IU East Honors Convocation celebrates faculty, staff excellence

April 28th, 2011

Indiana University East recognized several faculty and staff with awards for their service to the university during the Honors Convocation ceremony held April 28.

Chancellor Nasser Paydar and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Larry Richards presented the following IU East faculty with awards during the program.

Teresa Henderson Vázquez, lecturer of World Languages and Cultural Affairs, received the Helen Lees Award for Excellence in Teaching. The Helen Lees Award was established in 1991. Professor Emeritus Lees passed away in 1992, but her spirit continues in the award IU East presents each year. It is to honor a full-time faculty member who has taught at least 10 semesters at IU East.

She received the award for her willingness and passion to change and improve in response to student needs, and the changes she has made have enriched student learning experiences. For example, student participants in her Amigos service-learning project have responded positively. Her commitment to student achievement speaks directly to the spirit of the Helen Lees Award.

Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, associate professor of English, received the Award for Excellence in Research. This award recognizes excellence in research and/or creative work by a full-time faculty member over a sustained period of time. She is the director of IU East’s Honors Program and an outstanding scholar and researcher. In 2010, she was awarded an IU New Frontiers grant for her research on children’s hymnody. She has published extensively, including the book, Angelic Airs, Subversive Songs, which has received national attention. She has published many refereed articles on Victorian literature and children’s literature, two interest areas that come together in her current project, a book on Nineteenth-Century British Children’s Hymnody. She recently received the Indiana University Herman Frederic Lieber Memorial Distinguished Teaching Award. She has made it a priority that her research and scholarship inform her teaching.

Greg Braxton-Brown, professor of business administration and director of Southeast Indiana Programs, received the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. This award recognizes distinguished service, either one-time or sustained, by a full-time faculty member above and beyond the expectations of any compensation or release time provided for the service. Greg has implemented collaborations with Ivy Tech Community College in Lawrenceburg and Madison, and his initiatives have been highly successful in serving students who would not otherwise have access to a face-to-face bachelor’s degree program. There have been 270 students who have graduated from these programs and gone on to be successful in their careers, a reflection of his vision, leadership, knowledge and skills.

Joanne Passet, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of history, received the Chancellor’s Faculty Award. This award recognizes outstanding all-around achievement, either short-term or sustained, by an IU East faculty member, and can be awarded for any combination of research, teaching, and service.

Passet has excelled in all aspects of a faculty member’s responsibilities — teaching, research and service. She has been the recipient of both teaching and research awards, and her service to the campus and her profession has been exemplary. For the past two years, Passet has served as dean with skill and patience at a time of major change throughout the IU East campus. Her passion for her discipline and her profession drives her to continue to make impressive contributions to teaching, research and service.

Awards were presented to an outstanding support staff member and professional staff member who have made significant contributions to IU East during the past year. Carla Bowen, administrative specialist for the School of Education, received the Staff Council Service Award and Eleni Siatra, Writing Center Coordinator for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, received the Professional Council Service Award.

Bowen is an active member of Staff Council and despite her busy schedule agreed to serve as our campus’ staff representative on the University’s Employee Health Care Advisory Committee.  Carla is also thought of very highly by faculty and students in the School of Education.

Siatra has a positive attitude that is apparent in all of her work. She does not see problems, but opportunities, and she responds enthusiastically to challenges. She treats everyone with the utmost respect. Her collaborative style and collegial attitude have earned her the respect of co-workers and students alike.

Miranda Knight is the inaugural recipient of the Student Employee Recognition. Knight has been an exemplary work-study employee for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She exhibits professionalism through her work ethic, reliability and trustworthiness.

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