College of Arts and Sciences Dean Tony Roark recognized four deserving faculty members during the spring college meeting as winners of the 2017 faculty honors and awards.
The college honors and awards committee, comprised of 16 members from 16 COAS departments, reviewed over 15 entries and selected the following four faculty members.
Faculty Excellence Award:
Owen McDougal, Chemistry; Julie Heath, Biology; Richard Young, Art
Adjunct Teaching Award:
Karen Wadley, World Languages
Dean Roark commended each award winner as well as presented them with a plaque and honorarium. Below are Dean Roark’s comments about the winners.
Dr. Owen McDougal has a strong record in teaching, research and service, his greatest strength derives from his synergistic contribution between them. For instance, while Owen’s teaching evaluations were consistently outstanding on the Likert scale, he also published 9 peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of chemical Education, coauthored a survey of biochemistry text book and three editions of a general, organic and biological chemistry textbook for nursing students and conducted workshops in computational chemistry. Dr. McDougal was able to secure research grants from Federal, state, local and industrial sources totaling 4.2 million with 1.8 million as a principal investigator. Dr. McDougal has published 42 peer-reviewed articles with 91 student coauthors, a truly remarkable feat for a PI. Furthermore, his students have presented at 16 international and national meetings, 45 regional meetings and 27 local meetings. His research areas are quite broad that include basic science, biomedical science, drug design and chemical education. His research also includes several collaborations with local industrial partners including Boise Technology Inc., BHS Specialty Chemical Products and JR Simplot. These collaborative ventures promote valuable service to the community and also promoted Boise State as an attractive industrial investment partner. Finally, his service record is astonishing at all levels. He is the current chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, served as the faculty senate president for two years and on search committees for several upper administrative posts at the University. He is also the founding Editor in Chief for the American Institute of Mathematical Sciences journal and served as the president for Association for the Advancement of Science Pacific Division. Despite this long list of achievements, the committee has at best scratched Dr. McDougal’s outstanding body of work in all three areas. Therefore, with great enthusiasm, we nominate Dr. Owen McDougal for the College of Arts and Science Faculty Excellence Award.
Dr. Julie Heath has a breadth of character, integrity, and sincere genuineness that, matched with her impressive record and portfolio, left the awards committee favorably impressed. Echoing her nomination letter, it is selflessness that makes her highly deserving. “She …makes decisions that put the institutional mission first, then the department, and herself last.” Her research is academically sound and impactful and her efforts and productivity are outstanding. Dr. Heath has maintained a successful, externally-funded research program at Boise State totaling over $2.3 million dollars with implications for the management and conservation of birds. Nearly all of her 43 peer-reviewed papers include students as co-authors. As a teacher and mentor, her style is to create a positive and supportive environment so that students feel at ease to enjoy the process of learning. She goes beyond what might be the security of your own expertise, especially if it is important for her students’ ultimate longer term success. She creates powerful teaching moments based on real-world experiences and authenticity. In terms of service, she is that person doing those things, within and beyond the university, that benefit the rest of us. Always a full participant and natural leader, she also humbly embraces her role, whether as a model for female scientists, or an agent of change for all, on campus and beyond. She has been patient and persistent in helping to launch a new PhD program in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, with a second cohort of students in Fall 2018. “She makes the species she studies, the students she mentors, and our college stronger and more resilient in the face of future changes. She is a role model for how to accomplish great things that benefit the many through persistence and respect of the processes and people that comprise the systems around us.”
Dr. Richard Young was seen by the awards committee as reflecting an excellence in the synergy of his creative activities, teaching and service. Following many years as a department chair—a time during which he continued to paint and teach, Dr. Young has in recent years seen outstanding peer reviews of his artwork. In 2013 he was awarded a Boise State University Arts and Humanities Institute Fellowship while participating in Faculty Exhibitions in 2015 and 2017. Dr. Young has received numerous grants to enrich and enable his creative activities and now has paintings in several private, public and corporate collections. In 2017 he spent two months at Nes, a competitive Artist Residency program in Skagastrond, Iceland—his work subsequently showcased in a recent solo exhibition. Dr. Young’s commitment to teaching is well known by faculty and students. One student wrote: “the ability to step into an individual’s painting and style—offering suggestions, support and criticism is something Richard Young does with grace.” Dr. Young’s service is equally impressive. He serves as a member of the University Art Collections Committee, as a trustee for the Boise Art Museum and as a Commissioner for the Boise Department of Arts and History. Internally Dr. Young as a forward thinker has been a relentless advocate for the acquisition of department space—ultimately culminating in the announcement of the new 90,000 square foot Fine Arts Building—Dr. Young having coordinated with faculty the schematic design phase. Dr. Young exemplifies excellence in his creative work, teaching and service. Notably, his department chair has said that Richard is responsible for putting the Boise State University Department of Art on the map-physically and academically in his commitment to developing a research faculty that has a regional and national reputation.
Karen Wadley is the sole member of the Latin Section of the Department of World Languages where she delivers all courses required for the Latin minor. Her classes are very student-centered with students actively engaged in exercises that are interactive and inquiry driven. Notably, 100% of student responders to course evaluations recommend her as an instructor. Karen is also known to include her students in research projects—notably her Historia Scholastica Project which is an ongoing transcription of Boise State University’s 547 year-old copy of the Peter Comestor’s Historia Scholastica which provides second and third-year Latin students hands-on experience transcribing “authentic” Latin. Beyond busy teaching and research engagements—Karen continues to participate in professional development activities that have included participation in the Summer Mobile Learning Institute, the mScholars Project, and Adjunct Faculty Learning Community. In sum, Karen is an active and dedicated instructor who continuously seeks innovative ways to improve her teaching.