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USI recognizes faculty award recipients at 2022 Fall Meeting

August 18, 2022

At its Fall Meeting for employees on Tuesday, August 16, the University of Southern Indiana recognized the following faculty members as award recipients: 

Dr. Melissa Stacer, Professor of Criminal Justice Studies and Director of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program, was named the 2022 USI Distinguished Professor. Stacer joined the USI faculty in 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Studies. During her time at USI, she has published a wide array of research and mentored countless students in their varied research endeavors. Stacer is recognized for her collaborative approach to research and teaching and is committed to mentoring and advising students throughout their academic journeys. 

The Distinguished Professor Award was established in 1983 and is USI's highest award given in recognition of significant achievement in teaching, scholarship and service. As a recipient, Stacer will receive a $7,000 stipend plus a $3,000 faculty development grant underwritten by generous donors to the USI Foundation.   

Dr. Leigh Anne Howard, Professor of Communication Studies and Chair of the Communication and Media Department, and Dr. Stephanie Young, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, were awarded 2022 H. Lee Cooper Core Curriculum Teaching Awards. Howard's dedication to service-learning and community-based pedagogy have earned her several additional honors, including the Sisco Award for Teaching from Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) in 2014 and the Southern Scholar in Performance Studies Award from SSCA in 2020. Young, who serves as the Director of the Basic Course (CMST 101) and the College Achievement Program (CAP), as well as the Faculty Liaison for CMST 101, was also the recipient of the USI Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2015 and the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award in 2019. 

The H. Lee Cooper Core Curriculum Teaching Award was established in 2000 and honors USI faculty members whose work in University Core Courses (UCC) has been especially creative and successful in furthering UCC goals. As a recipient, Howard and Young will both receive a $4,000 stipend and a $2,000 faculty development grant underwritten by longtime and generous University friends, Ann and H. Lee Cooper III.   

USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award by New Faculty  

Photo: Dr. Jessica Rick

Dr. Jessica Rick, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, was awarded the 2022 USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award by New Faculty. Rick joined USI in 2017 and is being recognized for her excellence and creativity in teaching in combination with her extensive work in curriculum development. She is known for her ability to engage students, incorporating innovative strategies in her courses and applying fresh approaches to her pedagogy. 

USI Foundation Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award by Adjunct Faculty

No photo available  

Dr. Michelle Pitcher, Adjunct in Nursing, was awarded the USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award by Adjunct Faculty for her ability to teach adult learning principles which emphasize self-directed learning. She embraces technology in her courses and demonstrates agility between writing-centered courses versus clinically centered courses.

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