Outstanding faculty members for spring 2017 recognized at Fort Hays State convocation

HAYS, Kan. - Spring winners of Fort Hays State University's faculty awards for service, scholarly activity and research, and teaching were recognized today at the spring convocation.

Dr. Helen Miles, assistant professor of health and human performance, received the Outstanding Teacher Award. Dr. Bill Stark, professor of biological sciences, received the Outstanding Scholarly Activity and Research Award. Dr. Kate McGonigal, associate professor of sociology, was recognized with the Outstanding Service Award.

Their awards were announced when the winners recently received surprise visits in their classrooms.

All three recipients received a $500 check for their accomplishments. Three other faculty members were recognized for teaching, scholarly activity and service in the fall 2016 semester.

Together with this semester's winners, these six faculty members will constitute the pool from which the Faculty Member of the Year will be chosen. That winner will be announced at the Fall Convocation in August. The Faculty Member of the Year Award carries a $1,000 cash prize.

Each of the five colleges of the university nominates outstanding faculty members to receive the awards. Recipients are selected by a committee appointed by the respective college deans.

Miles was recognized for being "a consummate teacher." The nomination letter for her said that she is not shy about "taking on the challenge of developing new and/or updating existing courses for our virtual offerings." The letter continued, "She is meticulous in assuring the student will find her courses provide an environment for learning." Her courses, said the letter, are rigorous for both graduate and undergraduate students, on campus and online.

Stark's success in scholarly work "is exceptional from the perspective of both the university and, more importantly, the many students he has mentored," said the letter nominating him. He has won a dozen research grants and contracts over the last 10 years, totaling more than $2,550,000. The letter noted that the projects covered by those grants, ranging from $3,730 to $1,094,000, have employed 20 graduate students and numerous undergraduates.

McGonigal was described as not only a willing and capable faculty member, "in all areas," "but her commitment in the past year to various levels of service is exceptional." She served on the search committee for a new faculty member and chaired the departmental tenure committee. She also represented the department at several Student Recognition Programs, serves on the Faculty Senate and in many other academic and administrative areas.

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