Dec. 5, 2008
Morningside College has awarded the 2008 Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Awards to Dr. Susan Burns, associate professor of psychology; Dr. Greg Guelcher, associate professor of history and political science; and Dr. Rachel Robson, assistant professor of biology.
Morningside President John Reynders presented the awards during the annual faculty banquet held December 4 at the Sioux City Country Club. The recipients, selected from a field of nominees by a panel of three outside evaluators, will each receive a $10,000 honorarium and $3,000 to use for faculty development.
The Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Awards, presented for the first time in 2003, are funded by a gift from Morningside alumni Jim and Sharon Walker of Wayzata, Minn.
Criteria for selection include: teaching excellence, effective advising, scholarship, and service to Morningside College. The awards are based upon the accomplishments and activities of a faculty member during the previous academic year.
Burns began teaching psychology at Morningside in 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kan., and a doctorate in personality and social psychology with an emphasis in child development from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan. In her Walker Award citation, the evaluators praised Burns’ “high quality teaching, advising and research at Morningside” and noted her national prominence in the field of psychology as managing editor of the Journal of Psychological Inquiry.
Guelcher joined Morningside’s history and political science faculty in 1996. He specializes in Asian and Middle Eastern history and culture. Guelcher has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Walker Award evaluators highlighted Guelcher’s teaching, community service and professional endeavors and noted that through his on- and off-campus activities Guelcher “represents Morningside with distinction.”
Robson joined the biology and chemistry department at Morningside in 2006. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan., and her doctorate in pathology and laboratory medicine from the University of Kansas Medical Center. The Walker Award evaluators cited Robson for developing several innovative teaching techniques that include podcasting of lectures, using class-edited wikis to discuss primary scientific literature and having students conduct original research in lab classes.
Evaluators for the 2008 Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Awards were Christopher Gilbert, professor of political science, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn.; Leslie A. Gregg-Jolly, associate professor of biology, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa; and Thomas N. Howe, professor of art and art history, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas.