Cameron University faculty members Ioannis K. Argyros, Shaun Calix, Danyelle Lee, Michelle Smith, Jan Thomas, and Aubree Walton have been honored with awards recognizing their contributions to Cameron’s academic community.

“It is always rewarding to recognize dedicated faculty members,” says Ronna Vanderslice, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “These award recipients, who teach in different academic disciplines, share a common goal: to assist Cameron students in completing their educational goals by providing exceptional learning experiences.”

Michelle Smith, Associate Professor in the Department of Education, received the 2020-21 Harold and Elizabeth Hackler Award for Teaching Excellence, Cameron’s highest faculty honor. The Hackler Lectureship in Teaching Excellence was established in 1996 by Cameron alumni Harold and Elizabeth Hackler to recognize outstanding contributions by faculty in the lives of Cameron students.

The nominator noted Smith’s “exceptional talent for molding bright futures for inexperienced students...and never giving up on anybody.”

The Bhattacharya Endowed Lectureship for Excellence in Research Award was presented to Ioannis Argyros, Professor of Mathematical Sciences. Argyros has a prolific portfolio of research in topics including mathematical analysis, applied mathematics/analysis, management science, wavelet and neural networks, mathematical economics, and mathematical physics. He regularly involves his students in research, as he strives to empower students through teaching, research and mentoring. He serves as an adviser to students in addition to mentoring their research projects and providing guidance as they present papers and talks at professional and academic conferences.

Faculty Excellence Awards were presented to four members of the faculty in recognition of their contributions to Cameron’s academic community.

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Service recognizes a faculty member who has applied his/her professional expertise beyond the classroom to advance the university and its constituents. Shaun Calix, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology, was honored with the award.

Calix, who was nominated for his service as faculty adviser for the Native American Student Association, was cited for his “support and encouragement for us to be who we are as students while representing our culture,” according to the nominator. The nomination cited Calix’s willingness to go “over and beyond in recognizing this student organization on campus.”

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Student Research, which recognizes a faculty member who has an excellent, sustained record of mentoring student research and scholarship, was presented to Danyelle Lee, Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture, Biology and Health Sciences. One nominator described Lee as “an outstanding mentor who had the biggest impact on my time at Cameron.”

Jan Thomas received the Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, which recognizes an adjunct faculty member who performs superbly in the classroom.

A classroom teacher at Tomlinson Middle School in Lawton, Thomas has served as an adjunct at Cameron since 2014, teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Education. In her statement of teaching philosophy, Thomas notes that she genuinely loves teaching and serving others, adding, “I understand relationships, collaboration and motivation are key to student success. Therefore, I try to incorporate human, unique hooks, and teaching strategies that are outside the box to reach my students.”

The Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching recognizes a full-time faculty member who performs superbly in the classroom.

Aubree Walton, Professor of Business, was the recipient. Walton has been teaching online classes since 2004. Rather than rely on publisher content that doesn’t suit the disciplines she teaches, Walton personally develops her own online pedagogy. This includes creating recorded lectures with note-takings, utilizing student video demonstration assignments, incorporating recorded group case discussions, hosting a virtual open house for online students, and more. She states that many students have expressed a desire for more student-to-student interaction, so she created tools to meet that need.

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