Their students describe them as “innovative” and “dynamic.”

They pride themselves on teaching students life-long skills, and providing the connections students need to be successful.

They give it their all.

They are the 2011 recipients of the West Virginia University Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching. Each honoree will receive a $5,000 stipend and will be recognized during the University’s Week of Honors April 8-17.


It has only taken Department of Foreign Languages Assistant Professor of Chinese Hannah Lin five years to completely build the University’s Chinese program – a task that required her to start from scratch.

She has designed and developed 14 different courses, including those on all levels of Chinese language, literature and culture. In addition, she has created and supervised summer and long-term semester study abroad programs.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed – the number of students in Chinese studies has tripled in the last three years.

Lin’s students describe her as “efficient, dynamic, innovative and fun.”

Lin has incorporated the use of technology into her classroom, a tool that she believes helps to reach students on a variety of levels. She also hosts a Chinese roundtable discussion each semester to help students improve their language skills, offers a variety of cultural workshops each year and is the advisor for the WVU Chinese Club.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Oregon and her master’s degree in foreign language education and doctorate in Chinese linguistics from The Ohio State University.

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P.I. Reed School of Journalism Associate Professor Diana Martinelli strives to be a role model for her students.

She prides herself on maintaining close relationships with industry professionals, and frequently brings in accomplished members of the industry to engage in conversation and network with students.

Prior to beginning her teaching career, Martinelli spent more than 15 years in the public relations industry providing her with an array of experience to share with her students.

She joined WVU’s School of Journalism in 2005 as the first Widmeyer Professor of Public Relations, and became the head of the school’s public relations sequence in 2010.

Martinelli was awarded the Judith Gold Stitzel Award for Excellence in Women’s Studies Teaching and Learning in 2009, and has presented and published her research both nationally and internationally.

She obtained her doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


College of Business and Economics Associate Professor of Accounting Presha Neidermeyer believes that learning is not something that ends once a student graduates from college – she believes that it is a life-long pursuit.

She aims to give students a foundation that they can build on throughout their lives, and she encourages them to do so.

Neidermeyer, a WVU alumna, uses service learning and student-conducted research to teach students how to continue their education beyond the classroom. She has helped students to reach out to communities locally and internationally, each year she takes multiple student groups to Africa to work for not-for-profits.

She allows students to investigate aspects of accounting that interest them, and helps them to get works published in academic journals.

Neidermeyer has done research on the impact of culture and gender on auditor behavior, and has co-authored a book on the feminization of AIDS and edited a book on work-life balance.

She obtained her undergraduate degrees in accounting and foreign languages from WVU, her master’s degree from Miami University and her doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Arun Ross, an associate professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, is helping to make the world a safer place.

The FBI has awarded a grant to Ross and his colleagues to research ways to improve fingerprint analysis under a federal initiative known as the Friction Ridge Support Services Project. He has also received support for his biometrics work from the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Army Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, National Institute of Justice and Center for Identification Technology Research.

Recently named a Robert C. Byrd professor at WVU, Ross is one of the key faculty members conducting research for the WVU Center for Identification Technology Research, an industry/university cooperative research center that provides a method to leverage biometrics research conducted in academia into industry and a key academic partner of the FBI. Biometrics is the science of establishing human identity based on physical or behavioral traits (fingerprint, voice, face, DNA). He received two Outstanding College Teacher Awards, two Outstanding College Researcher Awards and the Young Researcher of the Year Award. He has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students in biometrics, and has presented biometric tutorials in various international conferences.

He is a recipient of NSF’s CAREER Award and was designated a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is the co-author of the book Handbook of Multibiometrics and co-editor of Handbook of Biometrics. He is also an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security. WVU has comprehensive integrative research and education programs in biometrics and is known worldwide for its identification technology research.


It took awhile for Douglas Squire, senior lecturer in mathematics in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, to settle on a career path, but once he did, he pursued it with a passion.

After switching majors a few times as an undergraduate at WVU, Squire settled on mathematics. His experience as a lab mentor tutoring students at the Institute for Math Learning Computer Lab led him to that decision.

Squire has taught courses ranging from pre-college algebra workshop to calculus. He serves as the lead instructor of Math 150 (the applied calculus course) and teaches calculus and college algebra courses on a regular basis. He has taught for the past three years at the WVU Upward Bound Summer Program and will teach this summer at the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy for high school students.

A Charleston native, Squire began his college career at Washington University in St. Louis before transferring to WVU in 2000. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from WVU in 2003 and completed a master’s degree in mathematics at WVU in 2005.

He formerly taught at the middle school level and at a private K-12 school in Atlanta.


Jack Watson, associate professor of sport and exercise psychology in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, is no stranger to awards. He has earned the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award six times, Outstanding Research/Creativity Award eight times and the Outstanding Service Award seven times.

A licensed psychologist in West Virginia, Watson, chair of the Department of Sport Sciences, is a certified consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and is listed on the Sport Psychology Registry of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia, his master’s degree at WVU, his doctorate in educational psychology with a concentration in sport psychology and a post-doctoral specialization in counseling psychology at Florida State University.

Watson teaches Sport in American Society, Social Psychology of Sport, Sport Performance Enhancement, Group Influences in Sport, and Teaching Seminar. His research interests include professional issues in sport psychology (i.e., ethics, supervision and mentoring) and youth sport. Since joining WVU, Dr. Watson has published 37 articles and 10 book chapters, and given more than 85 presentations around the world.



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