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University honors faculty, staff for advising, research, teaching, outreach work

UT outstanding advisors, researchers and teachers, and recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement, were recognized last week.

Recipients of the Outstanding Advisor Award are:

Winners of the Outstanding Advisor Award are Myrna Rudder, left, and Dr. Julie Murphy.

Winners of the Outstanding Advisor Award are Myrna Rudder, left, and Dr. Julie Murphy.

Dr. Julie Murphy
, assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She joined the faculty in 2012.

“Dr. Murphy encourages students to think on their own and guides them to find answers with thought-provoking questions rather than just giving them answers,” one nominator wrote. “This encourages students to self-reflect on their skills. She genuinely cares about students’ academic progress and helps them to embrace their strengths and improve their weaknesses.” Another wrote, “Even though Dr. Murphy was not my official adviser, I looked up to her as a mentor that I could always rely on for guidance and support throughout my academic journey.” Another wrote, “She is a very influential woman in pharmacy, and that motivates me. She works with students in research and takes students under her wing.” And another wrote, “She always greets you with a smile and puts significant thought into each advising response.”

Myrna Rudder, associate director of department student services in the College of Engineering. She joined the UT staff in 2000.

“Myrna deals with more than 1,000 students per year both domestic and international. She makes every person feel as if he or she is her only priority and goes out of her way to get things done for these students and the faculty she works with,” one nominator wrote. “Her dedication and drive have many times put me in awe of her. She is not only professional to work with, but a very genuine, nice person.” Another noted, “She always puts students’ needs in the forefront and with a smile.” Another wrote, “She always has a great attitude and is always willing to help anyone who walks through her door. Myrna is very tactful and informative when she interacts with students and faculty. She takes extra steps to make sure everyone who leaves her office has a desired result.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Researcher Award are:

Receiving Outstanding Researcher Awards are, from left, Dr. Joseph Slater, Geoffrey Rapp and Dr. Sarit Bhaduri.

Receiving Outstanding Researcher Awards are, from left, Dr. Joseph Slater, Geoffrey Rapp and Dr. Sarit Bhaduri.

Dr. Sarit Bhaduri
, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering, and director of the Multifunctional Materials Laboratory. He joined the faculty in 2007.

He has strong expertise in the development of a wide array of materials used in structural applications, including orthopaedics and dentistry. Bhaduri has developed unique biomaterials using innovative processes. Last year, Smith & Nephew, a multinational implant company, sold one million of the Oxinium knee and hip implants co-invented by Bhaduri. In recent years, he has focused on calcium phosphate-based bone cements, which have singular properties allowing for rapid injection, support for bone regrowth, and potential for delivering antibiotics to prevent infections. Bhaduri has a consistent record of obtaining external support for his research from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. Moreover, he has an outstanding publication record, with more than 165 peer-reviewed journal articles, and his new structural/biomaterial technologies have formed the basis for more than 10 patents, leading to licensing opportunities and the development of new companies, such as OsteoNovus Inc., a UT spinoff.

Geoffrey Rapp, the Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values, and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Law. He joined the faculty in 2004.

His research interests focus on behavioral law and economics, with particular emphasis on financial market regulation and tort law. Rapp is recognized as a leading expert on policy and legal aspects of security fraud whistleblowers. His work helped lay the foundation for the whistleblower bounty provisions Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and was cited by the Securities Exchange Commission as it implemented the Dodd-Frank rules. Rapp also was asked to testify in Congress on the Dodd-Frank program. His scholarly efforts are influential not only in academic circles, where his works are widely read and cited, but also in the real world where his ideas strongly influence the decisions of judges and policymakers.

Dr. Joseph Slater, the Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values in the College of Law. He joined the faculty in 1998.

Slater is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on public-sector labor law in the United States. His unique background in law and history has allowed him to write definitive texts on the history of public-sector labor law, particularly in the period from 1900 to 1960. His expertise is not limited to academic pursuits, however, as Slater actively contributes to current discussions on the public-sector labor law, as this issue has become a hot-button topic in recent years. Thus, he is frequently sought out by the national media and by conference organizers for his insight on current events and for his ongoing contributions to the field. Slater’s perspective has been influential at the national level, as evidenced by citations in two decisions of the National Labor Relations Board and by a federal court in Wisconsin.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement are:

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement are, Dr. Marilynne Wood, left, and Dr. Cyndee Gruden.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement are, Dr. Marilynne Wood, left, and Dr. Cyndee Gruden.

Dr. Cyndee Gruden
, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering. She began teaching at UT in 2003.

“The topic of Dr. Gruden’s engagement and outreach activities has focused on stormwater management. Both the quantity and quality of runoff from impervious surfaces is a problem for northwest Ohio. Large storms cause localized flooding and may contribute to the formation of harmful algal blooms. A sustainable approach to solve this problem is to implement what is considered green stormwater infrastructure,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Gruden’s efforts exemplify how a faculty member can use engineering expertise not only to teach and do research, but to affect change by designing and building engineering infrastructure with engagement from UT students. Their research brought together constituents from the city of Toledo, Lucas County, the city of Oregon and Toledo Metroparks. Funding sources for her work include the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Lake Erie Commission.”

Dr. Marilynne Wood, professor of nursing in the College of Nursing. She joined the faculty in 2000.

“As principal investigator of the Elevated Lead Levels in Children and Adolescents: Behavioral Issues and Health Policy Implications research study, Dr. Wood has directed the team of investigators providing free blood lead level screenings and lead poisoning prevention/exposure education in our Toledo community. As an active pediatric nurse educator and practitioner, Dr. Wood strives to impact health policy requiring blood lead level screening before early childhood education and kindergarten. Preliminary findings of her research support the correlation of elevated blood lead levels in children and behavioral issues in school,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Wood has worked with more than 250 College of Nursing undergraduate and graduate students on the study, and their work has directly impacted over 300 children in the Toledo area through lead screenings and more than 500 families through lead exposure education.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award are:

Taking home Outstanding Teacher Awards are, from left, Shelley Cavalieri, Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Benjamin Davis, Andrew “Mick” Dier, Dr. Richard Molyet and Dr. Claire Cohen.

Taking home Outstanding Teacher Awards are, from left, Shelley Cavalieri, Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Benjamin Davis, Andrew “Mick” Dier, Dr. Richard Molyet and Dr. Claire Cohen.

Shelley Cavalieri
, associate professor of law in the College of Law. She has been teaching at the University since 2011.

“Professor Cavalieri has been far more than a great legal mind and educator to me. She has continually exceeded my furthest expectations of what an ideal educator would — and could — be. I have never come across someone who cares more for her pupils,” one nominator wrote. “She respects all, paying no attention to social status, age, gender or accomplishment, which provides yet another reason for those who encounter this magical individual to respect her. She is more than an educator in my eyes. She is a mentor. She is a counselor. She is an example of what all educators should aim to be. Although she would never seek drawing attention to herself, I feel she deserves recognition for all she does.”

Dr. Claire Cohen, associate lecturer in chemistry in the College of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. She joined the faculty in 2006.

“Best chemistry professor ever. She’s kind, fair and gentle. She really knows chemistry. She teaches the subject in such a way that even the hardest topic seems easy. She is very approachable, and I believe that is the best quality a professor should have. Being approachable means you’re nice,” one nominator wrote. “She is very understanding and that is why so many students take her class. Her class is so packed this semester; it’s so full, no more students can take her lecture. Because she is quiet, and because she teaches so many students, students may not vote for her because knowing a professor with that many in a class is hard to do. But trust me on this — she made me like chemistry and get an A.”

Benjamin Davis
, professor law in the College of Law. He began teaching at UT in 2003.

“Professor Davis creates an atmosphere wherein his students feel motivated to do more. As we walk into his class a few minutes early, there is undoubtedly music playing that gets us pumped up or at the very least wakes us up if caffeine is not a part of our daily intake,” one nominator wrote. “He has taught me and countless others about the power that each individual can wield in times of crisis. The ability and impact one can make is astronomical. In each of us, we have the capability to leave behind a legacy, and that raises deeper thought about how we would like to be remembered.” Another noted, “Davis will tell you the truth even if it is something that one might not want to hear… His integrity and respectful cadence just will not allow for anything less.”

Andrew “Mick” Dier, lecturer in criminal justice in the College of Social Justice and Human Service. He started teaching part time in 1999 and full time in 2012 after retiring from the UT Police Department, where he worked 30 years.

“He shares with us personal experiences that help us as students fully understand what criminal justice entails. He has an immense amount of resources and connections with people in our field of study. He is able to assist his students with receiving internships, co-ops and even jobs in our field,” one nominator wrote. “The most important reason for nominating him is he always has a very good sense of humor and enjoys to see his students excel.” Another noted, “Not only is he dedicated to his job but also his students. He goes above and beyond to make sure we are learning the tools we need for the real world. Each class, we receive different learning skills, his personal techniques, and ways to be better than we think we can.”

Dr. Margaret Hopkins, associate professor of management in the College Business and Innovation. She started teaching at UT in 2005.

“I am an older student who has been employed in the health-care industry, and it is refreshing to see a college professor teaching exactly what is needed to be successful in the real world. Dr. Hopkins’ experience, methods, content, delivery and professionalism speak exceptionally well for the University, as well as prepares the student as well as I’ve seen at UT,” one nominator wrote. “It is the genuine empathy and compassion Dr. Hopkins has for her students that stands out. She is one of the most selfless people I’ve had the opportunity to meet, and it seems like her mission is to help students not only through education, but provide experience and advice that holds value far above what my tuition pays for,” another noted.

Dr. Richard Molyet, professor emeritus and associate lecturer of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering. He joined the faculty in 1981. He received bachelor of science, master of science and doctoral degrees from UT in 1972, 1977 and 1981, respectively.

“Molyet truly puts his heart and soul into his profession and shows that through his high caliber of teaching skills and his words of wisdom outside the classroom. He makes an effort to know who every one of his students are and to remember them throughout their entire college experience,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Richard Molyet may be a professor, but he definitely is not just a professor. He can be found at every campus visit, experience day, and every other interactive event the College of Engineering hosts with a huge smile on his face and ready to help answer any question or speak about a wide variety of topics. Molyet puts 150 percent into bettering his students and does more than his fair share in and out of the classroom.”