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Appalachian’s Graduate School Honors Faculty

Nov. 26, 2012. Appalachian State University’s Cratis D. Williams Graduate School recently honored seven members of its graduate faculty who have exhibited exemplary service to the university’s graduate students and programs. Their names and awards are as follows:

Transforming North Carolina Research Award

The award recognizes faculty who have made contributions of research and scholarship to the economic transformation and future of North Carolina. It includes a certificate and monetary award. This year’s recipient is Dr. Karl Campbell, a professor in the Department of History.

Campbell has found ways to extend his scholarship to broader audiences by applying his insight to current political and social issues. Campbell’s nominator writes that “he exemplifies the best traditions of a state university, designed to educate students but also to share knowledge with a larger community.”

According to his nominator, Campbell’s work has also been critical to programs at N.C. State University, where the James B. Hunt Jr. Library will open in early 2013. His work has contributed to the Institute for Emerging Issues that was established by Gov. Hunt at N.C. State University the governor’s alma mater. Campbell has helped orient new legislators about North Carolina’s history, which is the focus of his research. He also serves on the board of the directors for the North Carolina Freedom Monument, helping to raise money to build a monument in the state government complex in downtown Raleigh honoring the African-American experience in North Carolina.

Wachovia Award for Environmental Research

Dr. Chuanhui Gu collects data on water quality every 15 minutes at seven local streams to enhance biennial water quality assessments by the N.C. Division of Water Quality. His research addresses the unanswered questions of how urbanization affects water quantity and quality in the rugged landscapes of Southern Appalachia.

According to his nominator, Gu “combines the knowledge base of a hydrogeologist with the skills of a geochemist” to study the biogeochemical reactions in local headwater streams.

The Wachovia Award recognizes faculty and/or graduate students for studies related to environmental concerns for the region. The cash award will allow Gu to purchase rain water collectors and a weather station to determine the chemical composition of rain and how that affects the chemical composition of the local streams.

Distinguished Graduate Faculty Member

The award recognizes faculty members who provide exemplary teaching, research and service to graduate education. It includes a certificate, medallion and monetary award.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Doris Bazzini, a professor from the Department of Psychology. She is a highly regarded teacher by colleagues and students alike. Bazzini serves as the graduate program director for the Master of Arts degree in general experimental psychology, developing a recruitment and retention plan that has increased the number of students entering and graduating from the program. She also served on the graduate council and chaired a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools subcommittee on graduate education.

Often including graduate students in her research, she has co-authored three peer-reviewed journal articles in the past five years.

Academy of Outstanding Graduate Mentors

The Academy of Outstanding Graduate Mentors recognizes faculty members for exemplary mentoring of graduate students both inside and outside the classroom. It includes a certificate and a medallion. Four faculty members were inducted this fall.

Dr. Catherine Clark, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, developed a seminar in college teaching to support graduate students who teach at Appalachian. She is also active in various Student Affairs offices on campus that provide direct service to graduate students. Clark is described by a nominator as “an outstanding mentor of not only students but new faculty as well.”

Dr. Susan Mills, associate professor in the Hayes School of Music, has been regarded for her ability to see validity and potential in all research projects. A former student notes that “because of her extensive experience, she is able to guide her students into the most practical applications of that research.” Mills received a Fulbright Scholar Grant to lecture and conduct research on the role of traditional songs in South Africa for six months during the 2010-11 academic year.

Dr. Myra Pennell, professor in the Department of History, serves as the director of the Master of Arts in history secondary education – a program she developed in 2004 to meet the needs of working high school teachers. One nominator applauded Pennell’s approach to recruiting applicants and managing the program. Pennell supervises students throughout the program, manages communication and information flow, and shows up at graduation to hug each new degree recipient and celebrate graduates’ achievements.

Dr. Martin Root, program director for the Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management, has shown dedication to his students and according to a nominator is always “willing to meet with a student to give them guidance and direction or work to solve an issue.” All of his students have presented their research at Appalachian’s Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors and North Carolina Dietetic Association’s annual meetings. He has also co-authored manuscripts with four of his students.