Indiana University East recognized several faculty and staff with awards for their service to the university during the Honors Convocation ceremony held April 24.
Tonya Breymier, associate dean for Nursing Graduate Programs and lecturer of nursing, and Brenda Buckner, assistant professor of education, are this year’s recipients of the Helen Lees Award, established in 1991.
Professor Emeritus Lees passed away in 1992, but her spirit continues in this annual award to honor a full-time faculty member who has taught at least 10 semesters at IU East.
Breymier received the award for integrating high impact practices into her courses, tying together her philosophy of teaching with service to the community. Her students praise her focus on deep learning, critical thinking and career preparedness. She also passed the Certified Nurse Educator exam, placing her among an elite group of nursing faculty nationally.
Buckner has taught a wide range and variety of courses; her teaching specializes in instructing her students on how to teach reading. The impact of her teaching is seen in the strong outcomes that she carefully documents, a practice she passes on to her students.
Parul Khurana, assistant professor of biology, is the recipient of the New Faculty Award for Teaching. Parul documents in a reflective journey that she takes risks and then revises courses based on student learning outcomes. Student success is clearly Khurana’s top priority in her teaching. She seeks out colleagues for peer reviews to improving her teaching. Khurana is learns as she teaches, and her students show their appreciation.
Steven Petersheim, assistant professor of English, is the recipient of the Progress Award for New Faculty. The Progress Award is a symbol of achievement for new faculty members as they are establishing their careers at IU East.
Petersheim has made a significant contribution to IU East. He has taught both American Literature and composition courses, completed the Certificate in Online Teaching, and he has published four articles in refereed journals and five encyclopedia articles. He has held readings on campus and in the community. He is working with Richmond Civic Theatre as a committee member for the Richmond Shakespeare Festival.
Suzi Shapiro, associate professor of psychology, will receive this year’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Shapiro is retiring this year. She achieved many accomplishments including the introduction of online courses to the IU East curriculum. As the previous director of the IU East Teaching and Learning Center, Shapiro shared her knowledge and experience with technology with other faculty. This past year, she served as chair of the Department of Social Sciences.
Marilyn Watkins, dean of the School of Education, received the Faculty Special Achievement Award. She is retiring this year. While at IU East she has served as a division chair or dean twice, including most recently since 2007. She successfully led the accreditation of IU East Education programs multiple times.
Watkins served on the executive committee of the Indiana Association of College Teacher Educators, including a term as its president, and on the Teacher Education Council of the Indiana Professional Standards Board. She received Indiana University’s Distinguished Teaching Award 2000, and has served on the IU Committee that selects awardees since 2005.
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.
Liz Johnson, graphic designer in the Office of Communications and Marketing, received the Professional Council Service Award and Pamela Marcum, administrative specialist at the IU East Connersville Center, received the Staff Council Service Award.
Marcum was recognized for the support and guidance that she provides to students, her dedication to student success, and her exemplary work ethic.
Hubie Branstrator is the recipient of the Student Employee Service recognition. The recognition honors a student employee who has demonstrated excellence in attitude, commitment, teamwork, contribution, and/or inspiration in his/her job at IU East.
Branstrator has been a valuable Admissions Ambassador and Pack Leader in the Office of Admissions over the past four years. He is kind and hardworking and he is always willing to go above and beyond. Branstrator will receive his Bachelor of Science in Biology.