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University of Cincinnati 2016 Faculty Award Winners

Distinguished Teaching Professor Award

  • Marianna B. Bettman
    Professor Emerita of Practice
    College of Law

At age 30, Marianna Brown Bettman entered law school, fulfilling a dream her mother had attempted long before her. A community organizer, she recognized the need for legal solutions to address racial injustices she witnessed in the late '60s and early '70s.

This brought her to the College of Law — first as a student and then a beloved professor. Professor Bettman gained acclaim as a successful private practice attorney. Wanting to impact society on a broader scale, she was elected to Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals. Following a career as an attorney and jurist, she returned to the university where her knowledge and experience helped shape many young lawyers.

Known as a tough but fair professor, her reputation preceded her. Everyone knew that Professor Bettman’s first year torts class was not the class for which one wanted to be unprepared — ever. She set high expectations and dedicated herself to ensuring all could meet them.

Professor Bettman’s expertise and insight into the legal system garners respect from all. Her students are not just prepared for a final, but for a future in the legal community.

Her in-depth knowledge of the law has led to speaking engagements on tort reform, separation of powers, state constitutional law in Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court and judge elections. She authors the well-respected blog Legally Speaking Ohio and newspaper column Legally Speaking. This is in addition to her work directing the Judge-in-Residence and Judicial Extern programs. Finally, she has been recognized at every level for her contributions to the legal profession.

Mrs. A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching 

  • Kelly Cohen
Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
    College of Engineering and Applied Science

Kelly Cohen’s passion for teaching and fueling learning is as contagious as the curiosity surrounding the drones that whiz through his classrooms.

Despite the complex content of his engineering courses, his classes attract students beyond engineering as they catch his enthusiasm for exploring emerging technology. “I came to UC in 2006 as a semi-motivated aerospace undergrad who just wanted to get his degree and leave. Now I’m Dr. Ernest, CEO of Psibernetix, Inc., a tech company I founded after graduating that is already profitable. Dr. Cohen is why,” wrote Nicholas Ernest about Cohen’s positive support and dedication.

“He researches new material, makes it accessible and interesting to students and makes it easy for students to succeed, if they work hard. His courses are demanding,” says former PhD student Elad Kivelevitch. “But the results of his courses are amazing.”

Cohen has tirelessly developed courses with experiential learning opportunities and innovations to expand curiosity and creativity, taking learning beyond the book and the classroom.

“Dr. Cohen has a zeal and desire for excellence that I enjoyed inside and outside the classroom,” says doctoral candidate Nicholas Hanlon. “He is a dedicated teacher constantly striving to improve his classroom structure, material and delivery.”

“Dr. Cohen is hands-down, the best teacher, advisor and mentor I have ever had,” says Phd alumnus Alex Walker.

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

  • Kimberly Daniel de Acha
Adjunct Associate Professor, Musical Theatre/Voice
    College-Conservatory of Music

The extraordinary success of Kimberly Daniel de Acha, CCM’s accomplished adjunct associate professor of musical theatre voice, is exemplified in her former students by their leading and supporting roles on Broadway and touring Broadway shows, as Tony Award nominees and as working professionals in theaters nationally.

In addition to her own success as an award-winning performer and theater professional, de Acha’s outstanding musical theatre voice pedagogy successfully edifies the significance of developing a positive self-image, which her students say is key for rising to one’s full potential in the theater.

According to student testimony, de Acha’s tough-love teaching style is really not so tough. Instead, it is wrapped in a nurturing understanding of each of her student’s unique talents, encouraging them to carve a niche for their own success.

De Acha’s “claim what is yours” teaching mantra has fueled the passion in each of her students to build on their unique abilities, and to claim their place on the professional stage. By exemplifying this herself, she inspires this in her students.

De Acha sits on the CCM Power Board and co-directs and underwrites the costs of “Music for All Seasons at Historic Peterloon,” an annual four-concert music series that features CCM students, faculty and area professionals, and helps to bring community awareness to CCM. All proceeds are donated for student scholarships.

In de Acha’s 46th year as a performer and teacher, she refers to teaching at CCM as “the gift she gives herself.” And, her students and colleagues are unanimous in their praise for her unwavering commitment to community outreach and charitable efforts, but especially for her keen ability to recognize and enhance the distinctive best in each one of her students –– which changes their lives forever.

Provost's Faculty Career Award

  • Urmila Ghia
    Professor Emerita, Mechanical Engineering
    College of Engineering and Applied Science

Urmila Ghia, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering, has a UC career that spans over four decades. With research sponsored by NSF, AFOSR, NASA, ONR, DAGSI, NIOSH, P&G, GE Aviation, McDonnell Douglas, CRAY and others, she is internationally recognized in her primary research area of Computational Fluid Dynamics, for noteworthy developments leading to advanced understanding of the physics of complex flows; one paper garnered more than 3,000 citations. 

A fellow of UC’S Graduate School, Ghia has been recognized as a master engineering educator for her dedication to students and teaching and has won the British Petroleum Faculty Excellence Award, the Dean Wandmacher Teaching Excellence Award and the George Barbour Award for Faculty-Student Relations. Ghia has also received the Sigma Xi Research Recognition Award, the George Rieveschl Award for Distinguished Scientific Research, the YWCA’s Career Woman of Achievement Award and the Just Community Award.  

She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, a distinguished alumna of the Illinois Institute of Technology and has received ASME’s Distinguished Service Award. Currently, Ghia serves on ASME’s Board of Governors, a position of high strategic responsibility. She is director of UC’s Women in Science and Engineering Program, wherein women undergraduates conduct faculty-mentored STEM research.  

The program proudly contributes 100 percent retention at UC. Ghia is co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE grant for Leadership, Empowerment, and Advancement for STEM Women Faculty to transform cultures in UC’s STEM departments and promote equity and professional success for women faculty.

Emerging Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

  • Daniel J. Hassett
    Professor, Molecular Genetics
    College of Medicine   

Daniel Hassett, PhD, was a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researching gonorrhea when he met a world expert on cystic fibrosis. He saw firsthand how families were impacted by the genetic disease, responsible for persistent lung infections that limit their ability to breathe due to airway infections.

“I started meeting people who had cystic fibrosis and found out they would cough up their sputum; it was really smelly, greenish looking stuff, and there was no good treatment for it.  I said then, ‘It’s going to be my life’s goal to find a major treatment where we kill these antibiotic resistant bacteria.’”

It’s a pledge that Hassett hopes to make good on, and he’s making progress. Hassett led a team of researchers that have found an “Achilles heel” of a dangerous organism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which lives in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. It’s vulnerable to destruction by slightly acidified sodium nitrite, a common food preservative. A mutation — known as mucA — may hold the key to helping physicians clear the characteristic “goop” from the lungs of advanced cystic fibrosis patients.

Hassett’s findings were reported in the February 2006 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has also developed a potential treatment for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, known as AB569. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Orphan Drug Status for AB569 — a combination of two active ingredients, sodium nitrite and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid — nebulized so it can be delivered to patients via inhaler. Currently, 30,000 people in the United States and 70,000 worldwide are affected by cystic fibrosis.

Hassett has devoted his lab to helping them, but he has offered another attribute in their aid on occasion: his voice. Accompanied by a 15-member orchestra, Hassett, dressed in his classic baseball hat and cowboy boots — they are his standard in and out of the lab — has sang his favorite Frank Sinatra tunes at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraisers. These events have raised from $75,000 to $200,000 in donations in past years.

Hassett says he’s “dead on Frank,” and we’re so glad he does it his way so well.

Distinguished Research Professor (STEMM)

  • James P. Herman
    Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
    College of Medicine

James Herman, PhD, recipient of this year’s STEMM Distinguished Research Professor title, fits the descriptor all too well, since a primary focus of his research revolves around a stem — the brain stem. Herman studies how brains process stressful information and the physiological actions that may result.

Herman is the principal investigator of three R01/NIMH grants, all studying different aspects of how the brain controls stress activity and diseases that are associated with stress. His laboratory examines the relationship of central nervous system stress circuits to the symptomology of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, aging and developmental disorders.

As director of the UC Neurobiology Research Center, Herman works to advance neuroscience research across the university. Among other activities, the center oversees a pilot program for neuroscience grants, with the goal to assemble research teams that can go on to be competitive for NIH research funding. Just since its inception in 2014, 13 of 15 awardees have received or submitted proposals for prestigious R01 grants.

“Herman is a leader in the College of Medicine, in the research arena, administratively and as a mentor,” says College of Medicine Dean and Senior Vice President for Health Affairs William Ball, MD. “He is in the very top group of elite scholars in the world investigating the neurobiology of stress. His studies have made a major impact on the field of stress neurobiology and psychiatry. Dr. Herman is a true citizen of the university, and his rare combination of attributes, leadership and expertise will drive the university to the top tier of research institutions.”

Innovative Uses of Technology in Teaching Award   

  • Jeffery Hill
    Assistant Professor of Clinical, Emergency Medicine
    College of Medicine

Jeffery Hill, MD, MEd, came out of his residency in 2012 with an interest in education. During his fellowship, he started up an education blog, tamingthesru.com. SRU, pronounced “shrew,” stands for shock resuscitation unit and is described on the blog as “where the sickest of the sick patients are found in our ED (emergency department). It is a crucible, a test of knowledge and strength and a true manifestation of the tripartite mission of our department: Leadership, Excellence and Opportunity.”

The blog gives Hill and the residents an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas on what they encounter as Air Care flight physicians in a creative and frequently entertaining way. It also features a podcast as part of the effort to provide information in an asynchronous way in order to meet the challenging schedules of the residents.

The blog aspires to describe the sights, sounds and smells of the Air Care environment, so that when the residents encounter it in the future, it can reactivate the memory of the learning they did on fictional cases described in great detail in the blog. Hill is a native of Madison, Indiana, and lives in Anderson Township with his wife and their two-year old daughter.

Provost’s Faculty Career Award

  • Howard E. Jackson
    Professor, Physics, and Distinguished Teaching Professor
    McMicken College of Arts and Sciences 

Howard Jackson, PhD, is a nationally recognized researcher and educator after his four decades of service at UC. His research is largely funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

His dedication to his students ranges from advising high-level semiconductor research to engaging students in a general education course on the Physics of Sound and Music. His commitment to developing cross-disciplinary education research projects — funded by the NSF — has elevated STEM education across UC as well as with UC’s K-12 partners in education.

UC’s research funding doubled to more than $300 million annually when Jackson served as associate senior vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. He increased graduate student stipends, initiated grant-writing workshops and supported programs to build recruitment and retention of women and first-generation students in STEM fields. He has mentored 25 PhD students and 7 postdoctoral fellows.

“It has been 33 years since I graduated but the measure in which he supports his students and how they value him can been seen in that I have been in annual contact with him through all these years,” writes Mitra Dutta, vice chancellor for research, University of Illinois at Chicago. “Interestingly enough, some of my current research in nanowires and phonons in nanostructures still parallels his, even though we have moved so far away from what I did for my PhD work.”

Distinguished Research Professors (AHSS)

  • Frank R. Kardes
    Professor, Marketing
    Lindner College of Business

What factors influence how and what consumers decide to buy? In his more than 26-year career at the University of Cincinnati, Frank Kardes has become a powerhouse of research in answering those questions – with no signs of slowing down.

Kardes, the Donald E. Weston Professor of Marketing in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, is the author of eight books, including four textbooks and more than 90 widely-cited journal articles in the field of advertising, consumer behavior and market research.

His expansive body of work earned him the Society for Consumer Psychology’s 2004 Distinguished Scientific Achievement award, which honors outstanding lifelong research productivity and contributions, and a “Highest Honors” spot in 2008 on the “Honor Roll of Consumer Researchers” by the authors of a leading consumer behavior textbook.

A highly sought-after speaker, Kardes also regularly shares his findings with colleagues both far and wide, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Cornell, the Australian Graduate School of Management, the London Business School and INSEAD in France.

What fuels his passion for research? “I’m a curious fellow and I enjoy conducting research and working with PhD students,” Kardes says simply.  “I’ve never slowed down. I have many new studies I’m working on right now.”

“There is no question that Frank Kardes is at the top of the marketing research field,” said David Szymanski, dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. “His presence on our faculty adds much prestige to the university’s reputation the world over.”

Faculty Award for Exemplary Service to the University

  • Brett M. Kissela

    Professor and Chair, Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine
    College of Medicine

Praised as a partner working across the clinical enterprise, Brett Kissela, MD, MS, as his nominees noted, may not know the word “No.” While his sights were set on the growth of the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, along the way he quickly understood that interdepartmental and intercollege cooperation is a sure path to broad success for the university. Now he’s improving and sustaining key relationships between UC and the community that will take the university to new heights.

In addition to his responsibilities as department chair, Kissela, the Albert Barnes Voorheis Chair at the UC College of Medicine, is a co-principal investigator of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Study and has been the co-director of the Community Engagement Core for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training. A large university-wide effort to promote improved health outcomes, it has connected colleges and programs across the university, including Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning; McMicken College of Arts and Sciences; the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to groups in the community. Kissela was on the writing team that successfully refunded this effort.

“As researchers, we are experts; we study a treatment for something — we design it. Community-engaged research is more about meeting with the community groups first, to listen to them, their issues, what problems do they have or want us to solve,” Kissela says.

“The hope is, that you immediately can implement this new answer in the community to solve problems or improve care.”

George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works

  • Jonathan Kregor     

    Professor, Department of Composition, Musicology and Theory
    College-Conservatory of Music

In moving from assistant to full professor of musicology in only eight short years, Jonathan Kregor’s career has followed a trajectory that might be referred to in musical terms as prestissimo.

Since coming to the College-Conservatory of Music in 2007, he has produced extensive publications and given numerous invited talks in North America and Europe that have brilliantly opened visual and acoustic windows into the lives, politics and musical activities and works of 19th-century classical composers — most particularly into the complex and fascinating life of the Hungarian composer-pianist Franz Liszt.

While Liszt’s own compositions form a central — albeit still controversial — part of today’s musical canon, Kregor has focused in-depth on an overlooked part of Liszt’s musical activities: his transcriptions of other composers’ works. By detailing the significance of Liszt’s reproductions for the piano of orchestral and large-scale vocal compositions by Wagner, Mozart, Berlioz, Beethoven and others, Kregor’s scholarship sheds a unique light on the impact that Liszt and his contemporaries all had on the broader intellectual context of 19th-century Europe. And Dr. Kregor’s expertise as the leading Liszt scholar of his generation has also evolved into him becoming an equally respected authority on 19th-century program music.

Through his vast array of scholarly publications that include monographs, articles and essays and critically edited music, Kregor has helped shape the understanding of 19th-century music by skillfully inviting everyone to reconsider assumptions about classical creativity and the compositional process.

Owing to frequent testimony, Jonathan Kregor continues to enrich the lives of his students, collaborators and colleagues as a beacon in the field of historical musicology: not only through his distinguished scholarship, but also — as a student of a student of a student of Liszt himself — by transforming its results into musical practice.

Faculty Award for Exemplary Service to the University

  • Ricardo Moena
    Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences
    McMicken College of Arts and Sciences

Ricardo Moena, PhD, works every day to find the right equation for student success in math classes at UC as well as in high schools across the state and around the country. A well-respected educator, leader and innovator, Moena has provided exceptional service to UC since he joined the faculty in 1982.

He has long served the students most likely to fall through academic cracks, seeing in them the potential that others have not. Moena, who received his mathematics doctorate from UC in 1990, never gives up. Not only has he led statewide faculty efforts to develop consistent learning outcomes to guide the state-mandated process, he has worked extensively with high-school teachers leading dual-enrollment courses to ensure that they have the training and support they need to meet rigorous collegiate standards.

At UC, he has worked tirelessly to increase passage rates and retention in gateway math courses, using whatever innovative instructional techniques it takes. Roundly praised for his collegiality, his energy and his dogged dedication to student success, Moena embodies the spirit of the Faculty Senate’s Award for Exemplary Service to the University of Cincinnati.

Mrs. A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Awards for Excellence in Teaching  

  • Sally C. Moomaw
    Associate Professor, Teacher Education
    College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services

Preschool children’s natural mode of learning is through play. That’s why educator Sally Moomaw, EdD, has spent her entire career developing, researching and writing about play-based curriculum.

As a longtime preschool and kindergarten teacher at the UC Arlitt Center, she worked with colleagues to completely redevelop the math, science, literacy and music curriculum. These efforts culminated in the publication of the textbook "Teaching Mathematics in Early Childhood" (2011) and 13 early childhood curriculum books, of which "More Than Counting: Standards Edition" won the coveted Teachers’ Choice Award from Learning Magazine for 2011.

After retiring from the classroom, she decided it was time to earn a doctorate so that she could formally research aspects of math development that she had long observed in the classroom. In 2008 she received her doctorate in special education from UC and, following a national search, joined the Early Childhood Education faculty in CECH. Now Dr. Moomaw devotes her time to research and teaching future early childhood educators.

Most recently she has developed and validated a preschool math assessment in which children create a story of teddy bears on a picnic and are assessed through a series of games. Several undergraduate students were involved in this research, which has inspired her to incorporate teacher-based research as a component of her undergraduate teaching. Her hope is to mentor future teachers to develop appropriate curriculum for their students and study the outcomes, much as her own faculty mentor, the late professor Anne Dorsey, encouraged her to do.

George Barbour Award for Good Faculty-Student Relations

  • Ruth A. Seiple
    Professor Educator, Operations and Business Analytics
    Lindner College of Business  

Ruth Seiple has become synonymous with learning outside the classroom. It’s not uncommon for Seiple, professor-educator of Operations Management (OM) and Industrial Management (IM) at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, to whisk her students off to a manufacturing and distribution plant in the middle of the night for a midnight tour because she says “that’s when the action happens.” Her tours of DHL, Cintas, GE Aviation and Procter & Gamble offer students a glimpse of operations in practice.

Her students relish the real-world experience of the company tours and networking with executives. Positive feedback from both students and employers led to her to pilot a course consisting exclusively of tour visits and industry speakers.

Inside the classroom, Seiple consistently earns high praise and is often referred to as “the best professor I’ve ever had” in course evaluations. Her students note that she teaches with great enthusiasm and that her passion shines through on a daily basis. Every lecture is prepared, engaging and connected to practice. She also leverages her strong relationships with alumni (her former students) to help current students land co-op opportunities and discover rewarding careers.

Internationally, Seiple has led many study abroad groups to China and Chile, always ensuring that each company visit is meticulously planned to broaden each student’s horizon of conducting business abroad.

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Awards

  • Peggy A. Shannon-Baker
    Adjunct Assistant Professor, Educational Studies
    College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services

Peggy Shannon-Baker is a teacher-researcher whose work embodies a commitment to transformative multicultural learning experiences.

Shannon-Baker is known for her work with international students at UC and her programs that take students to countries such as Ecuador, Tanzania and Kenya. Students laud her abilities to negotiate cultural differences and incorporate globally diverse perspectives in the classroom.

With a particular emphasis on service learning, Shannon-Baker’s courses incite students to critically examine “real world experiences.” She approaches service learning as a mechanism to help communities meet their own self-identified needs. In her courses, students have led a workshop on designing interactive lesson plans, tutored students after school and mentored girls to develop their leadership.  

Shannon-Baker excels in presenting “advanced and cutting-edge topics to graduate students.” A faculty member commenting on her teaching said that Shannon-Baker “effectively” finds ways to engage challenging classes in “meaningful discussion.”

She also regularly presents her research on teaching and learning at numerous regional, national and international conferences, including the American Educational Research Association and the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.

Shannon-Baker’s teaching focuses on building personal relationships with each student and incorporating their needs in the classroom, such as through introduction surveys at the start of the term and midterm evaluations. She has been described as “a compassionate, accessible educator who is actively addressing important socio-cultural issues.”

George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Distinguished Scientific Research

  • George W. Uetz
Professor and Head, Biological Sciences
    McMicken College of Arts and Sciences

When George Uetz was a child, a large spider raced up his arm, leaving him terrified of the eight-legged creatures for years to come. Today, the University of Cincinnati biological sciences professor is considered among the world’s leading arachnologists.

The irony isn’t lost on him.  

“I’m the poster child for overcoming arachnophobia through science,” Uetz says, with a laugh.  

The impact of Uetz’s more than 45 years of research extends far beyond spiders. The author of more than 140 widely cited articles in some of the field’s leading journals, Uetz’s expansive body of work marks a seminal contribution to the larger study of animal behavior and communication.

One of Uetz’s earliest contributions came when, as a doctoral student, he discovered how differences in courtship and communication contributed to the origin of a new species of wolf spiders.  Another pioneering discovery came in the late '80s, when he and then-doctoral student David Clark developed the use of video playback to study spider behaviors, a breakthrough that is now used by labs worldwide to study birds, mammals and other organisms. Uetz and his team have since expanded the technique to include other forms of multi-sensory communication, like vibrations.   

Lauded as an excellent mentor, Uetz regularly attracts the strongest graduate student applicants to UC’s biological sciences department, of which he serves as department head.  

“Through his superior mentorship, Dr. Uetz has created an expansive legacy of talented active animal behavior researchers who will continue to reflect his influence on the field for decades to come,” said Ken Petren, dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of biological sciences.








- Posted April 19, 2016