DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH PROFESSOR
Chong H. Ahn
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Chong Ahn, PhD, doesn’t have a medical background, but his devices are helping critically ill patients around the world.
Ahn, the Mitchell P. Kartalia Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has spent his career at UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science working with chemists and doctors to design “labs on a chip,” tiny portable sensors that can help doctors diagnose and treat disease. He is director of the Ohio Center for Microfluidic Innovation at UC, where he develops point-of-care medical devices.
“UC is very good at collaboration. My success is all due to our multidisciplinary approach,” Ahn said.
A fellow of the Institute of Physics and the UC Graduate School, he holds 10 U.S. patents and his research has been recognized with more than $20 million in grant funding. He is an entrepreneur who recently sold his immunoassay business. Ahn has advised groups such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and serves on the editorial board of several prestigious journals.
In his nomination letter, CEAS Dean Paul Orkwis said Ahn’s work has been hugely influential and transformative in his field. “Chong has established a highly visible and sustainable research program that is impacting (the college’s) and UC’s research capabilities,” Orkwis said.
Ahn credits his success to his late mother, who raised him and his brother on their farm in South Korea. She taught him faith and the value of hard work and perseverance, lessons he imparts to his students, including the 30 PhD candidates and 25 master’s students he has advised.
“Have passion in your work. Do your best. And if you fail, never give up. Stand up and go,” he said.
Shauna P. Acquavita
College of Allied Health Sciences
Shauna Acquavita, PhD, is leading the way in training the next generation of medical professionals to respond to one of the top public health issues of our time: the opioid epidemic. Since arriving at the School of Social Work in the College of Allied Health Sciences in 2011, much of her work has focused on substance use disorder, in particular training students in a method known as SBIRT—shorthand for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment − designed to identify, reduce and prevent substance abuse.
The SBIRT course she developed received local, national and international recognition and got rave reviews from students. Of students who took the course, 95 percent would recommend the course to a colleague, and 98 percent felt the training enhanced their skills.
“While her teaching methods make Dr. Acquavita a good teacher, what sets her apart from other teachers I’ve had is her warmth, her sense of humor and how she involves her students,” says Ingrid Jones, a Master of Social Work student from the Class of 2019. “She challenged us individually and collectively to actively apply the information we were learning and to use our own experiences and those of our classmates to engage and personalize the material.”
Acquavita, an associate professor, is committed to continuing to develop her teaching skills. In 2018, she was named a fellow of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which included a week-long course on infusing SBIRT training into curriculum.
She says her goal is to create a learning environment that promotes critical thinking, problem solving and personal growth.
“In whatever setting students choose to work, they will recognize the importance of lifelong learning—both in and out of the classroom—and continue to challenge themselves to learn new knowledge and skills,” she says.
DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH PROFESSOR
McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
Tony Chemero has always considered himself to be a contrarian. From a young age, the UC philosophy and psychology professor has cultivated an outsider philosophy uniquely his own.
It was, in large part, his strong sense of socially distinct identity that led him in 2009 to write his first book, “Radical Embodied Cognitive Science.” The publication quickly earned praise as a landmark work in philosophy and cognitive science — and criticism from philosophers whose traditional views he boldly challenged.
“I would see all these philosophical arguments that you can’t do psychology this way without mental representations,” said Chemero. “As I dug in as a psychologist, I said, ‘Wait a minute. How could it be true that you can’t do it this way when there are hundreds of people doing it this way?’”
For Chemero, a quiet academic who hates talking about himself or arguing with others, the book has had somewhat unintended consequences: It’s gained him a global reputation and sparked a number of passionate academic debates on the subject. A two-day conference focused exclusively on his work was even held in June 2018 at the University College Dublin in Ireland.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen when you write something. You just do it and think ‘thank God I’m done with that,’” said Chemero.
“Tony is too modest in his own appraisal of the book’s impact,” said Michael Anderson, of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the Western University of Ontario, Canada. “It undoubtedly is a classic in the field, a shared exemplar for those of us working under the broad and broadening paradigm known as the ‘embodied mind.’”
But Chemero, twice a nominee for the U.S. Professor of the Year award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, never loses sight of his true calling.
“I always say to my students, the work has to be fun. Getting a PhD is mostly terrible. You have to really love it,” he said. “We have a series of jokes we insert into all the articles we write.”
FACULTY AWARD FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY
Marcus Lee Johnson
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
Marcus Johnson’s expertise on the subject of motivation is beyond dispute. It’s a central focus of his research interests, and he is a past secretary-treasurer of the American Educational Research Association’s Motivation in Education Special Interest Group. But the proof goes far beyond that.
Johnson, an associate professor in CECH, has served on the Faculty Senate Human Relations and Research and Scholarship standing committees, the Search Committee for the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Special Initiatives, and the University Research Council. He has also served as a faculty liaison on the Advising Conference Committee. That’s in addition to his duties as the Early Childhood Education and Human Development program coordinator for the Developmental and Learning Sciences master’s and doctoral programs, co-director of the Developmental and Learning Sciences Research Laboratory, and a member of the editorial board of the respected journal Contemporary Educational Psychology, to name a few.
If reading all of that is exhausting, imagine living it.
It was Johnson’s research interests and leadership experience that led Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Special Initiatives, Keisha Love, to recruit him to the provostal task force for the development of the Faculty Enrichment Center. “It’s one of the best decisions that I could have made,” Love says.
“Marcus is a very collaborative, collegial colleague who is regularly asked to serve on school, college, and university committees,” Love says. “Marcus’ contributions to my task force have been very appreciated and welcomed. He brings strategic thinking, effective oral and written communication skills, creativity, an appreciation for diversity and inclusion, and fun to our committee. I support him fully in being a recipient of the Faculty Senate Exemplary Service Award.”
ESTABLISHED ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
College of Engineering & Applied Science
Ohio Eminent Scholar Jay Lee, DSc, isn’t a psychic but can help factories predict when its machines will break down. At his Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems at UC, Lee partners with 100 internationally known companies to foresee when equipment will need repairs or replacement so their production doesn’t suffer a catastrophic shutdown.
The L.W. Scott Alter Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Lee developed “5C architecture,” a blueprint showing how companies can use data generated by their machines to improve efficiency. It’s a model that has been embraced by industry.
Lee’s work has been hugely influential. His papers hold the distinction as the most-cited in three leading engineering and industry journals. He is co-founder of Cincinnati-based Predictronics Corp., which has worked with household names such as Canon, Toyota and Whirlpool.
Program Manager Patrick Brown said Lee has a passion for his work and a vision for how it can impact industry. “It’s a reason people want to work with him. He believes in what he does. As a result, his students have a chance to work with world-class companies,” Brown said.
President Clinton sent Lee a letter of gratitude in 1994 for his help evaluating projects for a national technology reinvestment program. “Your efforts will contribute to a brighter economic future for our country,” Clinton wrote.
Lee said his goal is to lead by example to create a culture of entrepreneurship at UC. “If we have 100 companies spin off UC’s campus, immediately we can create 100 more. I think it’s important to create something that venturous students will follow,” Lee said.
MRS. A.B. “DOLLY” COHEN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Donald “D.J.” Lowrie Jr.
College of Medicine
Every educator wants to earn the title “Best Teacher” from students. Donald “DJ” Lowrie Jr., PhD, has done that and more, as evidenced in course evaluations from past pupils. “Enthusiastic,” “Innovative” and “Hilarious” are adjectives sprinkled throughout, which show when you’re as talented and dedicated as Lowrie is, learning can be fulfilling and fun.
Lowrie, who is a professor-educator in the Department of Medical Education at the College of Medicine, tailors his lessons to students, creating interactive models and animations when needed, and has worked to develop activities to assist in the college’s reaccreditation process. Outside of the College of Medicine, he teaches in the Genetic Counseling Program, which offers his courses to students across the country via an online option.
In addition to being ingenious with his teaching methods, Lowrie exemplifies respect and selflessness, according to Philip Diller, senior associate dean for educational affairs and interim chair for the Department of Medical Education. “He is a learner-centric teacher and realizes the learning process is not about him as a teacher, but rather ensuring the student is learning,” Diller says.
Former student Jennifer O’Malley, MD, PhD, is evidence of that. “He not only taught us how to learn, but also taught us how to teach,” she says. “To this day, I use techniques and approaches I learned from Lowrie in my daily work. When I am asked what I do, regardless of the hat I am wearing, I always smile and answer ‘I am a teacher’ because above all, that is the most important thing I do (as he once told me).”
OUTSTANDING ADJUNCT FACULTY AWARD
McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
Over the past decade, Adjunct Associate Professor Junko Markovic has enhanced the academic excellence of UC’s Asian Studies program. Markovic teaches courses in the Japanese language, which the State Department considers to be the most difficult for English-speakers to learn.
In the classroom, Markovic is recognized for mainly speaking Japanese in her instruction and creating a comfortable environment for students to do so, as reflected in strong student evaluations. She also leads an effort to introduce new, sought-after courses focusing on translation.
Markovic’s impact on the program reaches beyond the classroom: She has led study abroad trips to Japan, served as supervisor of the university’s Japanese American Student Society since 2013 and, most recently, launched a Japanese Extensive Reading Club. Meeting biweekly, the club has attracted an increasingly large number of student participants who are working to build their vocabulary and reading skills outside of the normal routine of the language classroom.
In addition to focusing on her students, Markovic is dedicated to professional development, frequently attending workshops and presenting at conferences. Her level of curricular engagement far surpasses the expectations of adjunct faculty, and her extensive volunteer work helps promote cultural diversity in the university community.
PROVOST FACULTY CAREER AWARD
Elaine L. Miller
College of Nursing
As a professor at the College of Nursing since 1984, Elaine Miller, PhD, has made UC a better place to work and learn, says Denise Gormley, PhD, the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the college. “Her distinguished career has advanced the UC experience for students and advanced the science of nursing on a local, regional and national level.”
As an educator and mentor, Miller has served students as chair or committee member on 24 doctoral dissertations, numerous master’s theses and two Doctor of Nursing Practice investigative scholarly projects. As dissertation chair for Sara Burke, PhD, now assistant professor in the College of Nursing, Miller encouraged Burke’s interest in taking on more leadership roles in her career.
“Her response made a big impact on the way that I think about my role as a steward for the profession of nursing,” Burke says. “She told me that there are ways to be a leader without ever holding an official leadership position.”
Miller has served as a mentor to both students and faculty. She helped a clinical faculty member secure funding for a project focused on delay in treatment-seeking for African-American women when a stroke is suspected, which resulted in several presentations and a peer-reviewed publication.
“Her long-term accomplishments have made an enormous impact on the high quality education and research-focused environment here at UC,” says Tami Bakas, PhD, professor and Jane E. Procter Endowed Chair in the College of Nursing. “She is truly an academic leader who has made significant contributions to science through research, sustained service to the university and the community at large, and who has greatly facilitated the success of faculty and students at all levels.”
FACULTY AWARDS FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY
Sally C. Moomaw
College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services
Sally Moomaw’s curriculum vitae is what every academic strives for. In addition to authoring or co-authoring 18 books, the associate professor of early childhood education has penned numerous peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters, given dozens of presentations at academic conferences, and collaborated on grants that brought in millions in funding.
She has been named the recipient of numerous awards during her 40-year career, including the 2016 Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching, and now the 2019 Faculty Senate Award for Exemplary Service to the University of Cincinnati.
The only thing longer than Moomaw’s impressive resume may be the list of adulations heaped upon her by peers, several of whom nominated her for this award: “A workhorse;” “A leader of action and not just words;” “An exemplar that I hope many faculty will emulate.” Perhaps Professor Cynthia Ris, the current chair of the Faculty Senate, put it best. “At her core, Sally signifies the truest spirit of the university: her dedication to students,” Ris wrote. “All her actions are in furtherance of excellence at the university for the sake of students and the education on which they depend to become respected professionals and citizens after their tenure here at UC.”
During her time as Chair of the Faculty and the Faculty Senate, Moomaw worked to ensure that faculty have a strong voice in university affairs, and she supported measures to benefit students. A highlight was chairing the search committee for the director of the new UC Press. And though she could have easily turned it down in light of her Senate responsibilities, Moomaw accepted the nomination of her peers to serve on the School of Education Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee. “The School of Education faculty voted me into this role,” Tina Stanton-Chapman recalls Moomaw telling her, “and it is my duty to serve them.”
GEORGE RIEVESCHL JR. AWARD FOR CREATIVE AND/OR SCHOLARLY WORKS
Maria Paz Moreno
McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
When María Paz Moreno, PhD, heard a scholar speak on UC’s campus about the cookbook “In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezín,” she got goosebumps. The book, written by starving women in the Czechoslovakian concentration camp and ghetto — a way station to Auschwitz and other death camps — seemed to her more than just beloved recipes heartbreakingly preserved on brittle pages.
“I thought, ‘This is amazing. This book is a historic document,’” said the UC Spanish professor, poet, essayist and literary critic. “A light went on in my head, and I began thinking about Spain, my country, and if anyone had studied [Spanish cookbooks].”
Moreno, who is on the faculty of UC’s Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures, had no background in gastronomic research or culinary studies. Her expertise lay in contemporary Spanish poetry. In fact, she is, as one of her contemporaries describes her, “one of the most renowned poets of her generation in Spain.”
The author of eight books of poetry and multiple poetry translations and articles, Moreno’s first book, on the poetry of Spanish poet Juan Gil-Albert, “has become the landmark work about an author many of whose contributions had gone unjustly unnoticed until she applied her extraordinary critical insight to it,” notes professor Luis Martín-Estudillo, director of the European Studies Group at the University of Iowa.
Moreno set about applying the same intellectual vigor, keen research skills and academic curiosity she had in uncovering the undiscovered works of Juan Gil-Albert to the field of Spanish food studies.
She has since published two more scholarly books and edited a special monographic journal issue, all focusing on the intersection of Spanish food, literature and culture.
“[Moreno] is not only a talented and notable voice in contemporary Spanish poetry today but also a brilliant scholar whose research in food studies is breaking new historical and cultural ground,” said Thérèse Migraine-George, professor of French and Francophone Studies and head of UC’s Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures.
GEORGE RIEVESCHL JR. AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Lewis A. Owen
McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
As a 9-year-old child in South Wales, Lewis Owen became passionate about fossils and the relatively new Earth science paradigm known as plate tectonics after his first field excursion run by the local museum.
Since joining UC in 2004, Owen has established two major geochronology laboratories to date geologic materials using cosmogenic nuclides and optically stimulated luminescence methods. Applying these dating methods together with geomorphology and sedimentology, Owen has become an accomplished scientific researcher on several major areas of the Earth’s geosciences. These include: the glacial history of the Himalaya, where Earth’s greatest concentration of land-based ice occurs outside of Greenland and the Antarctic; quantifying the ages and rates of landscape evolution in mountainous regions around the world; and focusing on the timing and reoccurrence of very young faults along the southwestern margin of North America where the geohazard of major earthquakes is very real and could affect tens of millions of people.
While devoting much of his work to glaciated landscapes in mountainous areas, Owen has shown a link between the internal and external surface processes in areas such as the Himalayas and their influence on long-term and rapid climate change today.
Owen’s enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaborations has also made significant contributions to several major publications and book volumes. According to associate professor of geology, Craig Dietsch, Owen’s published work on the Himalayan-Tibetan region and other mountainous areas and their influence on long-term and recent changes in the Earth’s climate will be cited for decades.
EMERGING ENTREPRENEURIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Reneé L. Seward
College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning
Alumna Reneé Seward, MS, who received her Bachelor of Design in graphic design at UC in 2002, returned to her alma mater in 2007 as a visiting assistant professor of digital design. She has been teaching typography, exhibition design and graphic design in UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning for the past decade.
Seward’s research focuses on the development of digital and physical multi-sensory tools that seek to help at-risk children learn to read.
Today as an associate professor, she has created See Word Reading in response to alarming statistics surrounding child literacy — one-third of U.S. children can read at a merely functional level. The tool uses dynamic letterforms to teach early reading principles through a suite of digital applications.
It developed into a commercialization opportunity once Seward was accepted into the UC Venture Lab program in 2015. That same year, she was honored as a 2015 Cincy Innovates winner for See Word Reading. Seward has been awarded $100,000 of Ohio Third Frontier funding to help with the commercialization of her concepts, in addition to a $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Education for a two-year test of the tool in Singapore.
See Word Reading had been beta tested in three public schools, YMCA Cincinnati after-school programming, Beech Acres Parenting Centers and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Seward’s dedication to education is evident in her extensive research, volunteer efforts and academic honors.
GEORGE BARBOUR AWARD FOR GOOD FACULTY-STUDENT RELATIONS
Donna Z. Shambley-Ebron
College of Nursing
As director of the PhD program at the College of Nursing, Associate Professor Donna Shambley-Ebron, PhD, brings a “Peace and Power” approach to help students understand the impact their language has on others, whether it’s patients or peers.
“I have always viewed my patients and my students in a similar light, deserving of the very best I have to give, whether in health care delivery or education,” says Shambley-Ebron, who has worked at UC since 2003. “It was a very natural transition for me from delivering direct nursing care to patients to educating the next generation of practicing nurses and nurse scientists.”
One of those nursing students, Anisa Ogboenyiya, a PhD student, says the “Peace and Power” teaching method was liberating for her as a student and challenged her in the ways she thinks and reflects in her everyday life. Shambley-Ebron’s approach nurtures and builds community through a balanced power dynamic highlighted by the use of intentional language.
“Whether it’s words of advice and encouragement, guiding me in professional development, or simply uplifting me in her prayers, Dr. Shambley-Ebron has never failed to demonstrate her genuine interest in my success not only as a student but as a person,” Ogboenyiya says.
Shambley-Ebron has been a leader in fostering the College of Nursing’s strategic priority of promoting diversity and inclusion. Fueled by her own experience of having only one faculty member of color from high school to graduate school, when she got to UC, she was determined to increase the number of students earning the terminal degree.
“Students are the beneficiary of years of experience, knowledge and wisdom of their faculty mentors,” she says. “By taking advantage of this cumulative knowledge and emulating their faculty, students are more likely to meet their goals of contributing to the discipline and bringing forward the next generations of nursing scholars and practitioners.”
OUTSTANDING ADJUNCT AWARD
Daniel A. Shelly
James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy
For over two decades, educator Daniel Shelly, PhD, MBA, has used his real-world biopharmaceutical expertise and technical training to develop unique, relevant and timely lessons for UC students.
An adjunct professor in the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy’s Master of Science in Drug Development (MSDD) program since 2005, Shelly joined the UC community in 1997 as a post-doc in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the College of Medicine. There he won an American Physiological Society fellowship in physiological genomics and a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. He earned an MBA from UC’s Lindner College of Business in 2002, and received accolades for his “Physiomics” business plan. Halfway through his MBA program, he joined Kendle International as a clinical development fellow and returned to the Lindner College of Business to teach Biotech Business and Clinical Development.
In 2004, he joined Meridian Bioscience, as director of business development for vaccine contract manufacturing and development. In 2007, Shelly received the “30 in their 30s” award recognizing 30 top life science professionals in Ohio, and in 2010 he was profiled in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Gurus and Grads.”
He has now been the director of business development, drug delivery technology for Albumedix (formerly Novozymes Biopharma) since 2011. He brings guest speakers from over 10 major biopharma companies into his classrooms and has incorporated Harvard Business Review cases to connect didactic learning to real-world business decisions. Not surprisingly, Shelly is among the most sought-after capstone mentors in MSDD, having mentored over 18 students and serving as committee member to many more.
Innovative Uses of Technology in Teaching Award
Katherine E. Sorrels
McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
Since arriving at UC in 2011, Katherine Sorrels, PhD, has been passionate about teaching the history of the Holocaust. But with much of the academic work focusing more on the crimes and what motivated the perpetrators, Sorrels felt like students were losing the most important aspect — the voices of the victims.
In an effort to put a human face on historical events to better engage her students, the associate professor incorporated valuable new digital, web-based skills into her courses to help highlight personal perspectives on historical events.
After participating in a nationally competitive, two-week seminar on “Visualizing the Holocaust and the Use of Digital Humanities in the Classroom,” Sorrels began demonstrating the critical value of database construction, digital mapping and spatial analysis for creating online visual displays.
In addition, training she gained from UC’s iPad cohort has also greatly enhanced student engagement for those who are reticent to speak up in class. Responding to presenters and sending anonymous questions through the use of an iPad has been a positive game-changer for many new students.
DISTINGUISHED TEACHING PROFESSOR
Stephen W. Thiel
College of Engineering & Applied Science
Since childhood, Stephen Thiel, PhD, knew he wanted to make a career in the sciences. Something about the hands-on nature of chemistry appealed to him. Not to mention, you get to see things “bubble and pop” in chemistry, he said.
At the University of Cincinnati, Thiel applies this same passion for the sciences to the classroom. As a professor-educator in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Thiel teaches the year-long capstone design course taken by all chemical engineering seniors.
“In the capstone courses, I see students develop an understanding of chemical engineering as a unified discipline,” said Thiel, speaking to his favorite part of teaching the course. “They’re able to tackle complex problems they couldn’t imagine doing at the beginning.”
Much of Thiel’s teaching strategy is rooted in his industrial experience. For nearly 15 years, Thiel worked for Henkel Corporation (later Cognis), a worldwide supplier of raw chemicals. Thiel can talk design, process economics, process safety and strategic planning – all drawn directly from his time in engineering practice.
“I really try to link the course to professional practice,” said Thiel. “I assign projects where students have to push their skills and learn to be more creative and independent.”
And it pays off. Thiel has received numerous teaching accolades, including the Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award, Outstanding Chemical Engineering Teaching Professor, and Engineering and Applied Sciences Tribunal Professor of the Year. He has been honored twice at the Darwin Turner Breakfast of Champions and three times as Master Engineering Educator.
“Professor Thiel spends so much of his time trying to do what he can for his students, regardless of how busy he is,” said chemical engineering student Emma Lowe. “He genuinely cares that you understand the material.”
2019 Inductees – Academy of Fellows for Teaching & Learning —
Xan Boone, Amy Gultice, Charlotte Skinner, Angie Woods
2019 Inductees – Fellows of the Graduate School —
Tamilyn Bakas, Suzanne Boyce, Christopher Carter, Guo-Chang Fan, Vadim Guliants, James Herman, Ronald Jackson II, Laura Micciche, Elaine Miller, Sakthivel Sadayappan, Thomas Thompson, Earl Wright II, Yan Yu