Seven Miami Regional faculty members earn SOCHE Faculty Excellence Award

Seven faculty members at Miami University’s regional campuses received the 2015 Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) Faculty Excellence Award.


Helane Adams Androne, associate professor of English at Miami Middletown, was nominated for her considerable research achievements. She has worked at Miami since 2002. Androne has published one book, one book chapter, four journal articles, and one review. She has given three keynote addresses and 21 panel presentations. Much of her research is about pedagogical practices, demonstrating her dedication to her students and her engagement with the intersections of teaching and research.


Karen Brentley, visiting faculty member in black world studies at Miami Hamilton, was nominated for her teaching achievements. She has taught at Miami since 2006. Brentley receives consistently high scores on course evaluations, where students praise her depth of knowledge of the subject matter as well as her enthusiasm, availability and accessibility. She also extends learning and engagement beyond the classroom for her students, encouraging their participation in campus and community events.


D.J. Ferguson, associate professor of microbiology at Miami Hamilton, was nominated for his research achievements. He has taught at Miami since 2008. Ferguson has published six papers in peer-reviewed journals and has given 13 presentations at scientific meetings. W. Metcalf, a globally recognized leader in Ferguson’s research area, has commented that “Dr. Ferguson’s best work is just coming out,” and that his work has “considerable implications for human associated microbes and their impact on human health.” Ferguson has supervised 17 undergraduates and four graduate students, thus exemplifying the engaged teacher-scholar model on the regional campuses.


Janet Marshall, lecturer in chemistry at Miami Middletown, was nominated for her teaching achievements. She has taught at Miami since 2007, including a popular course she developed on the chemistry of food. Marshall is an innovator in the classroom, using technology to equip students with a solid foundation in chemistry. Many of her students go to medical school, to veterinary school, and into careers that require a strong chemistry background.


Ann Rypstra, University Distinguished Professor of Biology at Miami Hamilton, was honored for her excellence in teaching, research and service. She has worked at Miami since 1982. She was named a Miami University Distinguished Scholar in 2004. In 2007 she earned the status of distinguished professor, Miami’s highest honor for faculty. She received Miami's Benjamin Harrison Medallion in 2010. Rypstra is an active researcher who works with multiple undergraduates and graduate students on research projects and regularly publishes articles and secures grants.


Cathy Shackson, visiting faculty member in teacher education and educational leadership at Miami Middletown, was nominated for her teaching achievements. She has worked at Miami since 1999. In the words of one of her students, Shackson "consistently held me to high standards while being understanding of my personal situation as a nontraditional student. She was a mentor. Her passion for education inspired me to grow as a student and future teacher."


Jennifer Yamashiro, lecturer in art history at Miami Hamilton and Miami’s regional honors director, was nominated for her teaching achievements. She has taught at Miami since 2007. Yamashiro is a dynamic, innovative and highly effective teacher who teaches a wide range of courses in art history, integrative studies and honors. She is at the cutting edge of pedagogical innovations, employing inverted classroom and inquiry-guided approaches to promote student learning in her face-to-face classes, and developing hybrid and online classes.

“We congratulate our regional campus faculty members on receiving this significant recognition from SOCHE," said G. Michael Pratt, associate provost and dean of the regional campuses.

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.