Six professors known for inspiring greatness at West Virginia University are this year’s WVU Foundation Outstanding Teachers.
Each will receive either a $2,500 honorarium or a $5,000 U.S. savings bond. The following honorees will receive Outstanding Teacher Awards during the annual Weekend of Honors Convocation Friday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms:
- Dr. James G. Arbogast , professor, School of Medicine
- Gerald G. Ashdown , professor, College of Law
- Paula Fitzgerald Bone , professor of marketing, College of Business&Economics
- Susan Braidi , associate professor of teaching English as a second language (TESL), Department of Foreign Languages
- Maryanne Reed, associate professor, Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism
- Janice Spleth , professor of French, Department of Foreign Languages
Dr. James G. Arbogast p. Dr. James G. Arbogast says he came to WVU anaive but open-minded medical studentand developed into a doctor under the tutelage ofan amazing and competent cadre of teachers,including Drs. John Traubert, Clark Sleeth and Ed Fink.I wanted nothing more than to continue in their mold, so I accepted an invitation to stay on the faculty as an instructor,he recalled.
That was 25 years ago. Since then, Arbogast has helped transform many medical students into competent, caring physicians.
Teachers are leaders who have the power to project either light or shadow on their students. It is a tremendous responsibility,Arbogast observed.I interact with students over a seven year metamorphosis from the altruistic and clinically inexperienced first year medical student to the �€~hardened’senior family medicine resident anxious to independently pursue their career. My challenge is to guide them through this journey of self-discovery and to show them how to become lifelong learners by constantly adjusting my teaching style to compliment their particular stages of development.
As a teacher of students with demonstrated intellect and academic ability, Arbogast’s goal is to help them put those abilities to use by playing the role of parent, coach, supporter and finally, spectator.
He has evaluated approximately 2,000 medical students during his 20 years on the SOM ’s Committee on Academic and Professional Standards. He also has directed the Family Medicine Residency Program for the last 15 years. In 1999, the program received the National Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Award for Excellence in Resident Education in Patient Education.
For more than 20 years, Dr. James Arbogast has been a role model and a counselor for medical students at WVU , an innovator in and out of the classroom and a very special physician for a number of patients in and around Morgantown,said Dr. Robert M. D’Alessandri, dean of the School of Medicine.In every aspect of learning, Jim Arbogast is a leader and role model for all of us. I am proud to be associated with Dr. Arbogasta great physician, an excellent teacher and a fine person.
Arbogast earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lafayette College (1972) and is a 1976 graduate of the WVU School of Medicine. During his career at WVU , Arbogast has been recognized numerous times for his outstanding teaching and service to the University. In 2003, he was one of three finalists for the West Virginia Faculty Merit Foundation Professor of the Year.
Gerald G. Ashdown p. Known for his masterful use of the Socratic teaching method, College of Law Professor Gerald G. Ashdown challenges his students to go beyond standard memorization and recitation.
He brings an enthusiasm for the course content and a thorough understanding of the subject area to the classroom each and every day that he teaches,remarked College of Law Dean John W. Fisher II.He challenges the students intellectually. He makes them think, to distinguish and to understand.
Ashdown’s course load includes Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Federal Courts and Federal Criminal Jurisdiction.
In addition to engaging students in lively classroom discussion, Ashdown also makes himself available to students outside of class and mentors law students in a variety of ways, from advising the West Virginia Law Review staff to giving students the chance to assist him on appointed cases in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He also developed the Federal Court Extern Program that places current law students as clerks with federal judges. The program provides both valuable experiential learning for students and assistance to the federal judiciary in West Virginia.
For his many contributions to the College of Law and the success of its students, Ashdown was appointed the James H.Buckand June M. Harless Professor of Law in 2002. He joined the WVU faculty in 1979 as an associate professor of law and was promoted to professor in 1980. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1969 and a J.D. in 1972, both from the University of Iowa.
Among his numerous publications is a national casebook he co-authored, Criminal LawCases and Comments, now in its seventh edition. A legal scholar in the ever-changing subject areas of Criminal Law and Constitutional Law, Ashdown has testified on campaign finance reform before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and his articles have been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous appellate and district courts, and during U.S. Senate floor debate.
Paula Fitzgerald Bone p. Marketing Professor Paula Fitzgerald Bone tries to keep her students guessing.�€~You never know what will happen in class’is one of my favorite students comments,she said.We may present skits, develop posters, draw cartoons, debate, present cases, conduct peer reviews or have students role-play.
The College of Business and Economics professor is known nationally for her innovative methods of teaching ethics and societal issues in marketing. To her knowledge, her Marketing and Society course is the only one of its kind offered to undergraduates in the United States.
The primary goal of the course is for students to gain an understanding of how marketing influences and is influenced by governmental organizations, laws, consumer groups, advocacy groups, international organizations and politics,Dr. Bone said.
Besides Marketing and Society, she teaches Consumer Behavior and Marketing
Management, as well as a small independent study that enrolls 3-5 undergraduates per semester to explore marketing research, or other industry-specific areas of marketing, such as pharmaceutical and sports marketing.
I love being in the classroom and I make sure that what happens in class is worthwhile and interesting,she said.
Business and Economics Dean Jay Coats cited Bone’sinfectiously positive attitudeas one of the reasons she excels as a teacher.People enjoy being around her and are easily engulfed by her enthusiasm and obvious love of what she does,he commented.
Bone has spoken nationally about her teaching methods, most recently making a presentation at American Marketing Association’s Summer Educator’s Meeting in 2003. She also was invited to present at the University of Notre Dame’s May 1999 Teaching Ethics Symposium and served as facilitator in a discussion ofIntegrating Ethics in a Marketing Management Courseheld at the 2003 American Marketing Association Winter Educators’Conference.
Bone earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alabama (1983) and a doctorate in marketing from the University of South Carolina (1987). She joined the WVU faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and to professor in 2000.
Susan Braidi p. To say Susan Braidi teaches students from a variety of backgrounds is an understatement. The associate professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) routinely tackles the task of instructing students from different cultures, with varying levels of English language competence and divergent career goals.
Her courses in TESOL attract American students who wish to teach international students at all levels of the American educational system and foreign students who want to return to their home countries to teach English as a Foreign Language. Thus, Dr. Braidi’s courses must prepare students for a variety of teaching situations, while conducting the class in a way that is respectful of many different perspectives.
In addition to her regular assignments teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in linguistics and TESOL , Braidi has taught a variety of summer courses through the Intensive English Program, including courses for the Chinese Business Program, for Korean English teachers and for the IEP International Business Executives program. Braidi came to WVU in 1995 as an associate professor of TESOL and has since developed six new courses and revised three others.
One of Braidi’sclaims to fameis her work with students in their professional development as teachers by announcing calls for papers and conferences, and then encouraging participation and assisting the students with their abstracts and other preparation work. She gives proposal workshops for graduate students to provide feedback on their papers, and whenever possible, she attends their presentations to provide moral support.
I believe that good teachers are good learners. We learn about a wide variety of topics: the changing content of our courses, the changing characteristics of our students, new ways to be more effective and more challenging, and mostly new insights into ourselves,Braidi said.Teaching has taught me that I love learning and that I love instilling that enthusiasm for lifelong learning in my students.
A 1990 graduate of the University of Delaware with a doctorate in linguistics, Braidi also earned a bachelor’s in Spanish/linguistics from Rutgers University and a master’s in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Maryanne Reed p. Maryanne Reed knows that meaningful assignments motivate students.When you engage students in work that truly matters, they will invest their time and their hearts,said the associate professor of journalism.
This belief was reaffirmed recently when a group of Reed’s students worked tirelessly to completeCancer stories: Lessons in Love, Loss and Hope,a documentary chronicling the lives of five West Virginia cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment. In the project’s second year, she found that many students from the first year class continued, even though they were no longer enrolled in the class. She and her students shot more than 300 hours of videotape and edited that footage into a one-hour documentary that aired on West Virginia Public Television (WVPT) in December 2003. The documentary won an Award of Excellence in the documentary category of the 2004 Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts and was featured in the February/March 2004 edition of American Journalism Review.”Cancer storieswill serve as the model for future faculty-student documentary projects.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Professor Reed’s teaching is her ability to combine the teaching of cutting-edge professional skills while inspiring, indeed demanding, a commitment to journalism as community-centered public service,School of Journalism Dean Christine Martin said.
“Professor Reed was dynamic leader, a champion for her students and an advocate for ethical journalism,commented former student Amanda Lawrence, now a news reporter/anchor in Charlottesville, Va.She has been a wonderful role model for me and other School of Journalism graduates, now working in newsrooms around the country. She encourages young people to set their goals high and to achieve their dreams, and she gives them the tools to succeed.”
After joining the WVU faculty in 1993 as an associate professor, Reed created Advanced TV Reporting and Producing, the first class in the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism to produce professional newscasts reaching a real audience. Initially the newscasts were shown on closed-circuit TV in the Mountainlair, but eventually the programs aired on the community access channel and then on statewide public television through a partnership she negotiated. Reed also created the successful KDKA -WVU partnership, which allows students the opportunity to report and produce news for a television station in Pittsburgh, a top-20 TV market.
Reed earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts (1983) and a master’s of science in journalism from Northwestern University (1987). She recently was
appointed acting dean of WVU ’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism for 2004-05, effective April 1.
Janice Spleth p. Foreign Languages Professor Janice Spleth has devoted the last three decades to encouraging students to expand their vision of the world and providing them with the tools to communicate with people from other cultures.
One of the first faculty members at WVU to teach courses about women in literature, Dr. Spleth also is a pioneer in the area of Francophone Studies, a relatively new field that includes recognition of French-speaking areas such as Quebec, the Caribbean and especially Africa.
Since coming to WVU in 1974, she has introduced new Francophone units and courses into the French and Foreign Literature in Translation (FLIT) curricula and directed master’s theses on Francophone literature. Many of her former graduate students have gone on to receive doctorates in the discipline. Her courses in Francophone and African literature are now important components of both the Women’s Studies and Africana Studies Program, as well as serving students studying French in the Department of Foreign Languages.
Dr. Spleth has been an outstanding instructor in courses ranging from introductory courses to graduate courses, from FLIT to French to Francophone studies to Africana studies to women’s studies,said Center for Women’s Studies Director Barbara Howe, who nominated Spleth for the honor.Students usually only see teaching as classroom performance or service on graduate committees, but Dr. Spleth also has made noteworthy contributions toward curriculum development in these areas, most recently through her work as a core faculty member in our Women in Islam seminar last year.
Spleth said that her strong conviction that French can serve as a portal to understanding a variety of non-European cultures has been the guiding force in her career:My teaching style has ultimately developed from the belief that my courses can indeed change attitudes and broaden horizons if students are truly engaged and that my primary responsibility is therefore to motivate them by making classes interesting and providing incentives for them to read, write and participate in class discussions.
An ardent believer in the value of out-of-classroom learning, Spleth enthusiastically encourages language tables, foreign film programs, study abroad and cultural exchanges. She regularly takes a bus-load of students to the opera in Pittsburgh or to Washington, D.C., to view exhibits on African art and culture and to dine at an African restaurant.
Nationally, she has sought to create a professional framework for teaching Francophone Studies. As a member of the African Literature Association, she helped found its Francophone Caucus, served on the Executive Council and co-edited a volume of the ALA annual on Interdisciplinary Dimensions of African Literature . She is on the editorial board for Research in African Literatures and has published extensively on African literature in French, including two books and several articles on the Senegalese poet-statesman Lopold Sdar Senghor. Recipient of a Fulbright Award to teach in Congo-Zaire (1977-78), she has since earned an international reputation for her scholarship on Central African literature.
Spleth joined the WVU faculty in 1974 and was promoted to professor in 1986. She earned a general diploma from Cottey College (1965), a bachelor’s from the University of Arkansas (1967) and a Ph.D. in French from Rice University (1973).