IU East announces awards for faculty to enhance development, create community engagement course

Six faculty members at Indiana University East have received grants for research projects and course development.

portrait of Cal Simpson

LaCalvince (Cal) Simpson

The awards will be presented during the Faculty and Staff Annual Award Ceremony on March 25.

Faculty awards and recipients include:

  • Erwin and Priscilla Boschmann Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant: LaCalvince (Cal) Simpson, senior lecturer in management, and Sanga Song, assistant professor of marketing.
  • Center for Faculty Development Faculty Fellowship for 2020: Melissa Blankenship, lecturer of English.
  • Chancellor’s Community Engagement Course Development Grant: Carrie Mier, assistant professor of criminal justice; Jaynne Rivas, assistant professor of management; and Yan Liu, assistant professor of business administration.

Stephanie Whitehead, director of the Center for Faculty Development and associate professor of criminal justice, said, “These awards offer faculty the opportunity to explore projects in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and share what they learn with the campus.This is a great opportunity for the winners’ personal development as they learn about ways to improve their own teaching in an evidence-based way.”

portrait of Sanga Song

Sanga Song

Simpson and Song are faculty members for the School of Business and Economics. Their project is “The Unfamiliar Territory of eText Learning and Non-Traditional Students.” Non-traditional students often struggle to integrate into college life, especially in today’s rapidly transforming learning environment. With the continuous development of new learning platforms, adjusting to college courses has become especially challenging for non-traditional students, who are more comfortable working in non-digital environments. This project will present a series of quantitative and qualitative studies that will offer helpful insights and practical suggestions for maximizing the benefits of e-texts and meeting the needs of non-traditional students.

Simpson received his Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Marketing and certificates in general business, marketing management and international business management from Madonna University.

Song received her Ph.D. in Retail Merchandising and Consumer Studies from the University of Minnesota. She received her Master of Science in Clothing and Textiles with a concentration in Fashion Marketing and her Bachelor of Arts in Human Environment and Design with a minor in Political Diplomacy from Yonsei University, in Seoul, Korea. Her research interests include online consumer behavior and social media marketing.

portrait of Melissa Blankenship

Melissa Blankenship

Blankenship is a faculty member in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Her project is “Assessing the Effectiveness of Audio Feedback.” This project focuses on the use of audio feedback in intensive writing courses, particularly first-year composition courses. The research centers on students’ evaluative assessment of feedback received in all courses. The preliminary research during the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters indicates that audio feedback—a high impact practice—significantly contributes to student’s interest and encourages revision.

Blankenship received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction from Murray State University and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in English with a Creative Writing minor from IU East. Her creative interests include creative non-fiction, memoir, essay forms and poetry.

portrait of Carrie Mier

Carrie Mier

Mier is a faculty member in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Her project is “Victims and Survivors: Promoting Service Learning and Community Engagement in an Undergraduate Violence and Victimization Course.” The purpose of this project is to promote student learning and community engagement at campus and community levels. The course under development is implementing service-learning in a 300 level topics course on violence and victimization.

Mier received her Ph.D. in Criminology and her Master of Science in Criminology from Florida State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and Criminal Justice with a Minor in Psychology from Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. Her research interests include drug trends at the local, state and national levels, community risk and resilience to substance issues, stigma, risk and protection to violence and victimization, and scholarship of teaching and learning.

portrait of Jaynne Rivas

Jaynne Rivas

Rivas and Liu are faculty members in the School of Business and Economics.

Their project is “Business and Society: Community Engagement.” This project will be a service-learning project which combines learning goals and community service in ways that can enhance both student growth and the common good. The students in course J-404 will organize an event for the community to bring their pets to walk and play from the IU East campus to the Middle Fork Reservoir. Student’s activities in the project include designing event activities, writing a project plan, acquiring event materials, advertising the event and implementing the event plan.

staff portrait on gray backdrop of Yan Liu

Yan Liu

Rivas received her Ph.D. in Business Administration and her Master of Science in Management from Tulane University. She has a Master of Science in Public Policies from IESA Business School in Caracas, Venezuela, and her Bachelor of Science in Agronomic Engineering from the Central University of Venezuela. Her research interests include institutional theory, partnership approaches, business strategy, international business, and teaching methodologies.

Liu received her Doctor of Business Administration and her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. She received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from NanChang University in Nanchang, China. Her research interests include positive organizational behavior, leadership, proactive behavior, deviance behavior, human resource practice and research methodology.