Faculty and Staff Awards 2015

2015 recipients

Outstanding Faculty Member

december green.jpgDecember A. Green
Political Science

December Green has demonstrated sustained excellence across the three dimensions of faculty endeavors: teaching, scholarship, and service. Her work models the inextricable connectedness of those three elements. Many students have taken their first trip outside of the country in one of her numerous Summer Ambassador programs to South America, Asia, and Europe. In times when it is sometimes difficult to convince students to study abroad, Dr. Green’s programs fill instantly and students describe them as life changing when they return. She won a well-deserved International Education Award for her internationally focused teaching here and overseas. She was central to the development of both the International Studies major and the International and Comparative Politics master’s program.
Dr. Green is an active scholar, focusing on the intersection of gender, violence, and politics. Her multiple books and research projects provide a steady source of enrichment to the college’s course offerings and her own teaching. She is also distinctive for her commitment to service as director of the International Studies major and for networking with community organizations to provide internship opportunities for students. December Green is a remarkable teacher and scholar, and epitomizes the Wright State tradition of engagement in the community.

Outstanding Teaching

Sean Pollock.jpgSean Pollock

Sean Pollock’s devotion to teaching is extraordinary. A prize-winning teacher since his time as a graduate student at Harvard, he teaches both large General Education courses to reluctant first-year students and advanced history courses to engaged majors and graduate students. But the audience does not matter: he is always praised by students for engendering high levels of engagement, sparking intellectual curiosity, and encouraging critical thinking.
Dr. Pollock is deeply engaged in mastering a variety of teaching methods. He has taught online courses, and is a leader in moving his classes away from the traditional lecture format to an active learning style. He is a pioneer in utilizing the new SCALE-UP classrooms. He has published scholarly articles on teaching, and regularly contributes to the letters section of the New York Times editorial page, writing on academic issues. His service to the university on teaching issues is remarkable, ranging from chairing the university Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, chairing the Faculty Senate Distance Education Task Force, and serving as the faculty director of the university Center for Teaching and Learning.

Outstanding Research

liam anderson.jpgLiam Anderson
Political Science

Liam Anderson is an accomplished scholar whose work addresses the complex issues attending the transformation of politics in the Middle East, specifically Iraq and the Kurds. Since coming to Wright State in 2000, he has published five books as sole or lead author, 10 book chapters, nine refereed articles, 19 non-refereed articles, and presented scholarly papers at conferences. He has a new book manuscript in progress, which focuses on how states govern multi ethnic citizenry and the prospects for those states to transition to more democratic and law-based politics.
Dr. Anderson’s field work and scholarship have brought him to the attention of the local, national, and international media. He has fulfilled requests for interviews from the BBC, Bloomberg News, and CNN, and frequently responds to requests for expert commentary by the Dayton Daily News. He was invited to speak at the United Nations International Peace Institute in 2012. He continues to hold an appointment as a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

Outstanding Professional Service Award &Frederick A. White Distinguished Professor of Professional Service Award

Chris Hall.jpgChris Hall
English Language and Literatures

Chris Hall has had a significant role in increasing Wright State’s international profile by strengthening our partnerships with countries around the globe. As the director of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), he has created innovative international programs, most recently a program that allows students from Xi’an University in China to complete three years of undergraduate study at their home university, then come here for one year to receive a certificate in TESOL. They can transfer those credits home toward graduation, and also use them as a starting point toward an M.A. in TESOL from Wright State. He has also taken teams of our students abroad to teach English as part of their training.
Dr. Hall’s service is not limited by the boundaries of the TESOL program or the English department. He has served with distinction and dedication on countless college and university committees. He has served faculty by developing the TESOL Enhancement Certificate designed to retrain composition faculty as English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors in response to a growing need. He demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and service both here and abroad.

Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award & Presidential Award for Early Career Achievement

Drew Swanson.jpgDrew Swanson

Drew Swanson is an exemplary teacher, a highly productive and award-winning scholar, and a congenial colleague who has made impressive contributions to his department, college, and field. He has won teaching awards and earned a reputation as a passionate and highly effective teacher, offering original and innovative courses on environmental history, food history, Appalachian history, and other topics. As a scholar, he is at work on his third book, under advance contract with the University of Georgia Press. He had three journal articles on entirely different topics submitted in the same year for the newly established Jack Temple Kirby Award for an article in southern agricultural or environmental history. He has been described as “a historian who is fast becoming the most versatile and productive scholar of the environmental south working today.”
Dr. Swanson also provides outstanding service to the department, college, and his field. He serves as a peer reviewer for several scholarly journals, serves on several prize committees, and edits H-Rural, an online community that facilitates discussions about scholarship and teaching rural and agricultural history.

Outstanding Community Engagement Award & Presidential Award for Community Engagement

Jack Dustin.jpgJack Dustin
Center for Urban and Public Affairs

Jack Dustin has lived a life of engaged scholarship and service to the community and the university for more than two decades. He has nurtured community organizations, abetted local economic development efforts, and promoted innovative regional collaborations by local governments and nonprofits. He is the personification of the servant leader, one who leads quietly by facilitating the actions and enhancing the capacity of others.
Dr. Dustin has served in a variety of ways. He has chaired the Department of Urban Affairs and Geography for nearly 20 years, while also serving as the director for the Center for Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA), Wright State’s community-oriented applied research program. Here he served as the principal or co-principal on numerous grants and directed many projects. Among the most notable is the creation of the innovative Economic Development Government Equity (EDGE) grant program, often cited as a model for intergovernmental cooperation, and the ongoing MCO-Future strategic planning and visioning project for Montgomery County. In all of these many initiatives he has been careful to involve students. His career has been dedicated to applied scholarship and empowering others to help transform greater Dayton and its communities.

Outstanding Lecturer Award

Cynthia Marshall.jpgCynthia K. Marshall

Cynthia Marshall’s teaching and service to the university and publishing worlds have profoundly affected many Wright State students both in the classroom and beyond. She teaches a wide variety of courses, and has expanded her areas of expertise to respond to student needs. Notably, she was one of the first to receive her Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Teaching Enhancement Certificate and to begin teaching special sections of courses to non-native speakers. She has redesigned core English courses to assist high-risk students who need more time and help to complete course requirements. She has been active in advising and recruiting students, serving as a college advisor and participating in college and department recruiting activities.
Ms. Marshall is also an active scholar. She has completely overhauled the 11th, 12th, and 13th instructor’s editions of the nationally renowned Little Brown Handbook writing manual. She has written, revised, or updated books, chapters, and multiple instructional materials. Her engagement in the life of the department and her dedication to her students are truly exceptional.

Outstanding Adjunct Award

Carmine Anastasio.jpgCarmine Anastasio
Religion, Philosophy, & Classics

Carmine Anastasio has taught as an adjunct at Wright State for 44 consecutive years and has made a sustained, committed, and diversified contribution to the intellectual lives of our students. He has focused mainly on General Education classes on the religions of Asia. In doing so, he has exposed students to many of the world’s most interesting, important, and widely held systems of belief. Students praise his knowledge and the clarity of his explanations, and comment that he challenges their assumptions in a very positive way that enhances their critical thinking skills.
Mr. Anastasio has also taught courses in tai chi and yoga at the Wright State Fitness Center, modeling many of the insights offered by certain East and South Asian systems of thought on the important link between mental and physical health. He holds two master’s degrees, one in religion and one in philosophy. His evident commitment to educating students in various ways, his passion for teaching the subjects of Asian religion and philosophy have allowed him to persevere and flourish in this demanding career, giving fresh energy and enthusiasm to his classes.

CoLA Outstanding Staff Award

English staff.jpgLeanne Moeller, Jennifer L. Sheets, and Sandra Trimboli

Leanne Moeller, department support supervisor; Jennifer Sheets, administrative support coordinator; and Sandy Trimboli, administrative specialist serve the English department as a team and insisted that they be nominated as a unit rather than individuals. They say that the department runs smoothly because of their collective efforts, and that is certainly true. The English department is the largest department on campus—bigger than several colleges—yet has a well-deserved reputation for smooth and friendly operations. The unit is unparalleled in the accurate and efficient ways in which they manage cross-departmental budgets, scheduling, technology, and support for English department programs, faculty, and students. They handle their many duties with speed, accuracy, diplomacy, and grace.
Managing the large numbers of people and tasks housed in the English department requires a team who mesh together well to move seamlessly from one semester to the next and whose collegiality is an example to us all.