Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Top Navigation UNotes Skip to Utility Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content
Bookmark and Share

Harrison Awards Teaching Innovation and Outstanding Staff Perforrmance


Posted 08/28/2014
Submitted by Grace Merritt
Category: Campus Announcements

Presenters and winners of the Awards for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (l-r) Harry Jack Gray Distinguished Humanist Warren Goldstein, Jack Banks, Bin Zhu, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Fei Xue, President Walter Harrison, Ben Pollina, Larissa Schroeder, Provost Sharon L. Vasquez. Not pictured: Mako Haruta
Presenters and winners of the Awards for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (l-r) Harry Jack Gray Distinguished Humanist Warren Goldstein, Jack Banks, Bin Zhu, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Fei Xue, President Walter Harrison, Ben Pollina, Larissa Schroeder, Provost Sharon L. Vasquez. Not pictured: Mako Haruta

Presenters and winners of the Gordon Clark Ramsey Awards for Creative Excellence (l-r) President Walter Harrison, Chair of Faculty Senate Deborah Kidder, Celia Lofink, Katrina Hawley, and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez
Presenters and winners of the Gordon Clark Ramsey Awards for Creative Excellence (l-r) President Walter Harrison, Chair of Faculty Senate Deborah Kidder, Celia Lofink, Katrina Hawley, and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez

Presenters and winners of the Outstanding Staff Member Awards (l-r) Staff Association President Cheryl MacMath, Fig Ramirez, Tina Berrien,Karen Sullivan, President Walter Harrison, Nancy Dudek, Nancy Philip, and Provost L. Sharon Vasquez
Presenters and winners of the Outstanding Staff Member Awards (l-r) Staff Association President Cheryl MacMath, Fig Ramirez, Tina Berrien,Karen Sullivan, President Walter Harrison, Nancy Dudek, Nancy Philip, and Provost L. Sharon Vasquez

University of Hartford President Walter Harrison honored teaching innovation and outstanding performance at the Fall 2014 Faculty/Staff Kickoff before a packed audience Wednesday in Gengras Auditorium.

“This is always one of my favorite events, as we celebrate the energy and promise of a new academic year, and recognize the many wonderful achievements of our faculty and staff,” Harrison said.

Here are this year’s award winners:

Awards for Innovations in Teaching and Learning

Jack Banks, associate professor of communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, has students in his media criticism class produce video documentaries that examine media representations of various subjects, such as gender or sexual orientation. This “Talk Back” project gives students a chance to respond to the authors or assigned readings and documentaries shown in class. The project develops students’ media literacy abilities by encouraging them to critically analyze underlying ideas and values conveyed in the media.

Bin Zhu, assistant professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, incorporates the use of iPads in his environmental science and ecology classes to engage students, help them collect and process data in the field, and free up time for them to think critically about the results. Recording the data directly into iPads in the field gives students more time to interpret and analyze results.

A team of five mathematics professors from the College of Arts and Sciences—Mako Haruta, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Ben Pollina, Larissa Schroeder, and Fei Xue—has “flipped” the classroom for Calculus 1. In these flipped classrooms, students spend time out of class acquiring basic knowledge of the course material, so that class time can be devoted to further exploring the concepts by watching videos and doing group problem-solving activities. In contrast to a traditional lecture, where students are passive recipients of knowledge, students are actively engaged in small groups discussing mathematics and critiquing each other’s ideas.

Gordon Clark Ramsey Award for Creative Excellence

Katrina Hawley, adjunct professor in the Dance Department of The Hartt School, is known for her ability to teach dance students to think at a high level and seamlessly weave all the elements of dance together. Her students learn to integrate choreography, performance techniques, educational theory, and movement analysis. Hawley is also an educator in the Polestar Pilates Method, adding an extra layer of sophistication and depth to her teaching. Her outstanding insights have made Katrina an inspirational mentor.

Celia Lofink, adjunct professor of management and marketing for Barney School of Business, works closely with students on career preparation and plays an integral role in the career-ready focus of the Barney School and the University. She is the lead professor in the Barney School’s “Exploring Career Options” course, and she also works with the Office of Institutional Advancement to recruit corporate executives to speak to students about their experiences.

Outstanding Staff Member Awards

Nancy Dudek, office coordinator for the Departments of Philosophy and English in the College of Arts and Sciences, approaches her job with her trademark eagerness, zest, and tireless energy. Dudek has an exceptional ability to anticipate and address the needs of students, faculty, and administrators, while handling sensitive information and difficult situations with wisdom and tact. Known for her resourcefulness and leadership abilities, she routinely arranges her working hours to accommodate the needs of students and faculty.

Tina Berrien, senior human resources service partner, provides exceptional customer service to help anyone with a claim or benefits question. She routinely goes out of her way to research answers and keep employees updated with follow-up phone calls. Her professionalism and caring demeanor are qualities that really count when an employee is dealing with a stressful situation or complicated forms.

Nancy Philip, academic room scheduling coordinator in the Registrar’s Office, brings superb organizational skills, professionalism, and interpersonal skills to the challenging job of coordinating academic scheduling across campus. Philip has a vast knowledge of the policies and procedures that relate to her job and to such areas as registration, grades, and Banner software.

Fiagrio “Fig” Ramirez, locksmith for the Facilities Department, exemplifies the qualities that make the University of Hartford community so special. With his easy laugh, friendly demeanor, and excellent locksmith skills, he goes out of his way to help students, faculty, and staff. He has a strong work ethic, takes great pride in his work, and goes to great lengths to make sure the job is done properly, both in residence halls and in classrooms and academic buildings across campus.

Karen Sullivan, associate director of Adult Academic Services, does an exceptional job of guiding working adult students through the challenging process of earning a college degree while balancing their studies with full-time jobs and families. She helps them navigate the course selection process and helps customize a route for the adults she coaches. Most importantly, she makes nontraditional students feel welcome and understood, and she is always knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive to their unique needs.

Presenters and winners of the Awards for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (l-r) Harry Jack Gray Distinguished Humanist Warren Goldstein, Jack Banks, Bin Zhu, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Fei Xue, President Walter Harrison, Ben Pollina, Larissa Schroeder, Provost Sharon L. Vasquez. Not pictured: Mako Haruta
Presenters and winners of the Awards for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (l-r) Harry Jack Gray Distinguished Humanist Warren Goldstein, Jack Banks, Bin Zhu, Jean McGivney-Burelle, Fei Xue, President Walter Harrison, Ben Pollina, Larissa Schroeder, Provost Sharon L. Vasquez. Not pictured: Mako Haruta

Presenters and winners of the Gordon Clark Ramsey Awards for Creative Excellence (l-r) President Walter Harrison, Chair of Faculty Senate Deborah Kidder, Celia Lofink, Katrina Hawley, and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez
Presenters and winners of the Gordon Clark Ramsey Awards for Creative Excellence (l-r) President Walter Harrison, Chair of Faculty Senate Deborah Kidder, Celia Lofink, Katrina Hawley, and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez

Presenters and winners of the Outstanding Staff Member Awards (l-r) Staff Association President Cheryl MacMath, Fig Ramirez, Tina Berrien,Karen Sullivan, President Walter Harrison, Nancy Dudek, Nancy Philip, and Provost L. Sharon Vasquez
Presenters and winners of the Outstanding Staff Member Awards (l-r) Staff Association President Cheryl MacMath, Fig Ramirez, Tina Berrien,Karen Sullivan, President Walter Harrison, Nancy Dudek, Nancy Philip, and Provost L. Sharon Vasquez