UW-Sheboygan faculty, staff honored with awards
The University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan recently honored several faculty and staff with awards for their commitment to academics and students on the UW-Sheboygan campus. The following faculty/staff received awards during the 2012 Honors Convocation ceremony on May 3 in the UW-Sheboygan Fine Arts Theatre:
Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Mary Buser, now retired Associate Professor of Psychology, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her retirement from UW-Sheboygan during the Fall 2011 semester.
Dr. Buser retired in September 2011 after 25 years of teaching Psychology and Education at UW-Sheboygan, during which she selflessly devoted hours and hours of her time to mentoring students and younger faculty and staff, providing a constant example of collegiality.
During her years of service to the campus, Dr. Buser volunteer as an advisor to Sheboygan Student Government and several other student organizations on the campus, providing guidance and leadership for students involved in campus life.
Buser also served as an innovator, designing interdisciplinary courses, courses to engage students during their first year in college and courses that incorporated service learning. She also contributed greatly to the pedagogy of Psychology and Education by attending and presenting at various professional conferences throughout her career.
As a result of her retirement, Buser has received official Emeritus status from the UW Colleges, and her name will be added to the official UW-Sheboygan Emeritus Plaque that hangs outside the campus Emeritus Office.
Dean’s Recognition Award
This year, the Dean’s Recognition Award was presented to Ms. Kay Schmitz, UW-Sheboygan Food Services Manager.
Schmitz, who has served as the Food Services Manager for the past two years, was honored for her selfless service to the campus. Nominators noted Schmitz’s beautiful display of food and her ability to handle all the many food-related requests at the campus. Schmitz manages and operates the Commons Café, Cyber Café and coordinates all catering needs for special events at UW-Sheboygan.
One nominator stated that, “Kay never complains, is never late and is always prepared. She is a perfect example of what the Dean’s Recognition Award is all about – selfless service with no regard for reward.”
Arthur M. Kaplan Outstanding Teacher Award
UW-Sheboygan Development Math Coordinator and instructor Ms. Janette Miller received the 2011 Arthur M. Kaplan Outstanding Teacher Award. The Arthur M. Kaplan Award program was established to recognize outstanding contributions made to education by UW Colleges Faculty and Academic Staff. It recognizes the positive spirit that Provost/Vice Chancellor Emeritus Arthur M. Kaplan contributed to enhance education in the UW Colleges.
Miller, who joined UW-Sheboygan in January 2006, was honored for her outstanding contributions in the instruction of Developmental Math courses at UW-Sheboygan and across the UW Colleges and for her efforts in the launch of the HAWKES program on the UW-S campus. The HAWKES program utilizes a mastery-based computerized mathematics software that allows students to complete more than one math course in a semester, thereby creating a shorter path toward the completion of core math requirements for the Associate’s degree.
As Developmental Math Coordinator for the UW Colleges, Miller stays abreast of developmental math teaching and learning issues, assesses the success of developmental math students and completes periodic research on improving developmental math courses and programing.
Barrett P. Scherff Instructional Academic Staff Recognition Award
UW-Sheboygan communication and theatre arts instructor Mr. Rick Ponzio received the Barrett P. Scherff Instructional Academic Staff Recognition Award. This award is presented to a UW-Sheboygan instructional academic staff member who has gone above and beyond their contractual obligations inside and outside the classroom to help make lasting contributions to the education of UW-Sheboygan students and the local community.
As Instructional Academic Staff in either a part-time or full-time role at UW-Sheboygan, many of these instructors also work second or third jobs, often commuting many miles to teach on other UW Colleges campuses. Despite all these obligations and commitments, Ponzio found the time to give a bit more to the UW-Sheboygan campus.
Known by his colleagues and students alike as “infectiously upbeat,” Ponzio engages his students and his colleagues. Ponzio was commended for his dedication and commitment to his students’ success both in and outside of the classroom as noted in his lively classroom discussions and light-hearted humor – both efforts aimed at motivating his students.
As this year’s Engaging Students in the First Year Campus Coordinator, Ponzio sought to expand the LEC 100 program, engage more freshman students in classroom activities and in campus life, and ultimately improve retention.
In addition to his commitment to instruction and higher education, Ponzio has found the time to embrace art and theater, and is recognized by his peers as an accomplished sculptor and actor/director.
2012 Teaching Award
UW-Sheboygan Assistant Professor of Art History Dr. Sam Watson was honored with the 2012 UW-Sheboygan Teaching Award (also known as the Teacher of the Year Award). This annual award honors a UW-Sheboygan faculty or part-time instructor for his or her commitment to quality teaching in the classrooms and their efforts to ensure that students excel and reach their educational goals. Each year, the campus is asked to vote for an instructor who has demonstrated this excellence in the classroom and made lasting contributions for both the campus and the community.
Watson, who teaches Art History at UW-Sheboygan, UW-Manitowoc, UW-Fox Valley and UW Colleges Online through a shared position, is known for his smile and unwavering jovial attitude. Nominators commended Watson’s teaching style, stating he was both skilled and experienced in his subject and approachable and kind to his students.
His students noted his ability to help them grasp the subject and appreciate all that the past has to offer to the present. Students stated that Watson’s lectures capture both the history and aesthetics of Art History, and raved about his demeanor, his fairness and intelligence.
During the past two years, Watson also has served as the chair and now co-chair of the campus Appointments Committee, which recruits, interviews and recommends new faculty hires for the UW-Sheboygan campus. He also serves as a faculty adviser on campus, offering his leadership and assistance in any way possible to help student organizations organize and coordinate events and programs.