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College Awards Own for Distinguished Teaching, Service, Advising

Posted Aug. 30, 2013

The College of Communication and Information (CCI) at Kent State University recently recognized several faculty and staff members for exceptional teaching, advising and service, based on nominations from their peers and their students.

“CCI has an amazing faculty and staff, but each year some special people stand out, even in this exceptional group,” said CCI Dean Stan Wearden, Ph.D. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to recognize a select group of faculty and staff members each year for their dedication and their focus on student success. Theirs are jobs in which the rewards tend to be mostly intrinsic. People enter these careers because they are committed to helping others improve their lives. It’s great to have an occasion to say thank you and congratulations to such devoted colleagues.”

CCI recognized SLIS Professor Marcia Zeng, Ph.D., for her dedication to student success. As a tenured faculty member, Zeng received the Distinguished Teaching Award thanks to a nomination from one of her students, Connie Godsey-Bell.

“Many times I have sent [this professor] an email on weekends or late at night,” Bell said. “She answers my email within minutes. It’s amazing how accessible she is… She treats everyone with respect and gives everyone great direction.”

Sophomore journalism student Robert Carroll also praised one of his teachers, earning Associate Professor Gene Shelton the Outstanding Teaching Award. Shelton, a 1972 graduate of Kent State, taught Carroll’s Introduction to Mass Communication class.

“[Shelton] is very hands-on and encourages students to come by during office hours after each test to get the correct answers and to help better prepare for the final exam,” Carroll wrote in his nomination. “He also uses a variety of multimedia in the classroom to engage his learners in study.”

The winner of the Distinguished Advising Award received praise from not one, but four students. Arriving at Kent State in 2011, this Communication Studies professor believes that meaningful service should embrace others to better the world and was recognized for providing such service.

“To state that the nominee is well-published, respected, and a distinguished scholar would be a vast understatement,” one of his nominators wrote. “Despite that great level of recognition, the nominee is extremely approachable and humble, and models a democratic educational environment. (He) makes great efforts to be available and willing to work with students.”

CCI congratulates COMM Professor George Cheney, Ph.D., for winning the Distinguished Advising Award for the 2012-2013 school year.

Finally, CCI Academic Program Director Marianne Warzinski was recognized by JMC Assistant Professor Danielle Coombs, Ph.D., for her mentorship of students in the CCI Commons.

“She often takes on the mentor role,” Coombs wrote. “Students come to her with personal concerns as well as academic, and she listens and offers sage advice. Students view her as a respected and valued resource who has a real impact on their Kent State experience.”

Warzinski won the Distinguished Service Award for her exceptional interaction with her students.

By Meghan Caprez, public relations student