculty since 1983, teaching in the Public Affairs Reporting and Communication programs. She currently serves as chair of the Communication Department.

The tenth annual Spencer Award for Service was given to Sharron Lafollette, associate professor of Public Health. Presenting this award, Ringeisen noted, "The breadth and depth of her service to the university, her discipline, and the community are truly outstanding."

Lafollette came to UIS in 2001 after serving on the faculty at Illinois State University for several years. Ringeisen said that, on her appointment to UIS, she "immediately became active in numerous service activities, always serving with distinction." She has also served on many campus-wide committees and is active in her profession at the state and local levels.

The first Oakley Award for Excellence in Online Teaching was presented to David O'Gorman, professor of Business Administration. Ringeisen noted, "David was one of the first professors at UIS to recognize the potential of online instruction, not just for UIS, but for the entire educational enterprise. He successfully managed to translate his 'on ground' class activities to online experiences long before the technology was where it is now."

The 2008 recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award was Bill Abler, associate professor and chair of Human Development Counseling. This award recognizes a senior faculty member's excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as service as a role model and mentor to other faculty.

Said Ringeisen, "Bill's nomination was unusual in that it was a team effort. One nominator highlighted his excellence as a teacher and advisor, noting his intensive guidance and support of students completing master's theses; a second highlighted his scholarship and creative works; and a third highlighted his service, focusing on his enormous contribution to achieving and maintaining accreditation. But the fourth letter highlighted something particularly apt for this award -- Bill's leadership."

A number of faculty members were also recognized for their efforts by receiving recommendations for promotion, tenure, and sabbatical leave. Eight retiring faculty members were granted emeritus status.

Recommended for tenure and/or promotion were Heather Bailey, associate professor, History; Harshavardhan Bapat, associate professor, Chemistry; Leanne Brecklin, associate professor, Criminal Justice; Jeffrey Decker, associate professor, Accountancy; Kemau Kemayo, associate professor, African American Studies; Hao Ma, professor, Management; Michael Miller, associate professor, Visual Arts; Carolyn  Peck, associate professor, Human Services; Jonathan Perkins, associate professor, Visual Arts; Pamela Salela, associate professor, Library Instructional Services; and Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, associate professor, Communication/Theatre.

Ethan Lewis, English, was recommended for promotion to full professor.

Sabbatical leaves were granted to Apanard (Penny) Angkinand, assistant professor of Economics; Barbara Burkhardt, associate professor of English; Keenan Dungey, associate professor of Chemistry; Wayne Gade, associate professor of Clinical Laboratory Science; Jim Grubbs, associate professor of Communication; Marcellus Leonard, associate professor of English and interim director of the Center for Teaching and Learning; Tim Miller, associate professor of Political Studies; Calvin Mouw, associate professor of Political Studies; Sangeeta Parameshwar, associate professor of Management; Nancy Perkins, associate professor of English; Beverly Rivera, associate professor of Criminal Justice; Lucia Vazquez, associate professor of Biology; and Marcel Yoder, associate professor of Psychology.

Recognized on their retirement by receiving the designation of emeritus faculty were Rachell Anderson, professor of Human Services; Barbara Hayler, professor of Criminal Justice; William Jordan, associate professor of Legal Studies and Applied Study; Richard Judd, professor of Business Administration and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship; Sandra Mills, associate professor of Social Work and associate director of the Community Outreach Partnership Center; Henry Nicholson, associate professor of Communication; Kent Redfield, professor of Political Studies; and Gary Trammell, professor of Chemistry.

All promotions, tenure, sabbatical leaves, and emeritus status are approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelor's, 20 master's, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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