Faculty and Staff Awards 2017

Submission Deadline: February 24, 2017

Outstanding Faculty Member

Kathryn Meyer


Kathryn Meyer has spent over two decades making significant contributions to the teaching, research, and professional service mission of the university. She is a dedicated and productive scholar and teacher whose service both on and off campus is exemplary. She is highly regarded by colleagues and students alike. 

Dr. Meyer’s scholarship is noteworthy, including numerous publications on various topics of Asian history as well as two books focused on the history of the international narcotics trade and life in China during the Japanese occupation. She maintains a consistent record of scholarly engagement, including multiple conference presentations. Dr. Meyer is highly effective in the classroom, offering an impressive array of core courses in Regional Studies, methods courses in History, and a graduate seminar on the history of organized crime. Her students consider her to be a passionate and engaging teacher. Dr. Meyer’s service record is outstanding. She has served on numerous department committees as well as on the college’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. Her most notable contributions include serving as associate director of Crime and Justice Studies and director of Graduate Studies in History.  

Outstanding Teaching Award

Noeleen McIlvenna


Noeleen McIlvenna is an innovative professor who has demonstrated remarkable skill and dedication to teaching, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her unwavering attention to her coursework, pedagogy, and students has earned her the reputation as one of the finest, most demanding, and yet most popular teachers in the university.

Dr. McIlvenna has consistently exceeded departmental expectations for teaching excellence since her arrival in 2005. She has developed an impressive array of specialized courses dealing with the history of early America, including upper-division courses on colonial America, Revolutionary America, Native American history, and the history of the Atlantic World. Students remark on her mastery of the material, infectious enthusiasm and energy, and exceptional ability to challenge their critical thinking and writing skills. In addition to excelling in teaching, Dr. McIlvenna has demonstrated an impressive commitment to scholarship and service. She has two single-author books to her credit and an enviable record of service to the university and the community including leadership in Faculty Senate, the AAUP, and the Social Science Education program.

Outstanding Research Award and Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research Award

Valerie Stoker

Religion, Philosophy, and Classics

Valerie Stoker has earned an international reputation as an accomplished scholar in the very demanding field of South Asian Studies. Her publication record is extensive and her grant funding is among the best in the college. She has delivered lectures in the United States and abroad, and she has served her discipline in several demanding roles. 

Dr. Stoker's record of scholarship includes seven refereed journal articles, four refereed book chapters, and a highly acclaimed monograph. Renowned South Asian scholars have praised her scholarship, noting that her “pioneering work is already having consequences we can feel and her leadership in years ahead will be a valuable contribution to Indian studies and to the study of religion more broadly.” As service to her field Dr. Stoker has organized multiple panels and conferences and served a three-year term as chair of the Religion in South Asia Steering Committee at the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Stoker is also considered a dedicated and popular teacher whose strong service to the college includes leadership as Director of the Liberal Studies program and the Master of Humanities program. 

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

Jennifer Subban

Urban Affairs and Geography

Jennifer Subban is an exceptional leader in service to the university and community in her role as Director of the Nonprofit Administration program. Through her collaborative approach, she has fostered a rich selection of opportunities, service initiatives, professional networks, and community-based learning experiences for students across the university. 

Dr. Subban transforms the lives of her students and is personally committed to public service. As director of the Nonprofit Administration certificate program, she recruits and advises students in this demanding, competency-based curriculum that includes service-oriented courses, a 300-hour internship, and active involvement in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Association. Dr. Subban consistently helps faculty secure grant funding for their own student philanthropy initiatives. Her commitment to serving the local community is no secret, as evidenced by her 2012 Dayton YWCA Women of Influence Award. Dr. Subban’s reach spreads beyond the Dayton region; her creation of the Wright LEAD South Africa program has enabled countless students and community members to travel to Durban to provide community-based leadership development for their youth.

Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award

Lance Greene

Sociology and Anthropology

Lance Greene has left an indelible mark on the Anthropology program, the university, and the Dayton community in his two years at Wright State. He is an expert in historical archaeology, with extensive experience working in professional archaeology over the past several decades. He has an outstanding record of publications including editorship of a book on the archaeology of Native Americans and several book chapters and journal articles on the Cherokee Removal period. His work honors the voices of those who are often absent in archaeological research. 

Dr. Greene worked diligently to develop a new field school the first summer he was hired, designing a brand-new curriculum and making important community connections in a very short period of time. He is a true teacher-scholar who incorporates his research and fieldwork into the classroom. Dr. Greene is an active contributor to the department, assisting in areas such as recruitment and social media. He has served as CoLA senator and on the university’s Academic Integrity Hearing Panel. Dr. Greene demonstrates excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service through his passionate commitment to his students, research, and university.  

Outstanding Community Engagement Award

Jeannette Horwitz

English, LEAP

Jeannette Horwitz’s exceptional teaching and service to the LEAP Intensive English Program encourage the success of international students and foster a more diverse, connected campus community for both students and faculty. Her instruction goes beyond the classroom to create strong community experiences for both LEAP students and native English-speaking students on campus.

Ms. Horwitz ensures her students understand university life by facilitating connections between them and the broader community. She leads them on field trips so they learn new vocabulary and more about American culture. As director, Ms. Horwitz has reshaped LEAP into a highly-effective program where students know they will receive the best possible English language instruction and preparation for entering the university. Her relationship with colleagues is friendly, supportive, and professional, and she creates an environment that encourages input, collaboration, and new ideas. She works tirelessly to keep LEAP strong by staying in direct communication with campus leaders and serving on numerous committees. Ms. Horwitz’s commitment and service to her students and program has positioned LEAP as a contributing peer within the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) community.

Outstanding Lecturer Award

David Hapner

Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures

David Hapner has made a tremendous impact on the musical theatre program in his nearly two decades at the university. He assisted in spearheading the development of the program and over the years has served as musical director, conductor, arranger, instrumentalist, instructor, and composer. His colleagues unanimously praise his skill, professionalism, and exceptional knowledge.

Mr. Hapner has taught music theory and served as an in-class accompanist for three performance courses annually, working in one-on-one weekly coaching sessions with all sophomore and junior musical theatre majors. He has also served as musical director/conductor of over a dozen department productions and as rehearsal accompanist and orchestra pianist for many others. Mr. Hapner brings to every classroom or rehearsal studio he graces a rare combination of exceptional musicianship, true mastery of myriad styles, a joyful curiosity about his subjects, and a love of his students and their dreams. His work with students has been extolled as indispensable by dozens of successful musical theatre alumni who credit him as the key to their accomplishment as singers from regional theatres and cruise tours, to national tours and Broadway.

Outstanding Adjunct Award

Chris Wydham


Chris Wydham has contributed for nearly a decade to our high-quality, innovative concentration in Public History. He has taught numerous courses including Records and Information Management, Introduction to Archives and Manuscripts, and Public History Field Study. He has also mentored Public History students interning at the library’s Special Collections and Archives. 

Mr. Wydham has contributed greatly to the core mission of the university through his demonstrated excellence in teaching and student engagement. He teaches classes that are critically important for the professional training of his students, and he provides them with crucial, practical knowledge drawn from his full-time position as Archivist and Records Manager for Wright State’s Dunbar Library. Students praise his ability to explain difficult content effectively and in great detail. His combination of subject matter expertise and real world experience enhance his students’ chances of landing quality internships and jobs. Mr. Wydham empowers students to develop professionally, intellectually, and personally, and his efforts have helped Public History—one of the oldest such programs in the country—achieve a national reputation.

Outstanding Staff Award

Marie Donohue

English, LEAP

Marie Donohue demonstrates impressive professionalism and dedication to serving students in her role as Student Services Coordinator in LEAP. She is a warm and caring colleague, a great resource for faculty, and an exceedingly patient mentor for students who often have difficulty expressing their needs or describing their problems in a second language.

Ms. Donohue’s duties include assigning instructors to classes in Banner, processing admission requests, entering registration permissions, processing payments, and reconciling department purchases. She handles the high-stress, data-driven job of international admissions while providing excellent customer service. Ms. Donohue makes sure all applicants feel as if theirs is the most important case in the world. In the words of a colleague, “Marie Donohue enthusiastically helps students register for classes and set up payment plans when they are having difficulty navigating the university's computer system. She walks them to class on the first day when they can't figure out where their classroom is. She can put the most complex policy into easy-to-understand English for our international students. She does all this, and more, and never expects so much as a ‘Thank you.”’