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The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education award winners from Cedarville University: Dr. Barb Loach, Dr. Adam Hammett, Dr. Robert Parr, Dr. Austin Jaquith, Dr. Seth Hamman, and Dr. Emily Laswell.

Best in the Southwest: Faculty Excellence in the Spotlight

by Kaileigh Willis, Student Public Relations Writer

The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) presented its Faculty Excellence Awards to six faculty from Cedarville University at a ceremony on November 2 at the University of Dayton River Campus.

Each year, SOCHE recognizes outstanding faculty members from institutions of higher learning across southwest Ohio. Honorees are selected by their college or university based on excellence in teaching, service and scholarship.

This year, Dr. Seth Hamman, associate professor of computer science; Dr. Adam Hammett, associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Austin Jaquith, associate professor of music theory and composition; Dr. Emily Laswell, assistant professor of pharmacy practice; Dr. Barb Loach, senior professor of Spanish; and Dr. Robert Parr, senior professor of sociology, were honored.

Hamman leads the school of engineering and computer science’s cybersecurity program and serves as the director for the Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity. In the last three years, Hamman has published multiple journal articles and a book chapter and presented at several conferences on securing the power grid from cyber attacks and on shaping the growing discipline of cybersecurity education.

"I am grateful to all of my colleagues in the school of engineering and computer science,” Hamman said. “Their godly character and commitment to the mission of Cedarville University are an inspiration to me, and I would not have received this award apart from their encouragement and support."

Jaquith is both a composer and a music professor. He teaches courses in music theory, composition and music technology while composing pieces performed locally and nationally. Jaquith also involves his students in his creative process, offering them practical composition experience.

Hammett teaches mathematics while encouraging responsiveness and critical thinking. Within the last year, he has published three journal articles and presented a paper titled “Does logic help us beat Monty Hall?” at the Joint Math Meetings in San Diego.

Laswell has significantly influenced Cedarville’s school of pharmacy through the development of the Interprofessional Education program (IPE), which offers Cedarville students in health care-related majors to learn in collaborative environments with health care students from other institutions across the Miami Valley.

Since Loach began teaching at Cedarville in 1978, she has greatly impacted the department of English, literature and modern languages. The linguistics major, which was Loach’s idea, is now the largest major in its department. She is also responsible for creating minors such as Spanish for professionals and Spanish for healthcare personnel and concentrations such as Asian studies and Middle Eastern studies. She has also offered faculty workshops on teaching and learning styles and worked with several English as a second language programs for immigrants in the area.

“It was an honor to be selected along with all the other Cedarville University professors and faculty members from the other institutions in the Miami Valley area and to see all the ways faculty members are making a difference in the lives of students and having a positive impact in society through their chosen fields,” said Loach.

Parr is known for his devotion to his students as well as his devotion to the university. He was instrumental in establishing the social work program, and he has served on numerous university committees at Cedarville.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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