University recognizes faculty, staff for advising, researching, teaching, outreach work

April 28, 2011 | News, UToday
By Vicki L. Kroll

UT outstanding advisers, researchers and teachers, and recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were recognized last week at the Academic Honors Reception.

Recipients of the Outstanding Adviser Award are:

Dr. Christine Hinko, associate dean for student affairs and professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She joined the faculty in 1979.

“Dr. Hinko is dedicated to the education of students. Her focus is on providing for each and every student who is under her supervision the most up-to-date education available in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,” one nominator wrote. “She is caring, nonjudgmental, nurturing, personable, educated, generous, and does not put on airs. She is deeply interested in students.”

“Advising is an essential component of a university’s mission. It provides the key personal contact and direction students need to have successful college experiences. I consider it one of my most important roles at The University of Toledo,” Hinko said.

Robert Detwiler, adviser and recruiter in the College of Business and Innovation. He has worked at the University since 2006.

“Robert has always been a great adviser,” one nominator wrote. “Ever since I first met him when he helped me choose my business minor, he always has been willing and able to help me. He responds to e-mails promptly, advises in an efficient way, and even is willing to advise by phone when I can’t make it to his office.”

“When a student takes the time to thank me for a job well done, I acknowledge the compliment and then reply by saying that exceptional advising and a student-centered attitude should not be the exception; it should be the rule for everything we do,” Detwiler said.

Recipients of the Outstanding Researcher Award are:

Dr. Marthe Howard, professor of neurosciences. Since joining MCO in 1996, she has become an internationally known scientist for her work on neural development.

“She is known specifically for her work on the differentiation and specification of an indispensable neuronal class, namely the noradrenergic sympathetic neuron,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Howard has identified a DNA binding protein that is critical for the normal development and generation of the noradrenergic neuron in the sympathetic nervous system. Her successful elucidation of the coordinated mechanisms that govern these developmental processes has contributed to the understanding of diseases that target noradrenergic neurons such as neuroblastoma cancer. Along these lines, Dr. Howard has proposed and is testing a novel therapeutic approach to glioma, a devastating brain tumor for which there is currently no cure.”

She has served as a permanent reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and reviews grants for the governments of France, Hong Kong and Israel. Her work has been funded by NIH for 21 years, and she is on the editorial board of Developmental Dynamics.

Dr. Shanhe Jiang, professor of criminal justice. He has been at the University since 2004.

His extensive research in comparative criminology and criminal justice is recognized around the globe. The top universities in China invited Jiang to speak about advanced statistics in social sciences and comparative criminology and criminal justice. He also was elected president-elect of the Association of Chinese Criminology and Criminal Justice in the United States. In addition, Jiang is a guest editor for the Asian Journal of Criminology’s special issue: Crime Control in Asian Countries, and for the Prison Journal’s special issue: Corrections in Asia. And his work was requested by two Harvard University professors to include in their book on statistics.

“Dr. Jiang’s publication on inmate adjustment to prison in the Prison Journal was the 10th most-frequently cited article from July 1, 2010, through January 1, 2011,” a nominator noted. “Two of his comparative publications were the 14th and 20th most-frequently cited articles in International Criminal Justice Review as of November 1, 2010.”

Dr. Gretchen Tietjen, professor and chair of neurology, director of the Headache Treatment and Research Program, and director of the Stroke Program. She joined the MCO faculty in 1996.

“Dr. Tietjen’s research has involved the function of blood vessels (endothelium) in persons with migraine and also the influence of childhood maltreatment on migraine and co-morbid conditions, including depression, pain disorders and cardiovascular disease,” one nominator wrote. “She was among the first to describe the systemic nature of endothelial dysfunction in migraine and, most recently, she reported on the relationship of both migraine and vascular disease biomarkers to childhood adversity.”

Her honors include the Seymour Solomon Research Lecture Award (2008) from the American Headache Society (AHS) and the Stroke Innovation Award (2009) from the American Heart Association journal Stroke for her article on endothelial activation in young women with migraine. This June, she will receive the prestigious AHS Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award for the year’s best paper on headache or the nature of pain itself.

Dr. Elizabeth Tietz, professor and vice chair of physiology and pharmacology, professor of neurosciences, and former director of the neuroscience and neurology disorders graduate track. The neuropharmacologist known for her work in substance abuse has been at the University since 1983.

Her internationally recognized research program focuses on synaptic mechanisms of tolerance and dependence to a class of sedative-hypnotic drugs known as benzodiazepines. One nominator noted that she has maintained an active NIH-funded research program since 1984, has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and has received numerous awards for research and mentoring. She served as a regular member of two NIH peer review panels and an ad hoc reviewer on at least 10 special NIH panels.

She directs two extramurally funded undergraduate summer research programs.

From 2006 to 2009, Tietz served on the program committee for the Society for Neuroscience, an international association of more than 30,000 members, where her responsibilities included supervising the scientific program. She recently was named to the society’s audit committee, which is responsible for overseeing the organization’s finances.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement are:

Dr. Tom Barden, dean of the Honors College and professor of English. He is the founder and co-editor of The University of Toledo Press.

The University of Toledo Press evolved from the Urban Affairs Center Press, which was established in 2002 as an imprint for a book Barden co-wrote about the Toledo Hungarian community. Initially, the press focused on publishing books on the history and culture of northwest Ohio. Along the way, Joel Lipman, professor of English, joined Barden in the work of the press and suggested including fiction, poetry and photography to expand the scholarly, nonfiction focus.

“To date, 12 titles have been published by the press, which continues to develop its inventory, with plans for books on Polish Americans in Toledo and African-American migration to the city,” one nominator wrote. “The UT Press provides a valuable outlet for scholarly publication for a regional audience. It is a benefit for both the authors and the community. It is one of the most visible aspects of the University’s community outreach and engagement.”

Dr. Michele Knox, associate professor of psychiatry. She is the regional director of the American Psychological Association’s ACT (Adults and Children Together) Raising Safe Kids Program.

Through the family violence and child maltreatment prevention program, groups of young parents and caregivers of children are trained in nonviolent discipline, child development, anger management and social problem-solving skills, as well as the effects of media on children and methods to protect children from exposure to violence.

“As the director of the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center, Dr. Knox has trained more than 2,500 professionals in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania in family violence prevention and has implemented programs for more than 1,000 parents, benefiting approximately 2,500 children,” a nominator wrote. “She is a very articulate and passionate advocate for children, serving on the board of directors of End Physical Punishment of Children-USA, and she also is a member of Docs for Tots, a nationwide network of doctors advocating for young children.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award are:

Dr. Sorin Cioc, assistant professor of manufacturing, industrial and mechanical engineering. He joined the College of Engineering faculty in 2004.

“Dr. Cioc is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subjects he teaches and is motivating,” one nominator wrote. “After a couple weeks of his classes, I realized what I lacked every other semester was confidence. I am confident I am learning the subject at hand. Even outside of class, I find myself looking at concepts that are talked about in class.” Another noted, “His door is always open; he is never too busy to help. And he challenges me to strive to do what I want to do.”

“Teaching is a quickly evolving activity that reflects how fast our student generations change, our society evolves, and our technology progresses,” Cioc said. “I feel privileged to work with our students because it works both ways: While I do my best to help them learn about some engineering topics, I always find a lot to learn from them.”

Dr. Laurence Fink, professor of management. He has taught in the College of Business and Innovation since 1994.

“Dr. Fink understands that ‘life’ happens and things come up,” one nominator wrote. “He has worked with me to get caught up and on any class I didn’t understand. He is supportive and encouraging.” “Nobody takes greater joy in having a student succeed than Dr. Fink. If you have him as a teacher, you’ll have a friend and mentor for life,” another wrote. “Developing a compensation structure for a mock company in class gave me the confidence and swagger to successfully launch my career.”

“My goal as a teacher is to make each course a unique opportunity for students to acquire essential information and skills that will help them in their future,” Fink said. “I set very high standards but have spent a great deal of time developing my courses to enable students to get over the ‘bar’ and achieve success rather than allowing the ‘bar’ to be lowered.”

Heather Hug, associate lecturer of kinesiology. She joined the College of Health Science and Human Service faculty in 2007.

“The physiology behind the human body is complex and overwhelming at times, but Ms. Hug found a way to relate this information in a simple manner,” a nominator wrote. “One example that sticks in my mind is the structure of the brain. She took a sheet of paper, crumpled it up and said, ‘This is your brain. Your brain is crumpled up like it is because it allows for the maximum surface area inside the skull compared to a flat sheet of paper.’”

“I believe it is my obligation to maintain the interest that brought students to the course in the first place,” Hug said. “To do this, I plan to help students find personal meaning and value in the material they are learning. To create an atmosphere that is open and positive, I maintain an open-door policy for students to visit my office for individual assistance.”

Marie Janes, associate lecturer of health professions. She has been a faculty member of the College of Health Science and Human Service since 2002.

“Ms. Janes is very organized, which helps students stay ahead of schedule and assists them with submission of assignments, tests, quizzes and exams so they don’t fall behind,” one nominator wrote. “She is highly motivating and creates a feeling of ‘never letting go’ in her students; this is important, especially in a distance-learning setting when students juggle multiple priorities and don’t experience face-to-face interaction with students and professors.”

“I strive to impart my education, expertise and knowledge to students who are willing to learn and passionate about a career in health care as an administrator,” Janes said. “The Health Information Administration Program is offered through Learning Ventures, and I am fortunate to be able to provide the greatest access and ultimate opportunity to UT students across the nation. I do my best to meet the needs of a diverse student population.”

Dr. Kim Schmude, clinical associate lecturer of pharmacy practice. She has been teaching in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences since 2003.

“Dr. Schmude is very approachable and I feel that students can relate to her,” one nominator wrote. “In the pharmacy profession, some of the questions we have to answer may be uncomfortable to discuss with patients. In Dr. Schmude’s Self-Care class, she isn’t afraid to delve into these issues. She shares experiences she has had and teaches us how to handle similar situations in a professional manner.”

“Working as a community pharmacist 15 years before becoming a teacher impacts my style,” Schmude said. “I try to give the students the foundational material, but when applicable I always keep it practical and have stories about situations and questions that they might come across in their careers. Usually there is more than one correct answer, so I try to give them a framework of how to assess different situations and patients so they learn how to think on their own.”

Dr. Ivie Stein Jr., associate professor of mathematics. He joined the UT faculty in 1971.

“He was beyond detailed with his explanation of the material covered and always was ready to help any student that needed his help. He cared how his students performed and was willing to go out of his way to make sure they understood everything. He also was able to keep the class interesting with funny comments inserted throughout his lecture,” one nominator wrote. Another noted, “If more teachers were able to explain course material like Dr. Stein, students would be much more proficient in mathematics. His sense of humor and enthusiasm in and out of the classroom make him approachable and friendly.”

“My primary purpose in teaching mathematics is to make sure that students learn,” Stein said. “To achieve this goal, I attempt to provide clear, detailed explanations and written solutions to problems. I am willing to work individually with students who need or want help.”

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