Illinois State University Media Relations

Jan. 29, 2013

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Outstanding teachers, researchers named

Illinois State University will honor 17 faculty members for teaching and research during the Founders Day Convocation at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom.

Rachel Bowden, Biological Sciences, and Steven Taylor, Marketing, were named the 2012 Outstanding University Researchers. The award goes to faculty whose research has been acknowledged by their peers in the U.S. and internationally.

Virginia Teas Gill, Sociology and Anthropology, and Denise Wilson, Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN), are the 2013 Outstanding University Teachers. The award is given to faculty whose teaching accomplishments are unusually significant and meritorious among their colleagues. Lynn Kennell, MCN, is the Outstanding University Teacher, Category II, for non-tenured faculty.

Research Initiative Award recipients are: Kelly Laurson, Kinesiology and Recreation; Maochao Xu, Mathematics; Sheryl Jenkins, MCN; Paul Nolen, School of Music; Stacy Kelly, Special Education; Michael Doughterty, Sociology and Anthropology; and Dan Ispas, Psychology. The Research Initiative Award is given to faculty members who have initiated a promising research agenda early in their academic careers.

Teaching Initiative Award recipients are: Jennifer Banning, Family and Consumer Sciences; Daniel Breyer, Philosophy; Rose Marshack, Arts Technology, Music, Business; Jennifer Tobias, Mathematics; and Monica Noraian, History. The Teaching Initiative Award is given to faculty members who have shown considerable promise in teaching early in their careers.

Photo of Rachel Bowden Rachel Bowden, Biological Sciences, came to Illinois State University in 2003 after earning her doctorate at Indiana University in 2001 and a postdoctoral assignment at Iowa State University. She obtained tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2009. Her interests center on three areas: steroid hormones, sex determination and early embryonic development; incubation environment; and ecoimmunology.

She has published 31 peer-reviewed journal articles with another three in press and several manuscripts in development. She has received several external grants, including four from the National Science Foundation (NSF) at a time when funding rates dropped from 20 percent to 7 percent. Last year she was awarded a $300,000 NSF grant.

School of Biological Sciences Director Craig Gatto noted that her productivity has accelerated significantly since she received tenure and promotion. "Receiving promotion and tenure did not diminish Rachel's enthusiasm in the least as evidenced by her continued pursuit to garner extramural funding whilst maintaining one of the most robust publication rates in the school," he said.

Photo of Steven TaylorSteven Taylor has been a faculty member of the Marketing Department for 20 years. He has investigated customers' behavioral intentions associated with various levels of loyalty. He is widely cited in business literature, particularly in service quality and customer satisfaction.

Taylor also is a recognized expert in digital piracy. He served as a principal investigator in ISU's Digital Citizenship Project. His final stream of scholarship is related to marketing pedagogy. He looks at engagement as a measure of educational quality, and the problems inherent in the marketing of higher education. His work supports the notion that quality of education should be related to critical thinking and intellectual development as well as student satisfaction. He engages students in real-world research and special projects leading to presentations with external clients as well as research colloquiums.

His work has been published in some of marketing's best journals and his scholarly record includes 65 refereed or invited scholarly publications, including international workshops for industry practitioners, and grant projects totaling over $110,000. He has been recognized as an outstanding reviewer for leading marketing journals, including the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and the Journal of Service Research. He has been a co-editor of the Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction & Complaining Behavior. Taylor was awarded the College of Business Teaching Award, recognized twice in the College of Business for Outstanding Research, and serves as the 2012 inaugural Hinderliter Chair of Business.

Photo of Virginia GillVirginia Teas Gill, Sociology and Anthropology, received her B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and began her career as an assistant professor at Illinois State University in 1996.

Gill is a medical sociologist whose research focuses on interaction between doctors and patients in a variety of medical settings. Currently, she is analyzing interaction between surgeons and breast cancer patients. She has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels and has developed several new courses for the undergraduate sociology program, including Sociological Inquiry, which has become a key element of the core sequence for sociology majors.

She has mentored more than 100 students in independent study and thesis projects, research and teaching assistantships, and internships, and she has served as a faculty advisor for Alpha Kappa Delta and the Sociology Club. She has organized teaching workshops and presented on teaching panels at local, national and international conferences, and gives frequent invited lectures.

Gill has received several awards for teaching, including department, college, and university teaching awards at UW-Madison and the 2000-2001 University Teaching Initiative Award and 2006-2007 Outstanding College Teacher Award at Illinois State. Gill is known as a passionate teacher who challenges her students to think analytically, write clearly and develop disciplined work habits.

Photo of Denise WilsonDenise Wilson, MCN, is an associate professor and the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) sequence leader. She received her bachelor of science in nursing from Illinois Wesleyan University, her master of science in nursing from the University of Illinois, and her Ph.D. in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State. She completed the family nurse practitioner post-graduate program at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

She has been teaching nursing since 1980, and joined Illinois State in 1999 when MCN became the University's sixth college. Wilson is nationally certified in three advanced practice nursing specialties: family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, and gerontological nurse practitioner. She also maintains a part-time clinical practice with 13 physicians where she serves as a role model and clinical preceptor. This allows her to remain current in health care practice and provides case studies she uses to illustrate content.

Wilson has received the MCN Graduate Program Teaching Excellence Award 12 times since 1999, the Outstanding College Teacher Award from MCN in 2002, and the College's Innovative Teaching Award in 2005. Her textbook McGraw-Hill's Manual of Laboratory & Diagnostic Tests has been translated into four languages and is used by nurses and students throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. She is also a successful grant writer, having obtained $3 million in federal funding since 2002. In 2012, she received grants for more than $1.1 million for nursing workforce diversity, and almost $700,000 for advanced nursing education traineeships. Her greatest joy is helping family nurse practitioner students become the type of health care providers she would want taking care of her family.

Photo of Lynn KennellLynn Kennell, MCN, is an instructional assistant professor and has been teaching courses in maternal infant nursing, nursing care of children, and cultural and spiritual dimensions in health care as well as taking students on transcultural experiences in Texas and Chicago's Little Village.

She practiced obstetrics and pediatrics nursing before earning her master's degree in maternal child nursing from Northern Illinois University. She has been passionate about teaching holistic nursing care to students since 1979, and came to Illinois State in 1999. She has received the Kathleen Hogan Teaching Excellence Award several times.

Kennell enjoys "narrative pedagogy" that engages students in learning through case studies and interactive discussions. She has developed clinical simulation scenarios to foster critical thinking and compassionate care in maternal-child health in the simulation laboratory. She supervises students in three area hospitals.

Kennell is working on establishing a transcultural elective for nursing students in Londrina, Brazil. She has had several articles published in the journal Nurse Educator. She is committed to maintaining relationships with alumni and continuing to challenge them to value lifelong learning and advocacy for their patients and families.

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