Six Miami Regionals Faculty Members Recognized by SOCHE

By Erika Nisbet, Student Writer for Office of Communications

Six faculty members at Miami University Regionals were recognized by the 2017 Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) Faculty Excellence Award.

David BergDr. David J. Berg, professor of Biological Sciences, was nominated for being a nationally renowned scholar in invertebrate zoology. He has taught at Miami since 1992. He has a stellar publication record, with 49 articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, as well as 57 conference presentations (including 22 invited presentations). Many of his articles and presentations include undergraduate students as co-authors. Perhaps Dave's most admirable quality is that he wants everyone to be as successful as he is; his mentoring of students and junior colleagues is simply nonpareil. Dr. Berg earned the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award given by Miami University for his outstanding research.

Jiang ZiyingDr. Ziying Jiang, assistant professor in Social Behavioral Sciences and Geography, was nominated for her innovative teaching approaches. She has worked at Miami since 2012. Her methods include using online video tutorials, course portfolios, group presentations, and scaffolded writing assignments. Graduating seniors have recognized Dr. Jiang's impact on them in the graduation survey, and she uses multiple forms of student feedback to improve her teaching. She has incorporated service learning components into her geographic information systems course, thereby giving students the opportunity to use real-world problem solving skills through engagement with the local community. Dr. Jiang was recently honored by the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection for Excellence in Teaching.

Wenxi LiuDr. Wenxi Liu, associate professor of History and Humanities and Creative Arts, was nominated for being an advocate for his students. He has taught at Miami since 1992. He uses feedback from multiple types of teaching assessments to continually update his course materials and delivery to reflect contemporary issues in history and globalization. He has gone above and beyond his regular responsibilities in order to work with and support our Chinese English language learners on our Middletown campus. Dr. Liu was recently honored by the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection for Excellence in Teaching.

Jim McCutchenJim McCutcheon, adjunct instructor in Humanities and Creative Arts and Music, was nominated for his teaching excellence. He has worked at Miami since 1979. He has been teaching music since the late 1970s. He has taught at seven different institutions in the region, and he has authored five books, one guitar series, 10 articles, an arrangement, and six recordings. He has been recognized with at least 17 awards for his achievements as an artist, as an educator, and as a volunteer. Jim brings all this expertise and experience to the classroom, where students acknowledge his enthusiasm, passion, and kindness. He was recently honored by the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection for Excellence in Teaching and received the 2017 Governor's Award for Music Education from the Ohio Arts Council.

Stephanie NicelyStephanie Nicely, assistant professor of Nursing, was honored for her excellence in teaching. She has taught at Miami since 2010. She is an innovative and inspiring teacher who implements engaging teaching strategies that foster positive student relationships. She is passionate about service-learning and works tirelessly on partnering with over a dozen community agencies, so that each student is immersed in an outcome based project that benefits the community. Consistent with her own reflective nature as a teacher, she creates opportunities for students to reflect upon these experiences to significantly impact their learning. She was recently honored by the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection for Excellence in Teaching.

Miami M LogoGina Petonito, visiting associate professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences, was nominated for her central role in diversity programming at the Middletown campus. She has worked at Miami since 2005. She has worked intensely to provide experiences for our students that improve their intercultural awareness. These experiences include programs such as talks on diversity in STEM disciplines, women's health and human rights programming, and book discussions.

SOCHE is a regional consortium of 22 colleges and universities in southwest Ohio. SOCHE is the collaborative infrastructure for higher education, helping colleges and universities transform their communities and economies through the education, employment and engagement.

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