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SOCHE EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Academic Officers at each SOCHE member institution submitted faculty members who demonstrated excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship throughout the 2021 calendar year. Similarly, Human Resources Officers at each SOCHE member institution named staff members who demonstrated excellence in student success, service, and assessment throughout the past year.

Winners will be acknowledged throughout 2022 via SOCHE social media channels during the months noted below.

award winners 2021-2022

January 2022 Honorees

Dr. Daniel J. Emmons II
Assistant Professor of Space Physics, Department of Engineering Physics
Air Force Institute of Technology

Dr. Daniel Emmons taught four graduate space physics courses and guided the AFIT Department of Engineering Physics’ implementation of teaching evaluation tools to improve teaching effectiveness. He also supervised 22 doctoral and 36 masters-level military students, while acting as academic advisor for more than two dozen students and directing a mentoring program for more than 150 brand-new officers.

In the area of research, Dr. Emmons published three peer-reviewed journal articles and was the primary research advisor for several doctoral and masters’ students. Principal investigator for two Air Force grants and co-principal investigator for a NASA grant, Dr. Emmons presented research at an international working group and two research seminars.

His students say, “Major Emmons is one of the best at AFIT. He adapted to distance learning expertly and made the experience as enjoyable as it could be. He is extremely knowledgeable on the material, and it’s been a pleasure to have been able to take another one of his classes.” Another said, “The instructor was top-notch.”

Kimberly Ahlgrim
Director of Academic Enrichment, The Cove
Cedarville University

Kimberly Ahlgrim effectively assesses student needs (for critical services like tutoring, disability services, learning coaching) and adjusts services to meet those needs with excellence, grace, and humility, thus contributing to Cedarville University’s splendid retention and graduation rates. Her efforts are data-driven and student-centered, resulting in an excellent team of both students and staff alike serving with joy and excellence. She has created a supportive haven (thus the name “The Cove” for the center) that has enabled students who were floundering to then flourish.

Students are not aware of the behind-the-scenes assessment and evaluation that Kimberly utilizes to provide the outstanding services and compassionate support they receive. They just bloom because of the services, and they do enjoy the chocolates that are always available!

Dr. Arly Drake
Assistant Professor of Agriculture
Clark State College

Dr. Arly Drake has worked tirelessly to revise the curriculum for the Agriculture program at Clark State College, to ensure that students leave the program with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed. She has also been working the strengthen and establish new partnerships within the community.

Janelle Allen
Visiting Faculty, Biological Sciences
Miami University Regionals

Janelle Allen was the winner of the Faculty Achievement in Teaching Award (part-time) at Miami University Regionals in 2021. Her commitment to her students and to making science relevant to students’ lives led to this honor. Janelle’s innovative pedagogy marries current issues, such as the pandemic, with courses and topics like Human Physiology to help students understand science in real-world contexts. She also has been a contributing member to the Miami University Center for Teaching and Learning.

Bruce Fugate
Associate Professor of Nursing
Southern State Community College

Bruce Fugate originally joined Southern State in 1999 as a technician for the nursing department’s simulation programming. In 2002, Bruce became a full-time faculty member. For nearly 20 years, Bruce has been a leader in introducing cutting-edge technology into the student experience. As a pioneer in simulated learning environments, Bruce was among the first to introduce high-fidelity human patient simulators into the nursing curriculum.

Throughout the years, Bruce has monitored these systems and assured sustainability. Most recently, Bruce committed himself as a leader in the planning and designing the College’s new $3.6 million, 20,000 square feet Health Science Center. An integral part of the center’s design includes a full-scale simulation area to provide students an optimal learning environment, using state-of-the-art simulation equipment.

Vicki Baker-McFarlane
Account Resolution Coordinator, Student Financial Services
Wilmington College

Vicki Baker-McFarlane excels behind the scenes at Wilmington College, in the area of collections, but she is so valuable to the College and the students she serves. Each year, Vicki manages to out-perform the school’s third-party collectors because she leaves little for them to work with. She utilizes a quarterly report, which she designed, and spends a tremendous amount of time working on student files, getting them to pay in full. She also works with Perkins Fund management, which over time has accumulated a $300,000 return to the College. Vicki assists with Cares Act and HEERF monies, as well as with current students on hold. How Vicki treats each student in debt with compassion that coincides with our Core Values. Dealing with debt every day, she creates relationships with former students in debt to achieve mutual goals. During the third quarter alone, she achieved 22 accounts paid-in-full.

February 2022 Honorees

Penelope Adamson
Property Management Staff, Operations and Facilities
Antioch College

Since joining Antioch College in 2012, Penny Adamson has shown steadfast dedication to her work and to the College community. Every day, she puts focused attention into cleaning, caring for, and improving the College spaces. For example, before an accreditation visit, she scrubbed under the heat registers by hand and touched up dinged doorways in the president’s office. Even in the midst of challenges brought on by COVID-19, Penny has continued to go above and beyond in her service to the College. She has also been a person of support to Antioch students and demonstrates a strong commitment to the Antioch community.

Penny deserves this award because of her continued commitment to keeping the campus clean and safe for the students, staff, and faculty. It is noticeable as soon as you step into a building if Penny is responsible for cleaning it. When Penny was assigned to the Arts and Science Building, faculty members praised her for her hard work in maintaining the space. When the pandemic came, the stakes became even higher. Penny always greets students when she sees them.

Joey Daniels
Desktop System Administrator, Office of Information Technology
Central State University

Joey Daniels is a Desktop Systems Administrator in the Office of Information Technology at Central State University. Providing essential technology support, Joey is responsible for responding to the needs of university IT requests. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased the value he adds to supporting the technology needs of the university. As the institution rapidly increased its acquisition and deployment of technology, it is Joey who has helped facilitate this transition to remote operations, increasing everyone’s online presence.

Dr. Joshua Scully 
Assistant Professor of Chemistry 
Edison State Community College 

Dr. Josh Scully is an excellent faculty member who is held in high regard by his students and fellow faculty at Edison State Community College. He has participated in several service activities, including serving on curricular committees, enrollment events for STEM fields, and high school outreach programs. Dr. Scully has always worked hard to ensure the chemistry courses have the most current curriculum and equipment, resulting in significant changes over the past few years.  

In the last three years, the Chemistry Department has experienced staffing challenges, leaving Dr. Scully as the lone full-time faculty member in the department. Throughout this time, he has kept the department moving forward, putting student success at the forefront. These efforts are appreciated, and they serve as a prime example of a faculty member going above and beyond what is expected of him. 

Dr. Scully’s students say, “I cannot say enough great things about Josh, as he always is engaging students in the learning process and willing to individually help his students as needed.” “Josh is one of the best professors that I know. He is informative, understanding, and truly cares about his students’ success. He is a great instructor and is very passionate about his class.” 

Rebecca Drollinger 
Assistant Professor and Program Director, Clinical Laboratory Technology in Allied Health Instruction 
Sinclair Community College 

Rebecca Drollinger serves as Program Director for Clinical Laboratory Technology (CLT) at Sinclair Community College. Rebecca develops case studies related to each of the CLT course materials, so students may apply critical thinking to real-life scenarios. She uses multiple learning resources in order engage students in challenging and demanding courses. Rebecca enthusiastically mentors her co-workers and demonstrates her willingness to give back. She is constantly learning new methods of delivery for education, to improve the success of students and faculty. 

Students say, “Rebecca is an excellent program director who is organized, motivated, and always available to address student needs.” “Rebecca has made consistent and needed improvements in the CLT program.” “Best thing to ever happen to the Sinclair CLT program!” 

Dr. Amy Ciric 
Professor of Practice, Chemical and Materials Engineering 
University of Dayton 

Dr. Amy Ciric strongly contributes to the University of Dayton School of Engineering’s mission with her excellence in teaching and service. She redesigned the capstone design courses she teaches to emphasize safety, sustainability, and industry engagement in innovative sponsored projects. Dr. Ciric mentored over 50 undergraduate and graduate students for research and design projects, and she co-authored a publication about her award-winning solar thermal adsorption refrigeration project that addresses food and health disparities in developing countries. 

Dr. Stephanie Eveland
Visiting Professor, Chemistry 
Wittenberg University 

Dr. Stephanie Eveland has served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Wittenberg University since the fall of 2019. In this short amount of time, she has made significant contributions to her department. In addition to teaching several new courses, in the past year she successfully navigated the challenges of pivoting to remote and hyflex teaching while providing guidance to the rest of the department in these endeavors. Additionally, Dr. Eveland has mentored summer research students, formed a reading group on women and science, and served as advisor to the Chemistry Club. In all these activities, her department chair says Dr. Eveland shows a clear passion to help her students succeed.”   

March 2022 Honorees

Dr. Aihua W. Wood
Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Air Force Institute of Technology

Professor of Mathematics at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Dr. Aihua W. Wood demonstrated excellence by providing exceptional lectures under abnormal conditions. She had to teach remotely due to the pandemic and proved her excellent teaching ability by giving well-organized, focused lectures sprinkled with helpful questions. She gave key assistance to her students by including copies of her lecture notes and by offering extra help whenever they needed it. Dr. Wood also published two refereed journal articles and had another accepted for publication, all in international journals. 

From her students: “Dr. Wood’s course was well-organized. The lecture notes and topics were sent out in advance for students to review, which made the lectures easier to understand.” “She definitely has passion for the topic and wants her students to succeed. She would answer questions when asked and was very timely with homework feedback.”

Beth Barnes 
Student Success Services Coordinator, Student Affairs 
Antioch College 

Beth Barnes joined Antioch College in 2018 as Student Success Coordinator. Antioch students, faculty, and staff describe Beth as an “inspiration” and a “terrifically hard worker.” From her contributions to THRIVE, Antioch’s first-year student support program, to her leadership in the College’s First Care team, Beth engages in a variety of ways to support Antioch students, often using her experience as a teacher to connect with both students and faculty. Most importantly, Beth is known for consistently putting students first and working tirelessly to increase student support on campus. 

Cam Davis 
Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design in the Art, Design & Theatre Department 
Cedarville University 

Professor Cam Davis has consistently taught overloads and new preps, often without much warning and with the department short two faculty members in his teaching discipline. In addition to serving as a key member of a small department’s committees (hiring, assessment, biblical integration, etc.) he continues to serve with excellence as the department Canvas fellow, a role in which he is greatly appreciated. 

Dr. Brandy Bagar-Fraley 
Manager for Faculty Development and Support, Center for Teaching Excellence 
Franklin University 

With a distinct talent and passion for improving student writing and supporting faculty development across the institution, Dr. Brandy Bagar-Fraley has made a significant impact on Franklin University’s student-centered culture over the last year by translating scholarship into practice. She conducts many of the new faculty orientation courses, onboarding new faculty with an orientation focused on student success and inclusive pedagogy. Thousands of students reap the benefit of Dr. Bagar-Fraley’s efforts in mentoring new faculty, as well as her ideas about the conditions that lead to student success. In addition, she has led efforts to improve the writing program, developed training for faculty in a university-wide transition to a new learning management system, and served as an integral leader within the faculty senate. Dr. Bagar-Fraley’s communication skills and highly responsive support for faculty and students have been integral to the success of the school’s writing and faculty development programs. 

John Burke 
Director and Principal Librarian, Regional Campus Libraries 
Miami University Regionals 

Beyond creating programs and support services to help Miami University Regionals students achieve their academic goals, John Burke helps students explore their passions through the creation of the Makerspace and hosting of programs such as the National Trail Series. Behind the scenes, he is also committed to helping find the right staff and faculty to give the students the best educational experience. Students say, “John is someone you enjoy working with because he always does an exceptional job and is fun to work with. His passion for the success of the whole Miami Regionals community runs deep, and it drives others he works with to step up their game.” 

Dr. Suzanne Boyce 
Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders 
University of Cincinnati 

Dr. Suzanne Boyce has had a long-established research agenda in speech-language pathology at the University of Cincinnati. She has done seminal work using ultrasound to help children use it as biofeedback, which enables them to reposition their tongues to articulate the letter R. She has mentored doctoral students for many years and has received several mentoring awards. Dr. Boyce has been active in service to her profession and formerly served as the doctoral program director for communication science disorders. 

Dr. Corey Cockerill 
Professor of Communication Arts and Agriculture 
Wilmington College 

Dr. Corey Cockerill, professor of communication arts and agriculture at Wilmington College, is the new program director and the first female in that leadership position for the College’s largest academic area, agriculture. Dr. Cockerill joined WC in 2008 and established the agricultural communications concentration in more recent years.

April 2022 Faculty and Staff Honorees

Benjamin Doane 
Physical Science Technician, Department of Engineering Physics and Management 
Air Force Institute of Technology 

Benjamin Doane excelled in the performance of laboratory staff duties in the Department of Engineering Physics at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He directly supported academic research leading to award of multiple graduate degrees. Additionally, Benjamin ensured compliance with all safety procedures, supported equipment setup and repair, and facilitate laboratory supply purchasing needs in building 470. He also provided laboratory computers support and instructed faculty and students on the proper operation of equipment systems. 

Dr. Vincent Haddad 
Assistant Professor of English, Humanities 
Central State University 

Dr. Vincent Haddad is an assistant professor of English at Central State University. His scholarship on literature and comics has appeared or is forthcoming in the academic journals Inks, The Comparatist, ImageTexT, and College Literature, as well as several edited collections. He also contributes essays on comics and popular culture to venues for public scholarship, including Los Angeles Review of Books and Public Books. He incorporates this extensive research into the design of his American and African American literature courses. 

A graduate from the Central State English program writes, “You can see how passionate Vincent is about teaching by the excitement he would release during class, especially when there was a comic book involved. This set the tone and encouraged excitement out of all the students. Even on your worst day, you couldn’t help but be engaged in class and crack a smile to one of his jokes regarding the lesson.” 

Sarah Bayer 
Student Health Coordinator, President’s Office 
Kettering College 

Sarah Bayer added a new title to her name this year, Student Health Coordinator at Kettering College, but it happened overnight. She quickly learned all things COVID-related. She received thousands of emails day and night with COVID-related questions, and no matter the hour, she offered a kind response to each. Sarah always does an exceptional job at organizing and communicating the task at hand, and this past year has been no exception. 

Tina Hummons 
Registrar, Registration, and Student Records 
Sinclair Community College 

During the pandemic, Sinclair Community College’s Registration and Student Records department, under Tina Hummons’ leadership, was pivotal in helping students, faculty, and deans successfully manage the conversion of hundreds of courses in the academic program schedule from face-to-face to remote and online. Tina and her staff worked tirelessly to ensure that students had the courses they needed to complete their programs on time. The department chairs, in particular, were appreciative of her flexibility, patience, and dedication to helping them adjust course modalities and ensure the registration systems were meeting the needs of all stakeholders. During the Colleague system failure in 2021, Tina and her team went to great lengths, adjusting workflows, and staffing. Tina and her staff are deeply committed to student success. From managing applications, to inputting transcripts, to processing credentials, Tina’s team plays a significant role in completing an increasing number of students at Sinclair. 

Samuel Ginn 
Distance Learning Support Specialist, Instructional Technology | Academics 
Southern State Community College 

Southern State had the pleasure of meeting Samuel Ginn in response to its desperate need for a credentialed faculty member in Philosophy. Joining the College’s adjunct ranks in 2019, Sam has quickly positioned himself as an exceptional instructor and indispensable instructional technology support professional. Marrying his unique skill sets of teaching and instructional design with an approachable and pleasant demeanor, Sam has quickly become a hero among students and faculty, alike. Like his colleagues in the Instructional Technology Department, Sam delivers critical guidance and support to students who need help navigating CANVAS and to faculty building learning spaces. His regard for quality and passion for helping others serves as a model for excellence. 

Ione Damasco 
Professor and Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, Engagement and Operations | University Libraries 
University of Dayton 

Prof. Ione Damasco serves as a leader in the University of Dayton’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She exhibits insight, empathy, flexibility, and a commitment to the mission. She gives her time and attention to critical issues that make a difference in the lives of staff and faculty throughout the libraries and also across campus. Based upon her nationally recognized research in diversity and inclusion, Prof. Damasco has taught anti-racism workshops to libraries around the country. She was instrumental in the development of the OhioLINK Luminaries program and the University of Dayton’s Library’s diversity strategic plan. She is a creative, innovative, and invaluable colleague, and a leader in service and research. 

Carol Nickoson 
Sr. Assistant Director of Human Resources 
Wittenberg University 

Carol Nickoson’s warm demeanor and depth of compassion for people has consistently been seen by the Wittenberg University campus community, in both her prior student involvement role and now in human resources. Carol approaches everything inquisitively to best understand circumstances and to gather as much information possible from all sides. She is quick to learn and easily transitions into the many roles she must juggle in human resources. Her work with both students and employees is recognized as stellar.

May 2022 Honorees

Forest Bright
Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, Arts Division
Antioch College

Forest Bright’s classes at Antioch College are innovative and engaging. From students drawing birds at Glen Helen’s Raptor Center to playing baseball against the local candidates for Village Council and Mayor of Yellow Springs, he skillfully teaches and learns in action. His strong design and artistic practice is expansive, engaging, and experimental. There is a tactile closeness with his art, and his students are invited to discover a world of their own authentic artistic practice. One of his students said, “The best class I have taken at Antioch so far. It was extremely engaging and very fun. Forest is a wonderful, understanding, and kind teacher who really pushes his students to do their best work. The atmosphere of the class was very relaxing and laid-back, which fit well for the early Friday mornings that it was held on. I made a lot of art and acquired so many new skills! Loved this class!”

Dr. David Peterson 
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, Allied Health 
Cedarville University 

A valued member of the Cedarville University faculty, Dr. David Peterson has co-authored two books in just the past 4 years: “A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise” and “A Practical Guide to Personal Conditioning” (renewed for a second edition). In addition to these publications, Dr. Peterson has developed a new piece of exercise equipment and conducted preliminary research on its effectiveness, with plans for manufacturing to begin next spring. 

Amber Nikki Miller 
Assistant Professor of Licensed Practical Nursing and Program Coordinator 
Clark State College 

Amber Nikki Miller has demonstrated strong leadership at Clark State College as she has assumed the role of Program Coordinator of the Licensed Practical Nursing program. She has been a champion for student success and ensuring that the experience is positive for all. 

Kristopher Coble 
Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Chief Information Office 
Franklin University 

Kristopher Coble, Franklin University’s director of Institutional Effectiveness, has engaged in active learning to keep pace with advances in IT that enables understanding of complex data. He personifies the exact skillset that is needed for someone in such a critical institutional role: equal parts of curiosity, passion for problem-solving, and the ability to extract the big picture from complex data sets. Kris effectively leads a team that deeply understands data, to support institution-wide efforts to improve curriculum and student success. He is open to new ideas, creative in his approach to helping others hone their research questions, and unmatched in his ability to gather and interpret the necessary data to initiate improvement projects. Kris is the university’s go-to person for both long- and short-term data analysis projects and is a valuable team player to administration, faculty, and staff. 

Dr. Theresa Kulbaga 
Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Writing 
Miami University Regionals 

Dr. Theresa Kulbaga was the winner of the E-Campus Excellence in Online Teaching Award at Miami University Regionals in 2021. Dr. Kulbaga is a dynamic professor who is proficient at engaging her students online while maintaining rigorous standards and connecting her students with controversial and timely topics in all teaching formats. Her student nominator stated that, “Dr. K’s class was truly the best online course I have ever taken.” 

Dr. Carmela Daniels
Social Work Professor
Wilberforce University

Dr. Carmela Daniels has exemplified what it means to live, work, and lead by example for social work students at Wilberforce University. Not only does she command excellence in their academic success in the classroom, but she looks for ways to strengthen the needs of the Social Work department. Dr. Daniels shows leadership in the Social Work (SW) department by continuously seeking resourceful and enriching new experiences for her students, consistently pursuing and establishing long-term partnerships, and assistance from other organizations’ personnel — all while simultaneously looking for ways to improve her students’ firsthand interactions in the SW field.

One of her students said, “As a new faculty member, Dr. Daniels has and continues to go above and beyond as my instructor/advisor. Dr. Daniels is exceptional when it comes to communicating through emails and being organized in the coursework she assigns. As a student who takes online classes, I value that so much. She found the time to set up an Independent Study for me so that I could graduate soon. She provided me with study tools and information as I prepared to take my social work license exam, and she has shown an endless amount of patience and compassion during these difficult times of the pandemic.”

June 2022 Honorees

Dr. Jennifer Grubbs 
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Social Sciences Division 
Antioch College 

Dr. Jennifer Grubbs’ research at Antioch College emerges from an activist-scholar model of engaged ethnography and blended mixed methods that make her work relevant to students interested in changing the world. Her accomplishments stem not only from the themes she explores as an anthropologist interested in undoing structural violence, but also because of her applied methodologies and her commitment to community-based research and teaching. She recently published a monograph (Ecoliberation: Reimagining Resistance in the Green Scare, 2021) with McGill-Queen’s University academic press.  

A student says, “I’m not sure how many other professors have been doing research recently, but Jennifer Grubbs stands out. She presented some information about research she did on the riots at the capitol last year. Her research gave many people insight into the groups of people responsible and their historical motivations.” 

Stephanie Hill
Chief of Police, Office of Public Safety
Central State University

Stephanie Hill is the Chief of Police in the Office of Public Safety at Central State University. As Director of Public Safety, she commits to equitable and inclusive campus community policing, implementing best practices in safety and security to enhance living, learning, and teaching on the Central State campus. A member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Chief Hill advocates for social justice initiatives, working across campus units and local public safety offices in support of students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Alex Heckman 
Department Chair, Public Administration 
Franklin University 

Dr. Alex Heckman advances the principles of “practice-to-theory-to-practice” and “experiential learning,” which are the mantras of Franklin University’s approach to professional education. Over the last several years, Dr. Heckman spearheaded a project to research the current state of internships at the university, including internship processes, completion rates, and the majors of students who participate in internships. He then took the lessons learned from this research and helped to lead a group of faculty and staff that created a completely new and digitized internship process. Dr. Heckman worked cross-functionally with the Center for Career Development, multiple members of the faculty and representatives from Student Affairs, as well as others across the university to design process improvements and promotional items aimed to position pursuing internships as an attractive opportunity for students. Dr. Heckman was also pivotal in designing new micro-internship opportunities to accommodate students for whom a full internship is not possible due to work or other responsibilities.

Nicholas Mullen
Professor of Respiratory Care
Sinclair Community College

Professor of respiratory care at Sinclair Community College, Nicholas Mullen utilizes multiple approaches to teaching, including team-teaching, collaborative learning, online learning, group learning, discussions, and visual/audio presentations to promote active learning in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical setting. Nicholas serves as a role model to students and faculty, offering remediation and review sessions for students needing improvement, and he continues to serve as the co-advisor for the Respiratory Care Club.

His students say, “Nick [connects all] information within his course. It makes me go back and review previous courses when I forget certain things. You can tell he’s passionate about respiratory critical care.” “These last two semesters were probably the hardest in the program, and I don’t think I would’ve had the ability to continue without an instructor like Nick Mullen. Anything that I had trouble grasping, he’d go over with me until I understood the concept.”

Dr. Kelly Cohen 
Professor, College of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics 
University of Cincinnati 

Dr. Kelly Cohen is a professor, the Brian H. Rowe Endowed Chair, and interim department head of the University of Cincinnati Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. He is a renowned expert in UAVs and fuzzy logic artificial intelligence (AI). Dr. Cohen has won numerous teaching and mentoring accolades, including awards from the College of Engineering and Applied Science and UC’s Mrs. A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Cohen has published hundreds of papers and book chapters on his research. 

From a student, “All students begin their studies with enormous capacity to create and innovate, but only some develop it fully. Many teachers focus only on education. But sometimes you find a teacher like Kelly Cohen who changes the way you see the world, teaching you in multiple fields of life, helping you to improve as a person, student and engineer.” 

Marylee Dunphy  
Senior Program Manager, UDRI STT, Research Institute 
University of Dayton 

Marylee Dunphy performed in an extraordinary fashion last year for the University of Dayton Research Institute. She is program manager of the division’s largest and most complex $33.9 million task order under the EPSE II contract vehicle support for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). Her journey and her accomplishments over the past year are an incredible testimony to her faith, her dedication, and commitment to UDRI. 

Dr. Cherie Rebar 
Professor of Nursing 
Wittenberg University 

Dr. Cherie Rebar joined Wittenberg’s fledgling Nursing Department in August 2016. Students and colleagues attest to her commitment to student success. She describes her aim as preparing curriculum, courses, and activities for [students] that are current, evidence-based, and applicable to current nursing practice. To make her courses relevant, for example, she recently developed a telehealth exercise for her students. 

A colleague wrote in support of her teaching excellence: Dr. Rebar capitalizes on each student’s liberal arts education by connecting nursing education concepts to courses taken, or that will be taken, while a student at Wittenberg. This fosters a sense of holism in the ways in which Nursing students approach patient-centered, evidence-based Nursing practice. Among her accomplishments, Dr. Rebar is co-author of “Medical-Surgical Nursing: Concepts for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice,” a popular medical-surgical Nursing textbook.

July 2022 Honorees

Lisa Smittle 
Management Analyst, Graduate School of Engineering and Management, Office of the Dean 
Air Force Institute of Technology 

Lisa Smittle is the ultimate service provider par excellence in every aspect of AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management. As Management Analyst, she is the go-to person for everyone, including students, faculty, and administrators. She selflessly volunteers her intellect, time, and creative problem-solving to any issue involving students. She is always the behind-the-scenes advocate for taking care of other personnel. In all her accomplishments, she never asks for any recognition for herself. 

Dr. Keith Shomper 
Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering and Computer Science 
Cedarville University 

Dr. Keith Shomper’s student ratings are some of the highest for faculty in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Cedarville University. Their comments express that Dr. Shomper’s organization of his courses, knowledge of the subjects he is teaching, and willingness to work with the students when the content gets very complex, are above reproach. Keith presents a godly persona as he encourages his students to consider scripture as they wrestle with the world of software development. 

Students said, “I really appreciated Dr. Shomper’s readiness to help students above and beyond what was required. He helped me multiple times via email or Zoom over the weekend of after hours.” “Dr. Shomper is an absolute legend on the Linux CL1. It was a joy to have him as my instructor and learn under his expertise.” “Dr. Shomper did a great job teaching us algorithms. He pushed us to do the work necessary to figure it out ourselves. I’m really impressed at his dedication to the class.” 

Jill Evans 
Professor of English, Humanities 
Kettering College 

Jill Evans as developed innovative ideas for teaching English materials at Kettering College that creates an environment of engagement not only in class but also online. She has a way of developing discussion questions that allow students to analyze their thought process while taming their emotions. Students are allowed to explore the differences between how they “feel” while using science to apply answers to problems. Students feel heard and cared-for but understand the reasoning behind the emotions. Jill has an expertise that other faculty admire. 

Jennifer Purdum 
Assistant Teaching Professor, Humanities and Creative Arts 
Miami University Regionals 

Jennifer Purdum was awarded the Faculty Achievement in Teaching Award for Assistant Professors at Miami University Regionals. This was based on her innovative approaches in helping students explore how art can traverse private and public boundaries. Jennifer’s pedagogical approach, “glitch,” helps students disrupt habitual ways of thinking and consider new possibilities beyond their preconceived notions. Her students produce thought-provoking art that investigates and portrays the many ways in which identity can be represented and distorted. 

Angel Mootispaw 
Director of Instructional Technology 
Southern State Community College 

Angel Mootispaw has committed 13 years to advancements in instruction, library service, and instructional technology as a leader within the Southern State Community College system. Having served as a faculty member and librarian for many years and then migrating exclusively to Instructional Technology, Angel has leveraged her advanced knowledge of instructional resources and technology to build a robust network of distance learning courses and services. Delivering nearly 150 training sessions during the peak of the pandemic, Angel prioritized enabling others to lead and teach through challenges. This spirit of support continues for students, as Angel consistently prioritizes student experience in her daily work. There are no limits to the investment she makes in supporting students. As the urgency of the pandemic subsides and faculty and students are finding comfort in the online and hybrid learning space, Angel is already looking ahead for opportunities to enhance the College’s current offerings and expand to reach new markets, while never taking her sights off quality and providing exceptional service to all. 

Dr. Charles Dick 
Associate Professor of Accounting, Cincinnati Branch 
Wilmington College 

Wilmington College recognizes Dr. Charles Dick for his tireless work on behalf of the institution and the Cincinnati branch. At times, Dr. Dick has carried entire initiatives on his shoulders, from writing Chapter 5 of the HLC reports multiple times, to providing the College with written policies for online learning at a time of greatest need. He continues with this excellence as the school begins to launch the Master of Organizational Leadership program. His peers say he is the person on whom any person at the College can rely for thoughtful, demanding, and insightful questions and comments on operational and academic matters.  

Dr. Cynthia Richards 
Professor and Veler Endowed Chair in English
Wittenberg University 

Dr. Cynthia Richards embodies the best of Wittenberg’s faculty in creative teaching, cutting-edge scholarship, and tireless service to the school and the Springfield community. Dr. Richards passes her light in the classroom not only by sharing her expertise in critical theory and 18th-century literature, but also by making those challenging subjects both relevant and compelling to her students. In a new area of interest, narrative medicine, she offers to nursing students and others a powerful way to use storytelling and analysis to understand illness. She helps her students connect with literature by celebrating difference and finding common humanity.  

An alum said, “Dr. Richards was the most amazing professor during my time at Wittenberg. She was so passionate about writing and literature that I continually channel that passion when I teach my own students. I thought I wanted to be an English teacher before I had Dr. Richards, but she cemented that in me, and I have been teaching for almost 20 years. I had Dr. Richards throughout my four years at Witt, and even took part in her small discussion class on teaching Evelina by Frances Burney. I still remember the love for literature that just emanated from Dr. Richards with EVERY course I took from her.” 

August 2022 Honorees

Dr. Sonia Hunt 
Director of Counseling Services, Office of Student Affairs 
Central State University 

Dr. Sonia Hunt, Director of Counseling Services in the Office of Student Affairs at Central State, works tirelessly on behalf of students. She exemplifies excellence in service to others and models the true meaning of “Our Brothers and Sisters Keepers.” In partnership with university leadership, Dr. Hunt is raising awareness among the campus community about the significance of mental health. Her “Take Time for Your Mind” initiatives are spearheading campus conversations focused on overall well-being. 

Levi Smith 
Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems 
Edison State Community College 

Levi Smith is an outstanding faculty member who is held in high regard by his students and fellow co-workers at Edison State Community College. He was recently promoted to Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems. During his time at Edison State, Levi developed the new Interactive Media Program. In an ever-changing computer industry, he was also instrumental in converting Edison State’s Computer Information Technology Program to a more current option in Computer Information Systems. Levi serves as a member of multiple committees and projects, volunteers his time in support of students, and participates in numerous activities to enhance and support the college. In 2019 he launched Edison State’s chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), allowing students to gain more experience and network with professionals in the computing field.  

One of his students said, “Levi Smith is a very knowledgeable instructor and is always patient with each student in the class. He is very friendly and is very enthusiastic to teach about a subject that he is passionate about. If a student needs help, he is always willing to help. His goal is to make sure that the students understand the class subject.” 

Dr. Bora Pajo 
Lead Faculty, Qualitative Methods and Design, Doctoral Studies and Academic Research 
Franklin University 

A true leader among Franklin University’s doctoral faculty, Dr. Bora Pajo has been instrumental in advancing a culture of research and scholarship at the university. Dr. Pajo serves as a dissertation committee member and chair for doctoral candidates. Dr. Pajo is never too busy to take a student’s call or answer an email requesting her expertise to work through a situation in their dissertation. She regularly works with the dissertation committee chairs and committee members for all doctoral candidates to assist with the methodology for a successful research study. Dr. Pajo is also the founding faculty advisor for the Franklin University Doctoral Student Association (DSA). Since its inception almost two years ago, the group has grown to around 200 members. In June 2021, the DSA sponsored its first academic research conference, a day-and-a-half event consisting of faculty and student presentations on a multitude of topics related to doctoral studies. In addition, Dr. Pajo chairs Franklin’s Senate Graduate Council. All matters of curriculum, including new courses, course changes, new programs, and all manner of administrative details related to graduate and doctoral studies at the university come through this committee. 

Maya Murray 
Program Coordinator, Advanced Job Training 
Sinclair Community College 

Maya Murray is Sinclair’s Site Coordinator for the Dayton, Lebanon, and Warren Correctional Institutions. Under Maya’s leadership, the students at DCI did exceptionally well during summer 2021, with a 99% completion rate. Maya’s organizational skills, can-do attitude, and overall determination to help students succeed, both in classes and in life, have proved to motivate the incarcerated students to work harder toward success. Maya truly believes education is the difference between independence and success, and she goes the extra mile to ensure students have everything needed to succeed. 

As Maya’s students are incarcerated, student testimonials are not possible; however, her supervisor has witnessed the interaction between Maya and her students on several occasions. They respect her, listen to her, and go to her for guidance. It is through this mutual respect that Maya succeeds with this population. The calm and respectful guidance she gives each student is admirable. 

Dr. Natalie Hudson 
Associate Professor, Director of Human Rights Studies Program, Political Science 
University of Dayton 

Dr. Natalie Florea Hudson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Dayton, where she also serves as the Director of the Human Rights Studies Program. A scholar of gender and international relations, as well as the politics of human rights and security, Dr. Hudson has published widely in these fields and has served as a consultant to the European Union, the United Nations, and various peace-building NGOs focused on women, peace, and security. As program director, she is a tireless and trusted mentor to many students pursuing a range of vocations, including human rights advocacy. 

Brian Dykhuizen
Head Athletic Trainer 
Wilmington College 

As the head athletic trainer at Wilmington College, Brian Dykhuizen has demonstrated outstanding leadership during a time like no other in the world. Brian has been the leader in guiding the athletics department through the national, state of Ohio, and NCAA COVID protocols, making the safety, health, and well-being of student-athletes and coaches a top priority.

September 2022 Honorees

Dr. Kevin McGruder
Associate Professor of History, Humanities Division
Antioch College

Antioch College’s Dr. Kevin McGruder exemplifies engaged scholarly research through his academic research, twice published by Columbia University Press, and through contributions to the community of Yellow Springs. Blacks in Yellow Springs Encyclopedia and Blacks in YS walking tours have elevated Black history to prominence locally and provided a model for community historians far beyond the Midwest. Dr. McGruder’s work has focused on intergenerational sharing of history and story, passing knowledge from elders to the younger generations.

A student said, “Despite a heavy administrative burden, Dr. McGruder has continued to write, publish, and to create a public historian practice that is on-campus, in Yellow Springs, and beyond. He has been increasingly recognized as a public commentator (e.g. his column on CRT in The Columbus Dispatch) and is in public demand. Our campus is a better place because of Dr. McGruder’s scholarly work, and I admire how he brings that into his classroom as well.”

Mark Weinstein 
Executive Director, Public Relations 
Cedarville University 

Cedarville’s Mark Weinstein is a recognized leader in the public relations profession in the Miami Valley and beyond. Through his relationships with the media, he has elevated Cedarville’s presence within the community and provided opportunities for the University’s faculty experts to speak into critical cultural issues. While he has enjoyed great success externally, he also has developed strong and trusting relationships with the campus community. His responsibilities include emceeing the Cedarville Stories podcast, leading the effort to identify and write news stories, pitching story ideas, overseeing social media, and leading community and government relations. 

Last spring, Mark planned an end-of-year banquet to recognize both students and faculty who participated in the public relations department’s success. He is careful to give the credit for his success to the Lord and to those who serve with him. He is highly respected by student and professional team members. 

Chanpathana Siriphokha 
Assistant Professor of Mathematics 
Clark State College 

Chanpathana Siriphokha championed the conversion of Clark State’s STT 2640 course to open educational resources for all sections, including use of open math resource for student practice of concepts. Part of this effort included writing his own code within this resource that he then shares publicly so other campuses can use it, as well. Chanpathana is a volunteer for the review of statistics course and data for ATD — he recently presented to the board for their “data minute.” Chanpathana is also co-chair of the ATD data team and has led the mathematics department’s newer efforts to support success and completion for students. 

Andrew (Andy) Richard 
Administrative Assistant, Student Activities and Orientation 
Miami University Regionals 

Andy Richard goes above and beyond every single day in his work at Miami Regionals. From knowing the ins and outs of most systems used across the university, to being willing to pick up new skills on the fly, Andy is the model administrative assistant. Andy is also a recent recipient of the PRIDE award during COVID times, for his willingness to chair a search committee and more. Andy has a direct impact on students not only in his paid role, but he also goes above and beyond to advise one of the school’s largest student organizations, GGWP. In his role with GGWP, Andy takes a co-creative role, assisting students with programming initiatives that are innovative and push the boundaries of new means of engagement. If there is a student desire to do something, Andy will find a way to do it! 

Delores Wright 
Asst. Professor of Rehabilitation & Psychology 
Wilberforce University 

Professor Delores Wright has a persona that has embraced every Rehabilitation & Psychology major at Wilberforce University. Her high expectations and take-charge actions in both departments have been instrumental in encouraging a resurgent appeal in these degree programs. With her futuristic vision, Delores noticed the need for students to gain intellectual acuity and confidence in their degree programs, so she established an active student-led club called “The Rehabilitation Student Organization.” Seeing how both departments needed more on-campus visibility, Delores has invited guest speakers, from her repertoire of community affiliations, to serve as panelists in campus community seminars and classroom discussions. Her persistence in advertising has gleaned a significant increase in enrollment.  

One of her students said, “Mrs. Wright is a very gifted, fierce, and beautiful woman. She lights up any room with her smile. I had her for a short period of time for a summer Psychology class. I not only enjoyed the class because of the subject content but because she taught it so well. Her teaching style showed her passion for the subject, as she made the topics relatable and powerfully presented her knowledge to the class.” 

Joi Garrett Scales 
Associate Director, Career Operations and Student Employment 
Wittenberg University 

Joi Garrett Scales is an exceptional employee at Wittenberg University, with a strong work ethic. She is a reliable team player who focuses on providing excellent services to students. Joi has the ability to develop relationships with students and employees, due to her listening and communication skills. While her tenure at Wittenberg has not been long, she has already established a good rapport with students and colleagues, because of her confidence and professionalism when interacting with others. 

October 2022 Honorees

Alicia Sprinkle 
Graduate Advisor, Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Air Force Institute of Technology 

Alicia Sprinkle is a keystone member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at AFIT. When students have questions, concerns, or run into academic problems, Alicia is the first point of contact connecting students to the information and resources they need to successfully complete their academic programs. Alicia is student-focused and available from the moment the students arrive at the start of their academic programs up until their graduation ceremonies at degree completion. 

Dr. Brandy E. Phipps
Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Life Sciences
Central State University

Dr. Brandy Phipps promotes inclusive, equity-based instruction for STEM students at Central State University. She is highly involved as a reviewer of curricula, journals, conferences, symposia and grants, and most recently Quality Matters and Intersections Science Fellows Symposium. She also serves as affiliate faculty for Case Western Reserve University Swetland Center for Environmental Health. She embodies exceptional achievement in teaching, service, and scholarship, worthy of the “Excellence” designation, as evidenced by her numerous presentations, grant awards and publications, and community service.

Students say, “Dr. Phipps is a professor who expects nothing less than your best and will bring it out of you, despite your feelings.” “Dr. Phipps teaches her students to comprehend [the material] beyond the classroom setting so that we can apply it outside of her class.” “She is very hands-on and made sure each student had all the tools for success.” “The way she taught worked for all students to grasp the information.”

Suzanne Smith 
Director of Registrar Operations and Information Systems, Chief Information Office 
Franklin University 

Suzanne Smith leads and supports major process changes at Franklin University. Transitioning to new systems is incredibly complex and is many times interdependent with processes changes. Suzanne’s expert knowledge of institutional information systems and exceptional collaboration skills were indispensable as the university transitioned to multiple new information systems for managing and maintaining student records, conducting curriculum planning, and developing new versions of the academic catalog. In addition to her institutional expertise and project management skills, Suzanne demonstrates a prominent level of sensitivity toward people and the challenges that often naturally accompany change. Through her regular meetings and frequent communications, Suzanne creates an environment that makes adapting to change easier for faculty and staff. 

Robin Vanderbilt
Registrar, Student Records
Kettering College

Robin Vanderbilt is known as possibly the hardest-working person on the Kettering College campus. In her role as registrar, she deals with the problems of hundreds of students and knows most of the student body at least by name. She takes an active role in handling student appeals, as well as leading the way on developing numerous college policies. She is a caring individual who is much beloved by the college community. Although she may only have one title, her work requires her to wear many hats, and she does so very well.

An alum said, “Robin Vanderbilt is one of the best things about Kettering college. Her warm wax melts and open-door policy really helped me get through my four years there. When school or life got tough, I knew she was someone I could turn to. Robin always pushed me to be better and always praised me when I did well.”

Alecia Renner 
Health Sciences Laboratory Technician, Health Sciences Division 
Sinclair Community College 

For Sinclair Community College health sciences courses, where face-to-face instruction continued in 2020 and 2021, Alecia Renner was integral to the division’s ability to safely offer instruction in an environment constantly responding to changing health and safety guidelines. Alecia worked to identify and secure essential supplies to clean lab spaces and provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) during a time of shortages and scarcity. Her efforts resulted in the college’s ability to continue to instruct and assess students. 

Cathy Zile 
Academic Technology Support Specialist, Instructional Technology | Academics 
Southern State Community College 

Cathy Zile has been an integral part of Southern State Community College’s team since 1998. Her current contributions in supporting the instructional technology division of the College, specifically as the lead technical specialist for CANVAS, have proven invaluable. During the height of the pandemic and beyond, Cathy worked tirelessly to make sure faculty and students had a pleasant experience in the learning management platform.  This was possible through many individual and group training and coaching sessions. As the urgency of the pandemic is over, Cathy continues to lead in this area by supporting project management initiatives and continuing to seek opportunities to leverage CANVAS to build community and help students stay on track from a distance. 

Mark Stemley 
Catering Supervisor, Dining Services 
University of Dayton 

Mark Stemley has been described as the “Swiss army knife” of the dining services operation at the University of Dayton. That description became even more fitting over the past year, as the pandemic required catering to move away from its traditional business model, and Mark stepped up to help the team reinvent itself. He supported the team in any way possible and assisted other areas when needed. Mark helped to prepare and deliver meals to students who were in isolation or quarantine, as well. 

November 2022 Honorees

Joshua Miller 
Assistant Facilities Manager, Operations and Facilities 
Antioch College 

For over 11 years, Joshua Miller has worked diligently in support of the Antioch College mission. In his role as Assistant Facilities Manager, Joshua provides a high level of service in response to requests from faculty, staff, and students, and he does so with efficiency, care, and attention to detail. His kindness and respect to all members of the community shows throughout his work. In addition, Joshua shares readily his talents as a skilled woodworker, honing his craft with beautiful pieces such as wooden hand-sanitizer stations in response to COVID-19; a beautiful roundtable he personally made for the school’s new president; and a swing set for our students. 

One student said: “Joshua Miller is someone who is always there for the entirety of the Antioch community. He often greets people with a “Hey, Friend,” making you feel warm and welcome. He is always ready to help in whatever way is needed, always makes time to listen to those around him and try to help to find solutions to make everyone as comfortable and as heard as possible. I would describe Joshua as an invaluable community member and friend to the people on this campus and to the institution itself.” 

Joan Yaggi 
Dean’s Assistant, The Graduate School 
Cedarville University 

Joan Yaggi serves with excellence in support of the 520 students in Cedarville University’s Graduate School. She supports the dean, the faculty, and the administrative staff with skill, initiative, and a little bit of humor, too. Her contributions, although often behind the scenes, include communication, school policies, faculty contracts, research, organization, events, and so much more. All her efforts ensure that the Graduate School is providing an efficient and effective foundation for student success. 

Jim Amstutz, director of graduate admissions and student success, stated: “When I think of all of the work that goes into recruiting and retaining students in our Graduate School, I am thankful for the team that God has assembled. In order for a team to function effectively, you need to have individuals who fit critical roles. Joan plays a critical role in providing needed support to ensure we can serve others well. She is a dedicated and hard worker who brings energy and joy to a task, no matter how large or small it is. If Joan is a part of getting something done, you know it will get done in the right way.” 

Amiee Wagner 
Program Chair, Science | Communications, Behavioral, and Natural Sciences 
Franklin University 

Professor Amiee Wagner demonstrates exceptional dedication to academic quality and instructional excellence, as well as ensuring that academic activities at Franklin University are student-centered. She works tirelessly to support and improve the transfer credit process by evaluating hundreds of sciences courses from other institutions and improves instructional methods in ways that enhance student engagement and satisfaction in science courses. A frequent mentor on student research projects, she also created an instructor Community of Practice to share best practices with other members of the science faculty. Professor Wagner is a true champion for making science more accessible to students and encourages diverse students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

Frank Tonner 
Senior Technical Services Specialist, Engineering Technology 
Miami University Regionals 

For many years, Frank Tonner has been an invaluable asset to the Engineering Technology Department and the Miami University Hamilton Campus. This past year, the Middletown campus technician retired, and Frank was asked to take over the duties for ENT at both campuses. Frank agreed to do so and has done an outstanding job. Frank is the go-to person in the department for help in the labs. Students regularly consult with Frank about lab assignments, senior design projects, and more. He serves the students just as if he were the instructor for the course. He guides them, assists them in building projects, and for senior design, he spends untold hours helping students order supplies to build their projects. This is extremely time-consuming and requires detailed record keeping, order tracking, and troubleshooting delays and shipping issues. Frank is remarkable in his support for the ENT department and the campuses. He is helpful, positive, supportive, and caring. When he is asked to help, he does so in a positive and supportive manner. Frank is an outstanding colleague. 

Dr. Richard Harknett 
Professor and Head of Department of Political Science 
University of Cincinnati 

Dr. Richard J. Harknett is professor and head of the University of Cincinnati Department of Political Science, chair of UC’s Center for Cyber Strategy and Policy, and co-director of the Ohio Cyber Range Institute. Dr. Harknett is twice a Fulbright Scholar: Cyber Studies (Oxford University, United Kingdom, 2002) and International Relations (Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, Austria, 2017). He has authored more than 60 publications in the areas of international relations theory, security, and cyber security studies. Dr. Harknett has made over 100 media appearances, as well. 

Noyra C. Valentin 
Director, Human Resources Information Systems | Office of Human Resources 
University of Dayton 

Noyra Valentin’s work at the University of Dayton has been critical over the past year, as the University labored to support employees in the midst of a global pandemic. Even with countless moving pieces, Noyra was dedicated to ensuring that everyone’s pay and benefits were on-time and correct at every turn. If not for Noyra, paychecks would be incorrect, hiring systems wouldn’t work, data would be wrong, and processes would not run smoothly. Her work touches every area and every employee at the University. 

Michell Wilke 
Campus Visit Coordinator |Office of Admission 
Wittenberg University 

Campus Visit Coordinator at Wittenberg University, Michell Wilke is the ultimate representation of “welcome.” “Grace under fire” is a phrase that could easily be used to describe how Michell works at the front desk in the Office of Admission every day. She positively and calmly manages and maneuvers each in-person visitor, phone call, email, and request. Michell is genuine and always present to help a prospective student, current student, or colleague. She is truly a shining star within the Enrollment division. 

 

The Cross Registration Program allows degree-seeking students access to academic opportunities not available at their own institutions to maintain their current home institution program of study. All registrations are subject to the approval of home and host registrars.

Students enrolled at a college or university within SOCHE may register for courses that are available at other SOCHE institutions and GC3 institutions.

Councils & Committees

SOCHE is dedicated to advancing higher education through active collaboration, resource and knowledge building, and effective professional development programs. To accomplish this, SOCHE administers 16 active Councils and Committees. The purpose of a SOCHE Council or Committee is to provide an opportunity for representatives from higher education to be a resource for one another, share information and best practices, identify common challenges, and, ultimately, broaden awareness of the resources, services, and activities in higher education. SOCHE is also dependent upon the Councils and Committees for substantial input on annual professional development programs.

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