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Awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship and faculty service granted at Convocation

MUSKINGUM UNIVERSITY FACULTY AWARDSAt Muskingum University's Convocation, held August 27 on the campus, three faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.

The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to  Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Shelley Amstutz-Szalay. This award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University.

In recognizing Dr. Amstutz-Szalay, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. Amstutz-Szalay understands the needs of students and the challenges that they face, particularly in the sciences.  In addition, she helped develop refined assessment tools to measure student learning and success.  Her dedication to students is not only evident, but genuinely sincere and grounded in solid assessment practices.”

Dr. Amstutz-Szalay joined the faculty in 2008.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, her master’s degree from the University of Michigan and her doctoral degree from Walden University.

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Dr. William T. Kerrigan, Muskingum’s Arthur G. Cole and Eloise Barnes Cole Distinguished Professor of American History.  In addition to this award, Dr. Kerrigan also received the university’s William Oxley Thompson for Excellence in Teaching in 2011 and the 2007 Cora I. Orr Award for Service in 2007.

Of Dr. Kerrigan’s scholarship, Dr. Callaghan said, “This past year, Dr. Kerrigan published a book that is already getting a lot of attention.  Entitled Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard: A Cultural History, and published by the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Press, it has quickly become a selection of the History Book Club and a  portion of the final chapter was accepted by the highly-regarded Antioch Review, which made it their lead essay in their Fall 2012 issue.”

Dr.Kerrigan joined the faculty in 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin College, his master’s degree from Texas-Christian University and his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. 

The Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Dr. Larry Normansell, who is the Harry and Mary Evelyn Laurent Distinguished Professor of Psychology. It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Dr. Normansell’s  achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. Normansell has distinguished himself through his dedication to his students and – equally – through his dedication to a broad spectrum of service to the university.  He is devoted to students and to student success.  From first-year students to upper-class and transfers and more, you can count on Dr. Normansell to step-up and be available to not only assist, but to take a personal interest in the success of our students.”

Dr. Normansell joined the faculty in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and both his master’s degree and his doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University. 

In the photo: Award recipients are, from the left to right, Dr. Larry Normansell, Dr. William Kerrigan, Dr. Shelley Amstutz Szalay and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James Callaghan, who presented the awards.