Four Marshall Faculty Members Honored

Updated 1 year ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Four Marshall Faculty Members Honored

Dr. Eric R. Blough, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and research at Marshall University, has been selected as the university’s Dr. Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2016-2017.


Blough will receive $5,000 through a grant from Charles B. and Mary Jo Locke Hedrick. The award is named in honor of Charles Hedrick’s father, Charles E. Hedrick, a former history professor and later chairman of the Graduate Council, and one of the founders of Marshall’s graduate program.

Marshall’s Center for Teaching and Learning today announced the Hedrick Award and three others honoring five faculty members. They are:

Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award: Dr. Kelli Prejean, an associate professor in the English department.
Pickens-Queen Teacher Award: Dr. Gregory Michaelson, an assistant professor of engineering; Dr. Robin Conley Riner, an associate professor in the sociology and anthropology department, and Dr. Nicole Winston, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice, administration and research.
The Council of Chairs Award for Excellence in Teaching: Amanda Thompson-Abbot
t, an instructor in the accountancy and legal environment program.

Here is a look at the awards and the winners:

Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award

This award recognizes a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has a minimum of seven years teaching experience at Marshall and has a record of outstanding classroom teaching, scholarship, research and creative activities.

Dr. Eric Blough has been teaching at Marshall since 2003, when he joined the biological sciences department. He became a founding member of the pharmacy faculty in 2012. In addition to his teaching duties, he is director of pharmacology and toxicology, a member of the executive council and assistant dean for the curriculum at the pharmacy school.

“At the undergraduate and graduate level, he has been identified by students and peers as a committed and exceptional teacher,” said Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the school of pharmacy. “…His service commitment to our students has been exemplary. He is past chairperson of the school’s student assessment committee, curriculum committee and now serves in a two-year academic leadership program … Eric has been exemplary in securing extramural research funding to build his research laboratory and complete [a] significant body of research outcomes … Dr. Blough’s commitment, performance and accomplishments demonstrate an exemplary faculty member in all academic areas of teaching, research and service.”

“Dr.  Blough  is  highly  professional, and  is  well  respected  by  his  peers,” said Dr. Faruk Khan, chair of pharmaceutical sciences and research. “He  possesses  a  very  impressive  personality  and  is  such  a  faculty  member  that  every  department  chair  would  be  very  proud  to  have.  He  is  a  great  teacher  and  a  researcher.  Dr.  Blough  is  a  true  gentleman  and  a  scholar  and  I  have  high  praise  for  him.”

“Dr. Blough easily meets the requirements for this prestigious award,” said Dr. Kimberly Broedel-Zaugg, professor and chair of pharmacy practice, administration and research. “[When he] joined our faculty in early 2012 as a founding member of our team, [he brought with him extensive teaching experience, research grants, and service to the university.  I have seen him in the classroom as well as spoken with his pharmacy students.  He brings home a point in our flipped classroom environment with knowledge and enthusiasm that our students acknowledged with teaching awards.”

Marshall and Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award

This award includes a $3,000 stipend, and all tenured or tenure-track faculty members who have completed six or more years of service at Marshall are eligible.

Dr. Kelli Prejean has been teaching at Marshall since 2005, when she began teaching English composition and serving as interim director of the Writing Center. Since that time, she has become director of the center, as well as coordinator of the composition program and assistant director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Prejean has an enormous responsibility in that she trains all the teaching assistants who offer multiple sections of ENG 101 each semester,” said Dr. Jane Hill, chair of the English department. “The improvement in our composition students’ performance in our annual assessment and the success of the graduate students who have taught them as they move into their teaching jobs or doctoral study are extremely persuasive evidence of Dr. Prejean’s success in the classroom.”

“Dr. Prejean is a model of professionalism in her interactions with both students and colleagues,” Hill continued. “I call her my no-nonsense colleague. In our many conversations with students who have complaints about a course or a grade appeal before us, I have never seen her be anything less than effective, efficient, and clear. She is considered a blessing by almost every colleague who works with her in terms of her kindness, patience, and effectiveness in leading us toward success in our shared work.”

“Dr. Prejean’s work with students does not stop at the classroom door,” said Dr. Allison Carey, associate professor of English who has team-taught with Prejean. “I saw many students from that semester’s class come back to Dr. Prejean in her office hours for feedback about class assignments, for advice about course selection and even for advice about careers. Her rapport with students is that good: it builds a strong bond.”

“It was in Kelli’s class where I decided that majoring in English was the right decision for me,” said Anna Rollins, a former student of Prejean who is now a term instructor in Marshall’s English department. “Kelli is the first person that I go to whenever I have a question about my work; I value her mentorship enormously. I have nothing by praise for Kelli Prejean, and I cannot imagine a person more deserving of the Marshall and Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award.”

Pickens-Queen Teacher Award

Each of these three award winners receives a $1,000 stipend. The award honors outstanding junior faculty. All faculty members teaching on a full-time, tenured or tenure track appointment who have completed one to five years of service at Marshall are eligible.

Dr. Gregory Michaelson has been at Marshall since 2014, when he was hired as an assistant professor of engineering in the College of Information Technology and Engineering.

“Dr. Michaelson is an admirable faculty [member],” said Dr. Asad Salem, chair of the Weisberg Division of Engineering.  “….  He has done a superb performance in his teaching, course and lab development and in teaching assessment and continuous improvement. Dr. Michaelson has excellent communication skills; he is a very good listener as well as an excellent speaker.  His writing and presentation skills are superb…. Dr. Michaelson is well respected by our students as well as faculty and all of them stated that they had positive and pleasant experiences with Dr. Michaelson. Overall, I find Dr. Michaelson to be a well-rounded individual suited for this award.”

Michaelson earned his B.S. degree in civil engineering technology from Bluefield State College and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from West Virginia University.

Dr. Robin Conley Riner has taught at Marshall since August 2011, when she was a visiting assistant professor.

“Dr. Riner is well regarded by the faculty but even more so by students,” said Dr. Marty Laubach, chair of the department of sociology and anthropology. “Our Capstone course required students to conduct a research (or applied) project under the direction of the instructor (which has been me for the last few years) and another faculty member. Dr. Riner has been popular as the second committee member, even from sociology students, has served on a number of graduate student committees, even though there is not yet a graduate program in anthropology … Dr. Riner is a great asset to the department and Marshall is very lucky to have a scholar and teacher of her caliber.”

Riner earned her B.A in anthropology and linguistics from New York University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from UCLA.

Dr. Nicole Winston has taught at Marshall since October 2012, when she was hired as an assistant professor of pharmaceutics.

“Nikki really cares about our profession and our students,” Broedel-Zaugg said. “As an example, she serves as the advisor for our student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association. Second, she has included many students in research projects, allowing them to gain insight into another facet of pharmacy practice.  Third, she has assisted numerous outreach projects including presentations of Generation Rx (a nationally recognized program geared to educate middle and high school students about drug abuse) as well as allowing prospective students in various diversity programs to participate in different laboratory teaching experiences.”

Winston earned her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toledo and her M.S. and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Council of Chairs Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Council of Chairs Award for Excellence in Teaching, now in its second year, recognizes teaching excellence in Marshall’s full-time term and temporary faculty. Each fall, members of the Council of Chairs (excepting the School of Medicine) are permitted to nominate up to two candidates from a given department. A $1,000 cash award will be presented each year. Full-time term or full-time temporary faculty with at least two years’ full-time teaching at Marshall University are eligible.

Amanda Thompson-Abbott is the recipient for 2016-2017.

“Amanda is very engaged with students through teaching three courses they take early in their major and being faculty advisor to our student organization,” said Dr. Jeffrey Archambault, division head of accounting and legal environment.  “She builds relationships with students while doing an excellent job of teaching.  She encourages promising students to major in accounting and is successful in drawing a number of these students into our major. She willingly accepts many challenging assignments.”

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