CU Honors Faculty Members

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville, Ohio-Cedarville University honored 12 of its faculty members recently for excellence in service.

The Dr. Allen Monroe Integration of Faith and Learning Award was presented to Dr. Donald Deardorff, associate professor of English. This award recognizes sustained excellence in integrating Scripture and Christian world/lifeview with a discipline or practical application.

Deardorff, a Cedarville faculty member since 1996, is known for his leadership in teaching students how to evaluate critical/theoretical approaches to literature in order to create a Christian approach. Students regularly remark how he challenged and stretched them in their thinking.

The Faculty Advisor Award was given to James Leightenheimer, associate professor of communication arts. This award recognizes a faculty member with at least six years of service who has had a significant influence on students as an advisor or counselor.

Leightenheimer began teaching at Cedarville University in 1982. He advises students in audio and electronic media sales and management, and he is also very active with the U99.5 student radio station. Leightenheimer also organizes the electronic media advisory board meetings, which purpose to provide academic, spiritual, and professional opportunities for electronic media students.

Three Deans’ Service Awards were presented for the categories of 1-10, 11-20, and 21+ years of service to Cedarville University. These awards are given to faculty who demonstrate contributions to departmental, school, and university committees and task teams; service to the higher education community; involvement with students; and work with civic offices, service and youth organizations, or church or para-church organizations.

Derrick Green, assistant professor of communication arts, received the award for 1-10 years of service. Green has made significant contributions to the department of communication arts and the University, through his roles as coordinator of the basic speech course program and assistant director of the forensics team. He also serves as faculty advisor for the Class of 2009 as well as for the Promoting Ethnic and Cultural Education (PEACE) project. In addition, Green is the vice president of the Ohio Forensics Association and was the steering committee co-chair for the National Christian Multicultural Student Leaders Conference.

Kathy Freese, associate professor of exercise and sport science, was given the award for 11-20 years of service. Freese has provided leadership and direction in the multi-age physical education major through the 20 years of public school teaching and coaching she brought to the major. She currently serves on the University Curriculum Committee, the Education Department Advisory Committee, and the Faculty Tenure Committee. Currently the interim head softball coach, Freese has previously served as their team chaplain, and has led five basketball mission trips to Portugal and Hungary.

Dr. Lois Baker, professor of nursing, was given the award for 21+ years of service. Beginning her teaching career at Cedarville in 1984, she has served in many areas, including the Teacher Education Advisory Committee, the Patterson Clinic Advisory Committee, and the Tenure Committee. Additionally, Baker has led nursing teams on mission trips to Togo, West Africa, annually since 1993. She received the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997 and was chosen by the CU student body as Faculty Member of the Year in 1996.

The Faculty Innovator of the Year Award was given to Dr. Michael Firmin, professor of psychology and chair of the department of psychology. The award is given for an instructional or curricular innovation that has resulted in a noteworthy improvement in student learning.

Firmin was chosen for this award for his implementation of several programs in the general psychology course, most significantly the undergraduate Teaching Assistant (TA) program, which encourages psychology majors who are applying to doctoral programs to gain valuable experience assisting Firmin with his classes.

Three Faculty Teaching Effectiveness Awards were given to faculty members with 1-10, 11-20, and 21+ years of service. Recipients were chosen based on student evaluations, department chair and peer recommendations, performance of students in subsequent classes or after graduation, use of instructional technology, and use of effective pedagogical techniques.

Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, assistant professor of political science and director of the Center for Political Studies, received the award for 1-10 years of service. Dr. John Mortensen, associate professor of piano, and Dr. John Whitmore, associate professor of geology, both received the award for 11-20 years of service. Dr. Mike López, professor of communication arts, received the award for more than 21 years of service.

Cedarville University named Dr. Heather Kuruvilla its 2007 Faculty Scholar. The award is presented annually to a University faculty member based on model classroom teaching, campus leadership, the use of pioneering teaching methodology, creative course development, and instructional support.

Since coming to Cedarville in 1997, Kuruvilla, an associate professor of biology, has guided numerous students in research projects that have resulted in both peer-reviewed papers and abstracts presented at scientific meetings. Additionally, she has published 12 papers of her own in peer-reviewed journals and 14 abstracts since she has been at CU. In addition to her publications, she participates in several scientific societies and serves as biology sub-department chair.