Faculty honored at 2021 virtual Père Marquette celebration

Multiple Marquette faculty members were honored with the university’s highest teaching honors – the Teaching Excellence Award and the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award – at the virtual 62nd Annual Père Marquette celebration on May 6.

The event was emceed by Provost Ah Yun and Dr. SuJean Choi, professor and associate dean for research in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Below are key highlights from the event, which was produced by the Diederich College of Communication; a full video recording is also available for viewing online.

Teaching Excellence Award
The Teaching Excellence Awards recognize faculty members’ demonstrated ability to inspire students to grow in knowledge and scholarship for the glory of God and the good of others.

The 2021 recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award are:

Kurt Gering, instructor of practice, management
Gering credits the “powerful messages” heard at Père Marquette dinners over the years and in conversations with fellow faculty that would serve as the “blueprint for my teaching philosophy.” “I have learned so much from all of you during my time at Marquette,” Gering said. “So, while my name may be on this award, it is really scaffolded with the many learnings of the great things our faculty do every day.”

C.J. Hribal, professor of English
Hribal credits his former teachers for helping shape his career path and teaching style, “I have been blessed in my life – perhaps most of us have – in being on the receiving end of great teaching,” he said. “When I work with my students to help them develop and harness a particular aspect of their minds and hearts – their empathetic imagination – I am channeling my own teachers. If you want to develop the whole person, to make men and women for others, you have to be able to imagine what life is like for people who are not you, as well as to have an understanding of what your own life is like.”

Dr. Kimberly Norden, adjunct assistant professor of psychology
Dr. Stephen Saunders, chair and professor of psychology honored Dr. Norden, sharing this endearing anecdote:

“Kim teaches with a good smattering of intentional eccentricity, which students also love. I’ll give you one example. Every Friday before she gives a midterm, Dr. Norton dances in front of her class. She puts on a favorite song from the ’70s or ’80s, and she dances! She dances to relieve the tension of students. Some of the students get up and dance with her in the aisles, others dance in their chairs,” Saunders said. He explained that she does this because of how powerfully it engages her students. “She does it because it shows them that she’s a brilliant teacher who wants them to understand that, as hard as life might get and as hard as they might have to work for a good grade, they should still go out there and have fun.”

Melissa Vigil, laboratory supervisor, physics
Vigil is an award-winning member and past president of the Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers. Her commitment to learning, contributing and implementing new pedagogical practices benefits the student experience.

“I’m very honored to be a part of this company of amazing educators, especially as one of the few non-tenure track folks on campus so recognized,” Vigil said. “One of the best parts of my job is that I get to work with these amazing bright, inquisitive young people every day. And even when I’m having a hard time, I can go into that classroom, and I can leave feeling better than I went in. That makes it worth the effort to continually refine my pedagogy and find ways to meet them where they are.”

The four Teaching Excellence Award winners from 2020 were also honored at the event:

Dr. Taly Gilat Schmidt, professor of biomedical engineering

Dr. Judith Maloney, clinical associate professor of biomedical sciences

Dr. Jodi Melamed, associate professor of English and Africana studies

Dr. Darren Wheelock, associate professor of social and cultural sciences

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award
Marquette’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award was established to recognize one faculty member and one staff member who demonstrate exemplary leadership and has shown an ability to put the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion into practical action.

The 2020 and 2021 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award winners were honored last Thursday.

2021 faculty recipients:

Dr. Pilar Bellver, associate professor of Spanish (languages, literatures and cultures)
Dr. Heidi Bostic, dean of the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, introduced Dr. Bellver, saying, “The next honoree explains that diversity and inclusion are not only about her students, but also about her personal learning and self-growth.”

Bellver was very grateful to receive the award. “It’s an honor for me to represent the languages, literatures and cultures department by receiving this year’s award,” she said. “I feel very lucky to work with such a generous and talented group of colleagues. Everyone in my department is a passionate advocate for the centrality of languages in Marquette’s diversity and inclusion mission.”

Dr. Jennica Webster, associate professor of management and co-director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership
“Dr. Webster’s work in the classroom is best described in the words of her students: ‘She inspires and energizes us to seek, to learn and welcome diversity. She allowed me to have open conversations with my classmates about tough issues. She provided me with skills that I will utilize in and out of the workplace for the rest of my life,’” shared Cheryl Maranto, associate professor emerita of management and the first winner of the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award.

Webster noted the importance of her family in inspiring her determination to pursue work in diversity and inclusion and cited current instances of violence and injustice that make this work ever more important.  “My diversity and inclusion journey and the journey for Marquette is far from over,” she said, “and I look forward to doing what I can do to support and promote that journey for all of us.”

Dr. Cedric Burrows, assistant professor of English, was also recognized as last year’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award winner.

Way Klingler Sabbatical Award
Dr. Noelle Brigden, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, was named the 2021 Way Klingler Sabbatical Award winner.

Dr. Grant Silva, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, was also recognized as last year’s Way Klingler Sabbatical Award winner.

Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award
An interdisciplinary team of faculty from the College of Health Sciences, the College of Nursing and the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences received the 2021 Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award. The team includes:

2021 faculty promotions
Finally, faculty were also recognized for recent promotions. Thirty-three faculty members have been promoted to professor or associate professor with tenure, effective the fall 2021 semester.

Additionally, 15 full-time participating faculty members were promoted to clinical professor, clinical associate professor, clinical assistant professor, adjunct associate professor or visiting associate professor. From July 2020 through June 2021, 32 faculty members and academic administrators will be or have already been granted emerita/emeritus status.

Research Awards
Winners of the Haggerty Research Award, Way Klingler Early Career Award, Way Klingler Fellowship Award and Participating Faculty Research Award were recognized on April 13 at the virtual Distinguished Scholars Program.

Those winners include:

Dr. William Donaldson, professor of chemistry, received the Lawrence G. Haggerty Award for Excellence in Research.

The following professors received the Way Klingler Fellowship Award:

The following professors received the Way Klingler Early Career Award:

Participating Faculty Research Award
Dr. Claire Kirchhoff, clinical associate professor of biomedical sciences, received the Participating Faculty Research Award, a new award this year intended to recognize research/scholarship accomplishments of participating faculty at Marquette. This new award was developed as part of the work of the Participating Faculty Task Force in partnership with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.