2010 University Faculty Awards

Eight Wichita State faculty members were honored during the 2010 Faculty Awards. Jill Docking with the Kansas Board of Regents will present the awards. The honorees were chosen for setting the gold standard for teaching, research and creative activities at WSU.

2010 Honorees

Academy for Effective Teaching Royce W. Smith
Community Research Dean Headley
Excellence in Creative Activity Robert Bubp
Excellence in Research George R. Bousfield
Young Faculty Scholar Kimberly McDowell
Leadership in Advancement of Teaching Mark A. Schneegurt
Excellence in Teaching Trisha Self
David Soles

Excellence in Research Award

The Excellence in Research Award, established in 1997, recognizes a faculty member who has established an exemplary record of research that has advanced the university’s research mission. Full-time faculty who have been at WSU for three years are eligible. The recipient is awarded $2,500.

JPEG ImageGeorge R. Bousfield, professor, biological sciencesFairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

George R. Bousfield earned the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biology in 1974 from Saginaw Valley State College (now University) in Michigan, and master’s and doctoral degrees in zoology in 1976 and 1981, respectively, from Indiana University. He joined the WSU faculty in 1991, after holding a post-doctoral fellowship and research associate positions at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

For Bousfield, the application process for landing Wichita State’s largest medical research grant took nine months, the same amount of time for a pregnancy, which would be the desired result of woman affected by his research. Bousfield’s $6.6 million grant will help provide insight into the fertility of older women hoping to bear children.

The federal grant from the National Institutes of Health is a highly competitive and difficult-to-obtain program project grant, noted his colleagues and WSU Office of Research Administration officials.

Program project grants tend to go to much larger medical schools with doctoral programs or research facilities with post-doctoral fellowships and full-time researchers, making Bousfield’s achievement even more significant.

As the principal investigator in the five-year NIH grant awarded in 2009, Bousfield is leading the collaborative effort among researchers at WSU, the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kan., and the University of Nebraska Medical School in Omaha, along with Wichita fertility doctors.

Bousfield’s proposal received “one of the highest review scores I have ever seen in over three decades of dealing with that funding agency,” said William J. Hendry III, the biological sciences department chair.

The grant allows Bousfield to build upon a discovery he and his research team made about a decade ago. They discovered a variation in the human fertility hormone commonly called FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone. The hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland, is one of the regulators in a woman’s reproductive process.

The team realized there were very different-looking and differently constructed subunits of the hormone. One of the chains, more commonly found in younger women, was “a lot more active,” said Bousfield. “There was about a 10- to 25-fold difference, which even by biochemical standards is high.”

Understanding FSH and being able to measure it can lead to better, more effective fertility treatments for infertile or older women, said Bousfield, director of WSU’s Protein Core Laboratory.

About 20 percent of women in the United States have their first child after age 35, and about one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The range in fertility is really wide and chronological age isn’t a real accurate predictor,” Bousfield said. Some of the current tests aren’t totally reliable either. One of the most commonly used fertility tests measures FSH in blood samples, but Bousfield’s work may result in a more accurate, urine-sample test.

Bousfield started his research into reproductive hormones more than 30 years ago as a graduate student at Indiana University where he initially used chickens as models. When he wanted to move into the characterizations of hormone isolation within mammals, he took a position with the highly regarded M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, working with equine models.

At WSU, Bousfield also teaches classes varying from freshman general biology to master’s level. It’s an opportunity that stretches him as a scientist, he said.

“Teaching forces you out of your comfort zone as a researcher,” said Bousfield. “I don’t normally get to think about protein synthesis in my research.”

Excellence in Creative Activity Award

The Excellence in Creative Activity Award, established in 1999, is given to a faculty member who has established an exemplary record of creative activity that has brought recognition to the university. Creative activity can include work in musical compositions, visual arts, choreography, writing and performance. Full-time faculty who have been at WSU for three years are eligible. The recipient is awarded $2,500.

JPEG ImageRobert Bubp, associate professor, foundation, painting and drawingSchool of Art and Design, College of Fine Arts

Robert Bubp earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in drawing and painting in 1993 from the University of Georgia and a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in drawing, painting and printmaking in 2002 from Georgia State University. He has taught at WSU since 2002.

The concept of place plays a significant role in Robert Bubp’s artwork. It seems fitting, then, that Bubp considers creating a public place for WSU students to display their artwork as one of his most important contributions to WSU.

Originally started in 2005 as a shifting exhibition place — hence the name Shift Space —to be part of Wichita’s monthly Final Fridays art crawl, the student gallery is now a fully funded WSU Student Government Association activity with a permanent location at 800 E. 3rd St., a half-time gallery director and regular part-time gallery hours.

“It was really, really fun,” said Bubp about the initial shifting venues. It also ended up being far more labor-intensive than imagined, sometimes calling for around-the-clock efforts by students, himself and fellow faculty members to move into vacant downtown buildings — including one powered by a generator — to create a temporary gallery each month.

Place is prevalent in Bubp’s research and artwork, which has been displayed around the country.

The welcome page of his Web site, www.robertbubp.com, features his intricate colored pencil drawing of the tallest building in the world, the recently completed Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai.

His pencil-on-paper drawing of Wichita’s INTRUST Arena under construction, part of the 2009 WSU School of Art and Design Faculty Biennial at the Ulrich Museum of Art, is a metaphor for the slow nature of building something in a community.

As a commentary on the efforts of tornado-ravaged Greensburg to rebuild as a “green” community, he developed a series of postcards, with manipulated green-colored images of new construction in the town, with the slogan, “We’re building a little town with a lot of energy.”

Since 2000, Bubp has had nine solo and two-person exhibitions — quite a feat in a young artist’s career — more than 30 group exhibitions, and several talks and presentations related to those shows. His work has been discussed or reproduced in more than 20 publications including The New York Times and Art in America, according to colleague Annette LeZotte.

Two of his most recent exhibitions — “Corpitopia” (2010) in KSpace Contemporary in Corpus Christi, Texas, and “Vision/Voice/Plan: Salina” (2009) in the nationally respected Salina Art Center in Kansas — have been about creating a community-based art exhibit from research, conversations, engagement and creative problem-solving between himself and community nonartists.

While the exhibitions examine how citizens view their community and its future, the shows are not meant to be a blueprint for community action, Bubp explained.

“It’s not an activist thing that I do,” Bubp said, a week after “Corpitopia” closed. “It’s really not goal-oriented and I don’t want to be looked at as a savior. I am an artist helping others to be artists and creating a community play space. I am more focused on the factors that go into experiencing a place and how it evolves.”

Bubp has received various awards and honors, including a Kansas Arts Commission fellowship and the WSU College of Fine Arts’ Excellence in Fine Arts Special Endeavor (for Shift Space). He most recently was a finalist for a highly competitive Graham Foundation for Advancement of Fine Arts grant.

Community Research Award

The Community Research Award recognizes a faculty member who has established an exemplary and demonstrable record of scholarship extended to external constituents resulting in significant outcome for individuals, organizations or communities in problem solving or development. Full-time faculty who have served at WSU for at least three years are eligible. The recipient is awarded $2,500.

JPEG ImageDean Headley, associate professor, marketing and entrepreneurshipW. Frank Barton School of Business

Dean Headley earned a Bachelor of Science in business from Emporia State University in 1970, a Master of Public Health in health administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1974, a Master of Business Administration from Wichita State University in 1982, and a doctorate in marketing from Oklahoma State University in 1989. He initially began teaching at WSU in 1987 within the College of Health Professions before joining the Barton School faculty in 1988.

When Dean Headley started teaching market research, he knew the only way for his students to understand how to do research in the real world was to do relevant research in the classroom.

So for the past 22 years, his students have done research projects for entities within the Wichita nonprofit and WSU communities. The projects have ranged from understanding donors of the historic Orpheum Theatre to attitudes about a smoking ban to the usefulness of the myWSU Web portal and the textbook buying behavior of WSU students.

Headley himself is internationally known for his research into U.S. airline performance quality, and his Clinton Hall office shows his love for airplanes. A dozen different airframes of different airlines, some no longer in business, line a shelf behind his desk, while a large framed poster of airplanes hangs on his wall.

The research projects he and his students conduct rarely make headlines as his Airline Quality Rating project does, but they often play an important role for clients they serve. In many cases, the entities have limited resources for conducting market research, which can cost upward of $12,000.

“We could not have afforded a survey of the depth and quality provided by (Headley’s) program,” said Mary Eves, president of the Orpheum Performing Arts Centre. “Even if we could have had adequate funds to contract a professional consultant, based on my past experience, we would not have gotten a better end product. The structure he provides his students maximizes the extent of the research experience for them while ensuring the best possible outcome and final product for the organization.”

Part of Headley’s structure involves having both his undergraduate and graduate marketing classes — comprising 75 to 100 students — work on the client’s research project.

“For students this is a real piece of work that they have done and I always advise them to list it on their resume,” Headley said. “Employers pay for that kind of experience. Research puts you in touch with people and organizations that you might not otherwise deal with.”

Sometimes students have their awareness raised through the research, such as how prevalent domestic violence is when a project for the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center was the focus. Students working with the Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition and the Sedgwick County Health Department were excited to be part of a community-wide issue making headlines and grabbing people’s attention when the city was developing its ordinance to ban smoking in all workplaces, he said.

“You never know what button you’ll push,” said Headley, of how students react to the projects.`

For Headley, the research is a way to give back to his community and WSU.

“When you have a skill set, you need to use it where you live,” he said. “I live in two places, the university and Wichita. I don’t have a lot of money to give but I do know how to do research that brings student learning and community needs together in a positive way.”

Young Faculty Scholar Award

Wichita State University’s Board of Trustees established the Young Faculty Scholar Award in 1988 to recognize faculty members who are between their third and eighth year of service and have records of excellence in teaching performance and substantial achievement in research and/or creative activity. The recipient receives a $2,000 award.

JPEG ImageKimberly McDowell, assistant professor, curriculum and instruction, College of Education

Kimberly McDowell earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and early childhood education in 1994 and a Master of Arts in communicative disorders and sciences in 2000 from Wichita State University and a doctorate in communication disorders from Florida State University in 2004. She joined the WSU faculty in 2004. McDowell has received tenure and promotion to associate professor, effective July 1, 2010.

In her short career at WSU, Kimberly McDowell already has to her credit nine grants totaling more than $13.5 million.

“She began early, and continues to be one of the highest-level grant writers within the College of Education,” said colleague Linda Mitchell.

McDowell, the mother of seven in a blended family, has a particular passion for helping children succeed. As a former kindergarten teacher, she realizes how important teachers and mentors are in helping with that success. Her grant projects — which vary from pioneering a new teacher training model to working with at-risk students to helping teachers work with the issues of bilingualism and biliteracy — bear out her convictions.

Her most recent grant for which she serves as co-principal investigator — $6.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education — will transform WSU’s undergraduate teacher training programs by having students spend more time in 15 elementary and three middle schools.

The schools, all in Wichita’s urban district, have a large percentage of low-income students. High-need urban schools often have higher teacher turnover, a factor the grant may help curb with better teacher preparation.

Using the model of professional development schools, the participating schools and their staff will be responsible for helping prepare future teachers by providing mentorship and hands-on experience, while WSU provides the theoretical, empirical and best-practices training, McDowell explained.

The grant will also be used to develop a new teacher residency program in early childhood development, the first of its kind in the country, McDowell said. Participants in the program — recruited from related fields such as social work and psychology — will complete residencies with one of three partners in the project (Head Start, USD 259 and The Opportunity Project), while working to receive a Master of Arts degree in teaching in 18 months.

The program, which will accept 20 students each year, begins January 2011. Already more than 30 people have expressed an interest in the program, McDowell said.

One of McDowell’s earlier grants — a $2.5 million grant from the Knight Foundation — has reached more than 400 at-risk kids in the past three years through the local Boys and Girls Club. The project, which provides career counseling, mentoring and work ethic modeling, has expanded to the Wichita Children’s Home.

Two of McDowell’s recent grants are directed at bilingualism and biliteracy. As part of a national four-site project, funded by a National Institutes of Health division, McDowell is studying different curriculum and delivery service models for promoting school-readiness among Spanish-speaking English learners. In a grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, McDowell will help create teacher-friendly screening of bilingual children to assess literacy or academic deficits.

Her outstanding research has been recognized in various ways: publication in a top journal, The Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research; the 2009 WSU College of Education Research Award; and the 2008 Kansas Reading Association Research Award.

“Also noteworthy is her recognition as a finalist for the International Reading Association’s Outstanding Dissertation of the Year award in 2005,” said College of Education Dean Sharon Iorio, who noted the award is “both coveted and extremely selective.”

Leadership in the Advancement in Teaching Award

Wichita State University’s Board of Trustees established the Leadership in the Advancement of Teaching Award in 1982 to recognize exemplary effort and leadership in improvement and learning at WSU. The recipient is awarded $1,000.

JPEG ImageMark Schneegurt, associate professor, biological sciences, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mark Schneegurt earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both in biology, from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in New York in 1984 and 1985, respectively. He earned a doctorate in biology from Brown University in 1989. He joined the WSU faculty in 2000, after holding post-doctoral research positions with Eli Lilly and Co., Purdue University and University of Notre Dame.

It may sound like a diabolical scientist’s plot: Fill the country with scientists. But for Mark Schneegurt, that premise is what will keep America going.

“We need more scientists in this country as a whole,” Schneegurt said. “We’re supposed to be in a period of economic growth fueled by technology. You do not make advances in science and technology without lots of training, and we need more students to get involved. I know when students — and even teachers — interact with real scientists and researchers, it can change their life. I had an experience like that in my life. I was something like 8 years old and I wrote a scientist about a theory I had about space and he wrote me back.”

For the past 10 years at WSU, Schneegurt has been finding ways to pique the scientific interests of K-12 students and their teachers. With a nearly $1 million National Science Foundation grant, he has built connections with area high school teachers and students. As part of the grant, three graduate students a year for the past four years have been working with three Wichita public high schools, helping students do research in the classroom. Extracurricular research clubs have formed at Northwest, Northeast Magnet and North high schools as a result.

“They’re doing real science and even publishing papers,” Schneegurt said, noting that some have presented at conferences such as the Kansas Academy of Science annual meeting.

Also as part of the grant, scientific activities in molecular biology are provided to all eight Wichita high schools, impacting 2,000 students each year.

“The students get to do CSI-kinds of activities, doing forensic science with real DNA stuff,” Schneegurt said.

Not only do the high school students benefit, but so do the graduate researchers, and maybe even the general public. Part of science’s reputation as a hard discipline stems from the fact that scientists don’t do a good job of communicating, Schneegurt said. By sending his students — many of whom don’t plan on teaching careers — into the classrooms, the graduate students develop skills in communication and outreach.

Doing these kinds of outreach activities is important, Schneegurt believes. That’s why he’s submitted another grant proposal to underwrite an online science course for high school students with a wet lab portion that can be done right in someone’s kitchen, using common household items.

Turning students on to science is something Schneegurt loves to do. That’s one of the reasons he prefers teaching introductory and lower-division courses.

“I get to introduce the students to science,” said Schneegurt about finding ways to relate science to the students’ personal lives and experiences.

Schneegurt reaches thousands of students in another way: as a frequent contributing writer to some of the most popular, top-selling biology textbooks.

In the past decade, Schneegurt has also contributed immensely to his department and college, noted William J. Hendry III, the biological sciences department chair.

Schneegurt carries a heavy teaching load and has developed several new courses, including Fairmount College’s first full-scale online course, and has trained more than 40 students in his biology laboratory, where he researches such things as microbes in soils and water.

Academy for Effective Teaching Award

Established in 1996, these awards are given by WSU’s Academy for Effective Teaching, a group of outstanding emeriti faculty nominated for membership by current faculty and staff at WSU. Recipients of the AET Teaching Award are chosen through a multistage process. After collecting nominations from current upper-division and graduate students, the 10-person AET Steering Committee creates a short list of excellent teachers, each of whom is invited to submit a teaching portfolio. On the basis of the portfolios, the AET Steering Committee recommends winners to the provost, who makes the final award. Awardees who are full-time faculty receive a $2,000 addition to their base salary beginning the following academic year; adjunct awardees receive a one-time $2,000 award. The honorees are Timothy Quigley, Diane Scott and Larry Spurgeon.

JPEG ImageRoyce W. Smith, assistant professor, modern and contemporary art history and theory, School of Art and Design, College of Fine Arts

Royce W. Smith received an Artium Baccalaureus (Bachelor of Arts), summa cum laude, with majors in English, Spanish and humanities/fine arts and a minor in secondary education from Wabash College in Indiana (1996); a Master of Arts with honors and a doctorate in the fields of art history and theory from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia (1999 and 2005, respectively); and a Master of Arts degree in the field of English from Purdue University in 2000. He joined the WSU faculty in 2005.

Students in Royce Smith’s art history classes don’t just read about art or see it in books and presentations — they often experience it in person, even traveling internationally to view artworks and major exhibitions.

“It’s not just about seeing the artwork on a PowerPoint presentation. It’s about seeing it in its cultural context,” said Smith, a day before he planned to take a dozen students to Cuzco, Peru, this spring. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the historic capital of the Inca Empire. By visiting archeological ruins, the students would study how the area’s rich past “has formed the foundation for what artists in Peru are doing now,” he said.

Since joining the School of Art and Design in 2005, Smith has expanded the contemporary art history and theory curriculum to include non-Western topics and international travel components.

The classes, ranging from introductory to advanced graduate seminars, have always been at or above capacity, said Rodney Miller, College of Fine Arts dean.

Class trips, whether to a Dallas art exhibition or a prestigious international biennial, help students gain a better perspective — something Smith realized as a significant aspect of learning early in his educational career. As a high school sophomore, Smith traveled to Spain with his language teacher.

“That’s when I realized that everything we had been talking about in the classroom and reading in the textbooks had become real,” Smith recalled. “That experience influenced what I as a teacher want to give my students.”

The international component of his classes allows WSU’s art history students to become what Smith calls “globally engaged” students. They can appreciate the cultural, ethnic, historical and even the socio-economic factors that influence artists today, and can view art with a multicultural perspective, he said.

Students have visited some of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art biennials in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Venice, Italy; and Istanbul, Turkey. On one trip, students visited Diego Rivera’s “Water, Origin of Life” underwater murals at Mexico City’s Lerma Waterworks, which are not open to the public. Thanks to Smith’s knowledge of a common persuasion tactic while traveling, the students gained access after Smith tipped a guard at the facility.

“I have a lot of passion for other cultures and ways of thinking,” Smith said. “I want my teaching to be infectious so that my students can become passionate about that, too. I want students to quest and question.”

On that front, he seems to succeed, according to Miller, the college dean, who noted Smith’s student comment evaluations are among the most laudatory he’s read.

“He really stimulates thinking and interacting in class,” said Teresa Veazey, Ulrich Museum public relations manager and three-time student of Smith. “That’s what makes taking classes by Royce so interesting.”

Smith’s contributions to the School of Art and Design have been significant, his colleagues said. “Royce’s curriculum development has raised the level of scholarly discourse in the School of Art and Design to that of a research-intensive university,” said Annette LeZotte, the school’s associate director.

Excellence in Teaching Award

The University of Wichita Board of Regents, now known as the WSU Board of Trustees, established a corpus of $50,000 in 1964 to provide grants to recognize superior teaching through the Excellence in Teaching Award. The recipient is awarded $2,000. The honorees are Jen-Chi Cheng and Deborah Soles.

JPEG ImageTrisha Self, assistant professor, communication sciences and disorders, College of Health Professions

Trisha Self earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1984, a Master of Arts in 1985 and a doctorate in 1991, all in communicative disorders and sciences from Wichita State University. She began working at her alma mater in 1994, serving 11 years as director of clinical programs and research with WSU’s Evelyn Hendren Cassat Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic before joining the communication sciences and disorders faculty full time in 2005.

Five years ago, Trisha Self began doing what she calls “one of my favorite things” — teaching full time.

“I am passionate about the work I do as a speech-language pathologist and having the privilege to educate students and get them excited about the profession is a responsibility I don’t take lightly,” Self said.

Self’s interest in the field began at a very young age, while growing up in Girard, Kan., with a younger brother who experienced challenges with his communication.

“My parents had a speech-language pathologist come to our house to work with my brother,” Self recalled. “I found it interesting that she got him to do things that other people couldn’t. I saw how it changed his life and our family’s lives.”

She would help her brother work to improve his speech and language skills and even tried to prepare her own therapy materials for him. “He didn’t really want to work with mine,” she said, laughing.

It’s a story that she shares with her students, letting them know how significant the impact of finding successful strategies can be for the children and families they will work with in the future.

“By sharing topic-related cases that have had both a professional and personal impact on my life, students recognize my commitment to the profession,” wrote Self, about her teaching philosophy. “They also begin to realize the enormous responsibility that comes with the work they have chosen to pursue and the value of learning and experiencing all that they can before entering that ‘real world’ of work.”

Before joining the communication sciences and disorders faculty full time, Self helped supervise and guide students as the director of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic from 1994-2005. The clinic serves as a teaching clinic, allowing undergraduate and graduate students to work with clients under the supervision of CSD clinical educators and faculty. As a faculty member, Self still has the opportunity to supervise students at the clinic.

Even as a clinic director, with limited classroom teaching responsibilities, Self received accolades from students.

“Students praised her ability to demonstrate effective and life-changing therapy with a blend of intellectual curiosity and genuine caring for the clinic clients and the student clinicians,” said fellow professor Rosalind Scudder.

Self, who specializes in the field of autism, has been very successful in the classroom, according to student and peer comments.

“Passionate,” “encouraging,” “extremely effective,” “enthusiastic” — those are words students repeatedly use to describe Self.

Self easily blends lectures, group assignments, video clips and handouts as she challenges students to think, analyze, interact and report new information they’ve learned, noted Scudder on a recent peer evaluation.

“She is the perfect example of what a teacher should be,” said doctoral student Daiquirie Crumrine. “As a Ph.D. student, preparing for my own academic career, I aspire to become a phenomenal teacher like Dr. Self and carry on the legacy of knowledge and skills that she has instilled in me.”

JPEG ImageDavid Soles, professor, philosophy, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

David Soles earned the Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from The University of Pittsburgh in 1971 and a doctorate in philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University in 1977. He has been on the philosophy faculty at WSU since 1974, and served as the coordinator of cooperative education from 1979-82. In the past decade he has received the John R. Barrier Distinguished Teaching Award within Fairmount College, a President’s Distinguished Service Award and the 2007 WSU Leadership in the Advancement of Teaching Award.

In David Soles’ second-floor Fiske Hall office hangs a Chinese scroll with a Confucius saying that sums up his passion for education: “To learn and to pass on what one has learned — is this not a joy.”

For Soles, passing on knowledge — along with developing a keen interest in philosophy — began in his teens.

“I started teaching at age 14,” said Soles. “I taught knot-tying and first aid to my mom’s Girl Scouts troop.”

In high school, he started reading philosophy on his own as a way to search for answers.

“I started questioning things in life early on,” said Soles, a Pennsylvania native.

While philosophy doesn’t have all the answers, Soles said, it has provided him with the understanding of how important it is to develop one’s intellect and critical reasoning abilities. And that’s what he tries to pass on to his students.

“I encourage/challenge my students to employ their developing critical reasoning skills in the examination of what they like to call the big questions — what makes life meaningful? What grounds do we have for our religious, political and ethical beliefs? What criteria should we employ in assessing our beliefs?,” Soles wrote about his teaching philosophy when nominated for this teaching award.

“Even though the majority of my students will not be professional philosophers, their lives will be enriched by the examination of such questions, and, hopefully, the inclination to reflect upon serious issues and exercise their intellectual capabilities will remain a lifelong habit.”

While his passion for philosophy runs deep, so his does his belief that WSU is a quality institution. He believes WSU provides just as solid of an education as some of the most respected universities in the country. Soles’ vita and award nomination letters show he has contributed significantly to providing that solid experience.

“I think WSU is really committed to providing a quality education for people who can’t afford to go off to some place like Johns Hopkins or Yale,” Soles said. “There’s no reason they should get a second-rate education because they can’t leave the area. One can get a first-rate education here. We have lots of good faculty doing good things in the classroom, and when you have students going off to graduate education at places like Harvard, MIT or Princeton, you know we’re doing something right.”

Soles often teaches classes that unite a liberal education and career preparation, said Fairmount College dean Bill Bischoff. For example, Soles has developed and taught courses in ethics for students pursuing careers in engineering, health professions and business.

Since 2003, Soles has directed the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, in which students design integrated plans of study from LAS, as well as the colleges of fine arts, health professions, education and business. He sits on several theses committees each semester, and he teaches the MALS required research goals and methods class as an individual tutorial.

Soles also was instrumental in developing the LAS college’s cooperative education program in the late 1970s and worked with WSU’s other college-level cooperative education programs to form a university program that has become a model for other programs across the country.

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