Faculty and Staff Awards 2016

Outstanding Faculty Member

Barry Milligan


Barry Milligan has made sustained, meaningful, and lasting contributions that embody the teaching, research, and service missions of the university. He acts with the highest regard for the welfare of the institution, its faculty, and students. He is known across campus as unfailingly generous, thoughtful, and possessed of the highest level of personal and professional ethics.

Dr. Milligan is a scholar of international reputation in the field of cultural studies. His three books, other publications, and prestigious research grants provide evidence that his reputation is well-deserved. He is a respected teacher, an early leader in interdisciplinary team teaching, co-creating a course in World War I in British literature taught both on the Wright State campus and as an NEH summer seminar for teachers in France and England. Dr. Milligan has an extraordinary record of service accomplishment including as a leader in faculty senate, focusing often on matters of policy and curriculum at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and long and significant service with the AAUP where he is often consulted as an expert on policy matters.

Outstanding Teaching Award

Nicole Richter

Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures

Nicole Richter is a fiercely dedicated professor, deeply loyal to her students, colleagues, and the film program. Her teaching combines the highest academic standards and the interdisciplinary, intersectional approach to learning at the heart of a liberal arts education.

Dr. Richter embodies the richest principles and highest standards of pedagogy, demanding of her students an elevated level of critical thinking, research, original writing, and questioning of assumptions and biases. Her classes are truly transformative: they shake students up, leave them questioning and hungry to learn more.  Since arriving on campus seven years ago, she has created 17 dynamic and thought-provoking new courses. These courses have significantly broadened the curriculum, making it, in the words of a colleague, “bracingly contemporary.” Dr. Richter makes students feel welcome from the moment they arrive on campus and begin to engage with the Motion Pictures program. She has created three new student film organizations, all crafted to offer safe and creative places for historically underserved students. These organizations empower students with the authority and optimism to confront the entrenched prejudices in the film industry.

Outstanding Research Award

William Irvine

Religion, Philosophy and Classics

William Irvine is a prolific author with a wide-ranging body of internationally acclaimed work that explores topics on the border between philosophy and something else. . His recent scholarship has focused on public philosophy, and consequently, his readership has expanded beyond the academy. This hybrid methodology has produced six books over the last 15 years, including four published by the prestigious Oxford University Press.

The titles of Dr. Irvine’s books demonstrate the scope of his interests, expertise, creativity, and wit.  They include On Desire: Why We Want What We Want; A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy; A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt and Why They Shouldn’t; and Aha! The Moments of Insight that Shape Our World. These books have resulted in numerous invitations to speak at universities, conferences, and public venues across the U.S. and England, as well as interviews in prominent media outlets like MSNBC, NPR, and Time magazine. His books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Polish, Romanian, Korean, and Persian.

Outstanding Professional Service Award

Hope Jennings

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Hope Jennings is a well-published scholar whose understanding of contemporary feminist issues informs her professional service.  She is the director of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies interdisciplinary program that provides connections to affiliated faculty throughout the university and community. She demonstrates her ability to make links among disparate areas and create partnerships to provide service to the broader university and the community at large.

Dr. Jennings has provided service for a number of important university committees and serves on department, college and community committees as well.  All of her work is supportive of her interest in increasing the community’s understanding of diversity from both a scholarly and experiential perspective. Dr. Jennings’ teaching ranges from the Wright State core Introduction to Women and Gender Studies course through specialized courses in English literature to upper level offerings in gender studies and theory. All of these courses serve to acquaint the student community with the basics of these important interdisciplinary fields of thought.

Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award

Amelia Hubbard

Sociology and Anthropology

Amelia Hubbard has consistently proven that she is extraordinary in all three areas of faculty activity: teaching, scholarship, and service. Her research encompasses both biological anthropology and teaching pedagogy. She involves students in her professional projects with great results, and has a remarkable track record of inventing new courses and reformulating existing ones. She’s been a leader in adapting her large general education course to the scale-up format and uses audience response technology, interactive and inventive lab assignments, and other means to keep students engaged in the course material. Students respond by praising her intellectual rigor, enthusiasm, and compassion.

Dr. Hubbard is a scholar with a number of peer-reviewed articles already in press. She has won several prestigious grants and is active in presenting papers at scholarly conferences. Her service in both the department and college is strong, with notable accomplishments in recruiting, advising, and supporting student organizations. She is the model of an engaged, energetic, and accomplished faculty member.

Outstanding Community Engagement Award

Andrew Strombeck


Andrew Strombeck employs his teaching, scholarship, and service to engage and enlighten the community. His scholarship and teaching examine a wide range of relationships between literature and American culture. He is interested in the way literature reflects, refracts, and transforms urban decay and economic collapse. By giving students the critical vocabularies and frames of reference to analyze texts, he enables them to take their insights back into their communities and formulate change.

Dr. Strombeck’s interest in the transformative powers and public services that can spring from literary texts matches up perfectly with the premise underlying the Dayton Literary Peace Prize: literature has the power to help make positive change. The conference he organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the prize brought this potent message to the university community, the local community, and the scholars participating in the conference. Partnerships were formed, interdisciplinary projects launched, and performances brought the message home. This is a perfect example of how scholars and students can impact their community while remaining deeply embedded in their discipline.

Outstanding Lecturer Award and Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Outstanding Lecturer

Christopher Oldstone-Moore


Christopher Oldstone-Moore’s teaching, scholarship, and service have provided exceptional contributions to his department, college, and university. His teaching is exemplary in both breadth and depth, and he is committed to classroom strategies that keep students engaged and active. He has developed online courses and helped reconfigure HST 1200 to focus on primary documents and student discussion. He incorporates student writing into his courses, generating assignments that provoke critical thinking, and he offers advanced courses in several essential areas. Students respond well to his appealing and ever-changing teaching style,  and he has won several teaching awards.

Dr. Oldstone-Moore is also a prolific scholar. His recent book, Of Beards and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair, has resulted in extensive media exposure and national recognition. Beards is his second book, and he has also published articles in significant historical journals. Dr. Oldstone-Moore serves on departmental committees, directed the history graduate program, and was recently a CELIA fellow, participating in an interdisciplinary project commemorating the centennial of World War I. The program he produced on popular music during the war was a highlight of the year.

Outstanding Adjunct Award

Carin Benning

Sociology and Anthropoloy/Crime and Justice Studies

Carin Benning has an exemplary record as an adjunct instructor, willing and able to teach a wide range of courses, including some of the most demanding and difficult core courses within Sociology and Crime & Justice Studies.  She is always willing to tackle a new course preparation, even at very short notice.    Students comment about her respect for individuals and concern for her students, her approachability and availability, and her extensive expertise. They respond to her interactive teaching methods, which make class time productive. Ms. Benning is dedicated to honing her teaching craft, investing time in taking workshops on new methods of course delivery. It pays off in increased student engagement in the classroom.

Ms. Benning not only mentors the students who take her classes, she is also an impactful advisor for students in the Crime and Justice Studies interdisciplinary major.  Keeping students on track is a time-consuming and complex task, but Ms. Benning does it so well she was asked to mentor other advisors. She is an integral part of the department.

Outstanding Staff Award

Shirley Barber

Urban Affairs and Geography

Shirley Barber is the key to successful, organized, timely, accurate, student and faculty-centered administrative support in the Department of Urban Affairs and Geography. In her role, she supports 29 full-time and affiliated faculty members, and undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in five degree programs and three certificate programs. No matter how many varied and simultaneous requests she receives, she is able to remain calm and professional, and rely on her sense of humor, all while meeting deadlines and producing high quality work.

Her duties include monitoring and managing the department budget, purchasing supplies and equipment, assisting with course scheduling and searches, managing student employees, maintaining the website and department files, and coordinating a variety of events, including a recent reaccreditation site visit. She also steps in when needed to help with administrative duties of the Applied Policy Research Institute, adding another complex layer to her daily tasks. Ms.Barber is an extraordinary sounding board and confidant and always mains the trust people place with her.  She is indeed the glue that holds the department together.