Five Western staff members were honored for their accomplishments and contributions to the campus community at the Provost and Faculty Senate Spring Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 26.
Provost Brent Carbajal made opening remarks at the ceremony in the Wilson Library Reading Room. He said he was honored to be associated with the work of the award recipients.
Mathematics professor Millie Johnson, who also started Puzzle Hunt, was given the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, after being nominated by alumni. After 44 years of teaching, Johnson described receiving this award as extremely emotional.
“You go through life, and you think, ‘Well the students graduate and move on,’ and you stay here and keep working with new students,” she said. “It’s such an honor to think that somebody remembers you.”
Mark Staton, assistant professor and director of MBA and graduate programs, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. He was nominated for this award by the chairman of his department, and students wrote letters in support.
“At Western, we have so many phenomenal professors and instruction is such a focus of this university,” Staton said. “To be honored for excellence here really feels humbling.”
Staton credited much of his success at Western to the support he has received from Ed Love, the department chairman for finance and marketing at the College of Business and Economics.
Professor Janelle Leger received the Paul J. Olscamp Research Award. Although she was unable to attend the ceremony, her two daughters accepted the award on her behalf.
Paqui Paredes received the Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award. She said she was initially surprised to learn she had won the award since there are so many great professors at Western.
“I work in a department with a lot of good teachers and I have a lot of amazing students,” Méndez said. “To know that they thought that I was worthy is very humbling.”
She said she has become the teacher she is today because of the quality of the students at Western.
Professor Brittanie Lockard received the Ronald Kleinknecht Excellence in Teaching Award. She was excited to learn that she had not only won the award, but that numerous students had written recommendations on her behalf.
“I really try and pour my heart out to preparing my classes and getting assessment from the students and trying to make it interactive,” she said.
Although she is moving with her family to San Antonio, Texas, in the fall, she will be teaching online courses for Western, and looks forward to staying connected to the campus community while she is away.
The event was well-attended by numerous staff members and administrative officials, including President Sabah Randhawa.