Faculty, staff recognized for accomplishments, years of service at FHSU holiday party

Dr. Gavin Buffington, Marla Staab and Dr. Amy Finch were announced today at the annual Holiday Party and Awards Ceremony as the winners of Fort Hays State University's 2009 fall faculty awards.

Three faculty members have been recognized for teaching, research and service for fall 2009 in FHSU’s Faculty Recognition Program. Dr. Gavin Buffington, associate professor of physics and chair of the Department of Physics, was recognized for teaching. Marla Staab, clinical coordinator for the Department of Communication Disorders, was recognized for service. Dr. Amy Finch, professor of communication disorders and chair of the Department of Communication Disorders, received the award for research.

Simone Werth, student employment coordinator in the Financial Assistance Office, and Lisa Karlin, assistant to the president, were named the winners of the President's Distinguished Service Award, begun in 2007 to recognize one classified and one non-teaching, unclassified staff member. The award is given for excellence, dedication and commitment to FHSU over a sustained period. Each receives $500.

Werth was cited for bringing to her job an enthusiasm that "few can match," a deep knowledge of FHSU resources and a "strong rapport with faculty, staff, students and the off-campus community."

Karlin was recognized for her "level-headedness," her kindness and her patience in dealing with one of the widest ranging areas of responsibility on campus. She arranges and serves as a hostess for various dinners and receptions, sponsors the Anderson VIPs, arranges special events, handles some of the bookkeeping in the President's Office, helps with correspondence, and serves as director of the equal employment opportunity office.

The faculty recognition program rewards outstanding instructors who are nominated by each of the four colleges of the university. Recipients are selected by a committee appointed by the respective college deans. Three winners will also be selected during the spring semester.Each award winner, in the fall and the spring, receives a $500 check and is eligible for the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award announced at the Fall Convocation in August. The Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year receives a $1,000 award. Commerce Bank contributes to the monetary award.

Buffington was selected for bringing "subject matter to life through personal experiences and demonstrations." He was cited for innovation in applying technology and group and peer teaching experiences and making himself available to students even while serving as chair of the department.

Staab was recognized for her personal contact with many clients of the Herndon Clinic and being involved in the ongoing data collection on the efficiency and effectiveness of services. She was also involved in the clinic's designation as a Rite Care clinic and assists the community through the American Accent program, Parents as Teachers, Head Start and in other capacities.

Finch's recognition was for her primary scholarship in communication, specifically development of language and literacy in children with severe communication disorders. She has also collaborated with colleagues, mentored numerous graduate students and has been invited to conduct many workshops.

In addition to the announcement of the faculty and Distinguished Service Award winners, 55 employees were recognized for their years of service to the state of Kansas, including two 40-year and ten 30-year employees.

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