CNAS Faculty & Staff Awards 2017 Results

CNAS recognized outstanding faculty and staff for the sixth year at a reception held on April 28, 2017.  The award winners were nominated by departmental personnel committees, department heads or students.  The nominations were then reviewed by a faculty committee for the faculty/staff awards and by a student committee for the student-nominated award.  We are proud to announce the following award winners for 2017!  The award winners receive a certificate and a small monetary award.

CNAS Excellence Award – Staff

  • Ben Dalton – Laboratory Supervisor, Department of Biology
  • Sarah Morrissey – Administrative Assistant, Cooperative Engineering Program
  • Linda Allen – Administrative Assistant, Department of Chemistry

Ben Dalton, laboratory assistant for the department of biology does consistently excellent work in a job that requires flexibility, patience and outstanding organizational skills.  He serves the college as coordinator of the Region VII Science Olympiad with over 1000 students participating in 2016 and the SW Region of Missouri Junior Academy of Science.  He also recruits and oversees the judges for the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair.  Ben serves the biology department by serving as an academic advisor for pre-vet students and coordinating many aspects of the department head’s research lab.

Sarah Morrissey, administrative assistant for the cooperative engineering program, is introduced during tours of the department in the following way, “This is Sarah, the fountain of knowledge for the Engineering program.”  Sarah coordinates all of the administrative work for the cooperative engineering program – interacting with both Missouri State University staff and Missouri S&T staff on a regular basis.  Sarah always has a smile on her face and that smile is the first thing you see when you enter the office complex for engineering.

Linda Allen, administrative assistant for the department of chemistry, goes above and beyond in performing her duties for chemistry.  She organizes class schedules in consultation with the department head, administers most p-cards in the department and supervises office student workers.  She provides administrative support to several departmental committees and takes care of all routine tasks – all of this with a level of professionalism that is exceptional.  Linda is always willing to answer questions from her peers.

CNAS Faculty Excellence in Service Awards

  • Matt Pierson – Cooperative Engineering
  • Matt Siebert – Chemistry
  • Brian Greene – Biology
  • Brian High – Chemistry
  • Michelle Bowe – Biology

Matt Pierson, associate professor in the cooperative engineering program, serves as faculty advisory for the student chapters of American Society of Civil Engineers and Missouri Society of Professional Engineers as well as for the steel bridge and concrete canoe teams that compete each year.  He serves on the Springfield/Green County Environmental Taskforce and the City of Springfield Stormwater Taskforce.  He plans and conducts Discovery Engineering Day each February and assists with Math Counts and model bridge contest –all MSPE events.

Matt Siebert, assistant professor in department of chemistry currently serves as immediate past chair of the Ozarks section of the American Chemical Society (the end of the three year commitment.)  He reviews articles for two professional journals and he is the administrator of the chemistry department’s website.   Matt serves as faculty advisory for Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society and a co-advisor for the Premedical Society.   He served as the campus champion for NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program.

Brian Greene, associate professor of biology, has chaired the university’s animal care and use committee for the past eight years.  This committee requires significant time and effort including shepherding colleagues’ protocols through the review process.  Brian also serves on the university’s Honors and academic appeals committees; coordinates the department’s seminar series; and serves as the faculty sponsor for the University Running Club.   Finally, Brian is active on committees for the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Brian High, senior instructor in the department of chemistry, chairs the department safety committee, which recently developed a safety checklist for lab TA’s, students and stockroom workers.  He also serves on the CNAS IT and Awards Committees.  As a member of the departmental dual credit committee Brian sponsored many visits by dual credit high school classes and many others.  Brian is the departmental expert on the use of Camtasia, mastering chemistry clickers and adobe products.

Michelle Bowe, senior instructor in the department of biology, is the curator of the MSU Herbarium that requires supervision of students and active preparation and cataloging of specimens.  She responds promptly to outside requests from the herbarium.  She is the faculty advisor for the Optometry Club and serves on the college’s equipment repair committee.  Michelle is professionally active in the Missouri Native Plant Society.

CNAS Faculty Excellence in Research Awards

  • Bob Pavlowsky – Geography, Geology and Planning
  • Kyoungtae Kim – Biology
  • Peter Plavchan – Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science
  • Albert Barreda – Hospitality Leadership

Bob Pavlowsky, distinguished professor in the department of geography, geology and planning secured $522,000 in external funding in 2016 and supported seven graduate students in his research group.   In 2016 the group published nine peer reviewed publications and/or technical reports.  The group made presentations at four regional/national conferences including Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Symposium, Annual Conference of the American Association of Geographers, Annual Conference of the Geological Society of America and the Binghamton Geomorphology Conference.  These studies looked at Mark Twain National Forest, mining contamination along Big River in SE Missouri, continued studies in Jamaica and local studies of PAH’s (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and metal contamination in urban areas.

Kyoungtae Kim, professor in the department of biology, has published six peer-reviewed journal articles with his students as co-authors in the last two years.  Over the same time his students have given 26 research presentations at both regional and national conferences.   The lab’s research interests lie in understanding the molecular mechanisms of endocytosis and endocytic and recycling traffics. Understanding these mechanisms in budding yeast (similar to cancer) might help shed light on the mechanism responsible for cancer cell motility and may providing alternative drug targets.

Peter Plavchan, assistant professor in the department of physics, astronomy and materials science studies the radial velocities of exoplanets. He has received funding from NASA, NASA-Missouri Space Grant Consortium and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  In 2016 he authored eight peer-reviewed publications and gave nine invited research seminar presentations in Missouri and California.  He has involved many students in his work – high school students, undergraduate students and now graduate students.  Peter is passionate about his research and transfers that passion to the students in his research group.  Peter recently received funding from NASA to investigate the scientific feasibility of a space mission to search for exoplanets, or planets like ours orbiting nearby stars.

Albert Barreda, assistant professor in the department of hospitality leadership has authored six peer-reviewed publications since the fall of 2015 and currently has six articles under review!  He has made presentations at national and international conferences this past year.  Albert’s research covers a number of diverse topics such as consumer perception of knowledge-sharing in travel-related online social networks and who are the bulls and bears in global lodging markets.  His most recent presentation looked at pricing practices in large scale sporting events – a Case of Rio de Janeiro during the FIFA World Cup.

 CNAS Faculty Excellence in Teaching Awards

  •  Doug Gouzie – Geography, Geology and Planning
  •  Brian Greene – Biology
  •  Rajinder Jutla – Geography, Geology and Planning
  •  Laszlo Kovacs – Biology
  •  Mark Rogers – Mathematics
  •  Matt Siebert – Chemistry

 Doug Gouzie, professor in the department of geography, geology and planning is graduate director for the department.  Both his teaching and the well-being of undergraduate and graduate students are his main priority.   Student evaluations are consistently outstanding for principles of geology (100-level), speleology (300 level) and geohydrology (graduate level).  Two of Doug’s graduate students successfully defended their MS thesis and graduated in 2016.  All good instructors in GGP lead field trips and Doug is no exception to this.  He has led one day and weekend field trips to Ouachita Mountains, Round Spring Cave and Bluff Dwellers Cave.

Brian Greene, associate professor in the department of biology, consistently receives outstanding evaluations from students across the range of courses that he teaches – including general ecology, conservation biology, animal population methods and herpetology.  Brian also mentors students in his lab – last year seven graduate students and two undergraduate students.  His students were co-authors on four conference presentations (2 state and 2 international). He also serves as advisor for 58 biology majors.

Raj Jutla, professor in the department of geography, geology and planning taught courses from 100 level to graduate level – understanding cities, geography of south Asia, history and introduction to planning, communication techniques in planning and site planning and design.  He completed the assessment report for planning 100 this past year and supervised five undergraduate students conducting independent research projects.  Raj also plans appropriate field trips for his classes.

Laszlo Kovacs, professor in the department of biology, revised BIO235, Genetics, in the past year and has also developed a new course called Genome Biology.  He also wrote the laboratory manual for genetics.  Laszlo is currently working with 2 graduate students and 4 undergraduate students in his research lab. Laszlo serves as advisor for 34 biology students.

Mark Rogers, associate professor in the department of mathematics, has taught a variety of courses over the last five years to include MTH138 (pre-calculus), MTH181 (trigonometry), MTH 261 (Calculus I), MTH532 (introduction to abstract algebra), MTH533 (linear algebra), and MTH732 (Abstract Algebra II).  Mark receives outstanding evaluations for each course and every semester he writes new lecture notes making his approach to classes fresh every time he teaches it.  Last year Mark’s graduate student successfully defended his thesis.

Matt Siebert, assistant professor in the department of chemistry, has taught organic chemistry courses for the past several years.  He has enhanced the classes with supplemental “chemistry lectures on demand” – videos which were funded by an internal FCTL grant.  These videos allow students to revisit difficult concepts and study at their own pace.  Matt developed an intersession course “preparing for organic chemistry” that has been quite popular and he has submitted a manuscript to the Journal of Chemical Education highlighting the student success outcomes of the course.  He advises all chemistry undergraduate students who have declared pre-pharmacy.

CNAS Student Nominated Awards for Faculty/Staff Excellence

Fourteen faculty were nominated by students for this award and the nominees included Tina Hopper (BIO), Janice Greene (BIO), Erica Cox (BIO), Paul Schweiger (BIO), Paul Durham (BIO), La Toya Kissoon-Charles (BIO), Eric Bosch (CHM), Erich Steinle (CHM), Katie Fichter (CHM), Ken Vollmar (CSC), Raj Jutla (GGP), Yungchen Cheng (MTH), Les Reid (MTH) and Jorge Rebaza (MTH).  In the words of the students, these faculty/staff truly understand the power of knowledge and they are always willing to help.  They provide a learning environment where every student has the potential to succeed.   One student also said that the nominee was the most effective teacher that he had ever had!  The students chose four award winners this year.

  • Yungchen Cheng, MTH  – For showing exemplary dedication to students that needed more help past office hours.
  • Jorge Rebaza – For going above and beyond his duties as a professor.
  • Ken Vollmar – For encouraging non-traditional students to pursue a college degree regardless of the circumstances surrounding their decision.   
  • Eric Bosch – For having a positive and influential impact on students and for showing unequaled passion in chemistry.

 Atwood Research and Teaching Award

The Atwood Research and Teaching Award was endowed by Dr. Jerry Atwood a 1964 graduate of MSU and now an internationally known chemist.  He started his career at University of Alabama in 1967 but was the department head at University of Missouri-Columbia from 1994 to 2016.  In addition, he was appointed a Curators Professor starting in 1999.  The award winner receives a certificate and $1500 to be spent over the next year on students, research supplies, summer salary or travel.

The 2017 recipient of the Atwood Research and Teaching Award is Bob Mayanovic from the department of physics, astronomy and materials science.

Dr. Mayanovic’s research group studies synchroton x-ray studies of condensed matter, materials in supercritical aqueous fluids, high pressure-temperature studies and mineral physics.  His group has seven peer-reviewed publications in 2016 and three published in 2017.   Bob and his students made 23 presentations at conferences over the last five years.   In recent years, Bob has received external funding from the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy.  Today he is working on a project with a local company.  Bob has supervised seven undergraduate research projects over the past five years and as many graduate thesis projects.  He currently has six graduate students working on their thesis research projects.  Bob’s passion for teaching and mentoring is strong and enduring.  He teaches everything from PHY203 and 204 – Foundations of physics to modern physics, experiments in modern physics and introduction to materials science.  His teaching evaluations are always outstanding.  During senior exit interviews with the department head, many students have noted Dr. Mayanovic’s positive influence on their lives.

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