Faculty honored at Academic Affairs Awards

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May 8, 2013

Karen Erickson (left) received the Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award. Christopher Schaller received the S. Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award.

Kelly Kraemer (left) received the S. Linda Kulzer Gender Educator Award and T. Nicholas Jones received the Linda Mealey Teacher-Scholar Award.
Erica Stonestreet (left) and Fr. Mark Thamert, OSB, shared the Tom Creed Award for Effective Electronic Pedagogy.

Faculty and staff members from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, and Saint John's University, Collegeville, were honored at the Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition Ceremony May 7 at the Alumni Lounge, SJU.

In addition to recognition for years of service, promotions, contributions as department chairs and leaders, the following awards were presented:

S. Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award:
Christopher Schaller, associate professor of chemistry

S. Mary, a noted biologist who was a 1933 graduate of CSB, served students at CSB and SJU for more than 35 years with intelligence, dedication and affection. The difference S. Mary made in her lifetime of teaching at CSB is celebrated through the recognition each year of a faculty member who represents the best teaching and learning at CSB and SJU. S. Mary served as president of CSB from 1963-68. This award has been presented yearly since 1995.

Schaller, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 1996, was a leader in the development of the chemistry department's new curriculum, which uses a combination of Problem-Based Learning and Process Ordered Guided Inquiry Learning in his classes. He works to establish a cooperative learning environment in which students process information as they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. He has moderated the laboratory research of over 30 students, and was the author of a series of online textbooks for the department's introductory and three reactivity classes, which replace traditional textbooks that students purchase.

Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award:
Karen Erickson, professor of modern and classical languages

This award is named in honor of Spaeth, who served as dean at SJU for nine years in addition to service as a professor of liberal studies from 1979 until his death in 1994. Each year, Spaeth's commitment to excellent teaching is remembered by honoring a faculty member who brings a special passion and mastery to the classroom and the learning community. This award has been presented yearly since 1995.

Erickson, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 1987, received the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award in 1990 in recognition of her outstanding teaching. Students, then and now, are quick to praise her enthusiasm and skill in the classroom. She has the ability to help students understand that they need to improve, how to improve and why the improvement is worth the work it will take, which is a great teaching and mentoring skill.    

Linda Mealey Teacher-Scholar Award:
T. Nicholas Jones, associate professor of chemistry

The Linda Mealey Teacher-Scholar Award is given annually to a faculty member who exemplifies demonstrated excellence in scholarship as well as teaching, conducts student/faculty collaborative research or creative work and excels in the mentoring of students. The award, which was established as the Teacher-Scholar Award in 2000, was renamed for Mealey in 2004. Mealey, who had received the award in the spring of 2002, passed away in November 2002. 

Jones, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 2004, has supervised over 30 undergraduate students' research projects since 2005, and as served as the Chemistry Undergraduate Research program Coordinator since 2008. He has published two separate laboratory research papers with students as co-authors. Jones has also received a National Science Foundation grant to fund research with a collaborator at Montana State University, which allows him to take two CSB and SJU students to Montana State to perform six weeks of summer research before returning to CSB and SJU to complete their summer research work.  

S. Linda Kulzer Gender Educator Award:
Kelly Kraemer, associate professor of peace studies

This award recognizes a member of the CSB and SJU faculty whose work has been especially important to gender education development. S. Linda, CSB's vice president for academic affairs from 1977-85 and a professor emerita of education, was a pioneer in the colleges' earliest efforts to integrate gender into the curriculum.

Kraemer, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 2001, has an impressive record of research, publications and presentations focusing on gender. She has developed and teaches courses at the intersection of gender studies and peace studies. Kraemer consistently incorporates gender perspectives into her courses wherever it is relevant, and addresses the global and intercultural dimensions of gender in a way that helps students go beyond the limitations of "how does this affect me" thinking.  

Tom Creed Award for Effective Electronic Pedagogy:
Erica Stonestreet, assistant professor of philosophy
Fr. Mark Thamert, OSB, associate professor of modern and classical languages

This award is given for effective electronic pedagogy and is named in honor of Creed, the late professor of psychology at CSB and SJU and founder and first director of the Learning Enhancement Service. Two educators have been selected to share the award this year.

Stonestreet, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 2008, has utilized "clicker technology" - the use of electronic clickers to instantly poll students' responses to questions - in her classes to encourage active participation among all students. She has structured this technology so that students interact with classmates and the questions, which encourage active thinking and reasoning.

Thamert, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 1984, has a long history of integrating technology into language teaching and learning. He explores ways to use technology to allow students easier access to more content and to help instructors generate timely and helpful feedback to students' work. Thamert's use of technology utilizes multiple approaches and mediums.     

Additional Recognition and Years of Service Awards:

Academic advising awards:  Martin Connell, professor of theology; Don Fischer, associate professor of exercise science and sport studies.

Alcuin and Clemens Library Information Literacy Award: Deborah Pembleton, assistant professor of global business leadership.

Tenure: Sarah Yost, assistant professor of physics.

Tenure and promotion to associate professor: Kathryn Cox, theology; Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman, theology; Sophia Geng, modern and classical languages; Jennifer Kramer, communication; Sucharita Mukherjee, economics.

Promotion to professor: Carie Braun, nursing; Jean Keller, philosophy; Brian Larkin, history; Rachelle Larsen, nursing; Derek Larson, history and environmental studies; LuAnn Reif, nursing; Elaine Rutherford, art.

Professor emeriti and retirement: Gary Brown, mathematics; Ernie Diedrich, economics; S. Mara Faulkner, OSB, English; John Gagliardi, SJU athletics; Ozzie Mayers, English; Jim O'Meara, accounting and finance; Tim Robinson, professor of philosophy; Ed Sass, education; S. Carleen Schomer, OSB, chemistry; Dan Steck, physics; Martha Tomhave Blauvelt, gender studies; Kay Wolsborn, political science.

Special thanks
Diplomat in residence:
Richard Virden, political science.

Outgoing department chair, acting department chair and division coordinator: Louis Johnston, economics; Cindy Malone, English; Ron Pagnucco, peace studies; Elaine Rutherford, art; Steve Saupe, biology; Jim Schnepf, computer science; Ed Turley, music.

Outgoing Joint Faculty Senate Chair: Carie Braun, associate professor of nursing. 

10 years of service:
Pam Bacon, associate professor of psychology; Eleonora Bertranou, associate professor of Hispanic studies; Michael Borka, associate professor of education; Mark Hennigs, associate professor of theater; Carrie Hoover, associate professor of nursing; Adam Houghton, associate professor of theater; Mary Jepperson, associate professor of accounting and finance; Kristen Nairn, associate professor of mathematics; Br. Simon-Hoa Phan, OSB, associate professor of art; Aric Putnam, associate professor of communication; Roseann Wolak, instructor of first-year seminar. 

15 years of service: Carie Braun, associate professor of nursing; Brian Campbell, associate professor of music; Philip Chu, associate professor of biology; Martin Connell, professor of theology; Larry Davis, professor of biology; Rachelle Larsen, associate professor of nursing;  Derek Larson, associate professor of history and environmental studies; David Mitchell, associate professor of biology; Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, associate professor of theology; Elaine Rutherford, associate professor of art.

20 years of service: Charles Bobertz, professor of theology.

25 years of service: Carolyn Finley, professor of music; Jennifer Galovich, associate professor of mathematics; Henry Jakubowski, professor of chemistry; Janet Neuwirth, associate professor of nursing; Lisa Ohm, professor of modern and classical languages; Jim Read, professor of political science; Wendy Sterba, professor of modern and classical languages; Richard Wielkiewicz, professor of psychology.   

30 years of service: Gary Brown, associate professor of mathematics; Michael Gass, associate professor of mathematics.

35 years of service: Greg Walker, professor of music.

40 years of service: David Bennetts, professor of history.

50 years of service: Robert Dumonceaux, Trsutees' professor of mathematics.

60 years of service: John Gagliardi, Trustees' professor of exercise science and sport studies.