Because of their broad range of projects and accomplishments, six UC faculty members have been chosen as the inaugural winners of the UC|21 President's Excellence Awards.
Here's a look at each of the winners:
Marjorie C. Aaron
Professor of Practice, College of Law
The law students in her negotiations class gain valuable reality-based experience by working with graduate MBA and MS students in accounting as clients. Business students deem this cross-college course initiated by Professor Aaron as one of their most valuable experiences ever at UC and the course receives rave reviews from the law students as well.
She also has pioneered the teaching of interviewing, counseling and decision analysis to all UC law students, with actors as clients and individual coaching.
Professor Aaron forges relationships in the community by serving as a mediator and teaching seminars on negotiation and mediation for lawyers in Cincinnati, across the country and abroad. She is the founder and executive director of the Center for Practice in Negotiation and Problem Solving at the UC College of Law and directed a similar center at Harvard Law School prior to her arrival at UC in 1999.
Pankaj B. Desai
Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
This program is the first of its kind in the United States and its first class of 12 students will graduate this June. Among them are physicians, scientists and administrators. An outstanding example of stimulating innovation, creating opportunity and forging partnerships, the innovative program was developed in partnership with regional industry and government as well as a variety of UC colleges, including pharmacy, business and medicine.
Dr. Desai, who has served on the UC faculty since 1995, now serves as director of the new MS program, which offers multidisciplinary coursework that covers the entire drug development process, from drug discovery, to pre-clinical, clinical and post-clinical marketing. He also has supervised the doctoral research program in pharmacokinetics.
James H. Gage
Professor and Resident Lighting Designer, College-Conservatory of Music
Prior to his arrival at CCM in 1987, lighting students had little opportunity to take significant roles in lighting designs for CCM productions, and the coursework focused mainly on theory without much practice. But through Gage’s persistent insistence that students must design if they have come to CCM to study design, he has won increasingly sophisticated design opportunities for students.
Gage also recognized long before it became the norm, that CCM lighting students needed to be knowledgeable in the cutting-edge areas of robotic and intelligent lighting.
A testament to Gage’s success is the alumni who have gained employment in this highly competitive field, working for the likes of "Wicked," Carnival Cruise Lines and Cirque du Soleil Company.
Donna M. Gates
Professor and Jane E. Procter Endowed Chair, College of Nursing
One of her research efforts is directed toward strategies to reduce violence from patients and visitors against healthcare workers. Another focuses on reducing obesity among manufacturing workers. Dr. Gates was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing because of her national contributions to occupational health and safety.
When it comes to growing UC’s research excellence, this professor of nursing is a role model for other faculty, particularly in the Academic Health Center, where the College of Nursing does not have a long history of independent, funded investigators. Her total federal grant awards exceed $1.5 million.
Since her appointment at UC in 1995, her research funding has included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Nursing Research (National Institutes of Health) and NIOSH.
William R. Heineman
Distinguished Research Professor, Chemistry, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Heineman joined the UC faculty in 1972. Most recently, his team has developed a monitor to detect harmful bacteria in water.
He is working with Craig Vogel of DAAP’s Center for Design, Research and Innovation, on a project with an Ohio-based company that sells water monitoring equipment, to develop a design for the device that is a recognizable brand for the manufacturer.
Heineman also volunteered to chair an ad hoc committee in the chemistry department that reviewed the graduate program and revised its requirements in light of UC|21. He also served on several committees for the UC|21 goal related to research excellence.
He won the Rieveschl Award for Distinguished Scientific Research in 1988.
Lowanne E. Jones
Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
Her long-standing vision for a language immersion house where students speak French and Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week resulted in the opening of the Valentine House in fall 2005 at Stratford Heights.
Dr. Jones’ efforts have led to the creation of a new state-of-the-art Language Resource Center, featuring three viewing areas with plasma screen TVs where students can watch 56 channels of international programming in 11 foreign languages. The center also offers a computer lab with software for foreign language instruction.
Her efforts to engage and cultivate arts and sciences alumni helped to make the Valentine House possible and to develop funding for a new School of World Languages and Cultures.