FHSU faculty members honored in revamped faculty awards program

Three Fort Hays State University instructors were recently recipients for Fort Hays State University's redesigned Fall 2003 Faculty Awards program.

Dr. Jim Rucker, chair of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Dr. Brett Weaver, assistant professor of English, and Duane Shepherd, assistant professor of health and human performance, were acknowledged Dec. 9 and 10 by a faculty recognition committee for their contributions to the university classroom and the student body.

The faculty recognition program rewards outstanding instructors from the four colleges of the university. Recipients are selected by a committee chaired or appointed by the respective college deans.

Rucker received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Business and Leadership after being nominated by 16 faculty members within Business and Leadership. In more than 30 years as an educator at FHSU, Rucker has received several other on-campus and regional teaching awards. He teaches on and off campus and was named as the National Business Education Association Collegiate Teacher of the Year 2003.

"Dr. Rucker's nomination provides a wonderful opportunity to honor a nationally recognized teacher in his field," said Dr. Chris Crawford, assistant provost for quality management.

Weaver was presented with the Outstanding Research Award for his performance in the College of Arts and Sciences. He recently published Calling Up the Dead, a collection of stories, and the research-based book An Annotated Bibliography of J.D. Salinger. Weaver also is working on several other scholarly activities.

"Dr. Weaver has had a substantial impact in the scholarship of his discipline and his contributions spoke loudly to the committee," Crawford said.

Shepherd received the Outstanding Service Award from the College of Health and Life Sciences for his numerous services. Shepherd serves on the Kansas Association of HPERD and AAHPERD and is the leader for the Special Olympics, the ARC HHP Scholarship and Recruitment Committee, University Gerontology Committee and Phi Epsilon Kappa Physical Education Honor Fraternity.

"Mr. Shepherd's service to the university community, the Hays community and beyond is exemplary, and he would be an outstanding role-model for service at the university," Crawford said.

The faculty recognition program, which began as a way to recognize outstanding faculty for the use of mediation and innovation in the classroom, was recently restructured by a task force appointed by Dr. Larry Gould, Provost and interim dean for the College of Business and Leadership.

"The former system was destined to evolve into something else. There was much dissatisfaction from the colleges as to how the award nominations and monthly process were handled," Crawford said. "John Ross, director of Forsyth Library, and the Council of the Deans developed this more meaningful and substantial system. It reflects faculty workload and is used more extensively to present only a select number of faculty with an award."

Rucker, Weaver and Sheperd each received a check for $500, a note cube, and a university lapel pin that signifies teaching excellence. Two-thirds of the financial award is provided by the university and the other third comes from Commerce Bank of Hays, which established a fund with the university to help recognize outstanding faculty teaching.

Three more faculty will honored in the spring.

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Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu