Teaching Academy Inducts New Fellows, Names Imhoff Award Winners

The new Teaching Academy Fellows are, top from left: Jennifer Beasley, Eunjoo Cho, David D. Christian and Kathy Comfort; and bottom: Nathan Kemper, William F. McComas, Ashlea Bennett Milburn and Kelly Sullivan.
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The new Teaching Academy Fellows are, top from left: Jennifer Beasley, Eunjoo Cho, David D. Christian and Kathy Comfort; and bottom: Nathan Kemper, William F. McComas, Ashlea Bennett Milburn and Kelly Sullivan.

The U of A Teaching Academy inducted eight new Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year. The new Fellows are Jennifer Beasley, Eunjoo Cho, David D. Christian, Kathy Comfort, Nathan Kemper, William F. McComas, Ashlea Bennett Milburn and Kelly Sullivan.

The academy also named two finalists and the recipient of the 2021 Dr. John and Mrs. Lois Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Student Mentorship.

The Imhoff Award, presented annually by the Teaching Academy, recognizes faculty who excel in teaching introductory courses and mentoring students.

IMHOFF AWARD WINNER

The 2021 Imhoff Award recipient is Lisa Wood. Wood is the assistant dean of honors and international programs for the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. In addition, she is a teaching associate professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Department, where she teaches the introductory environmental science class and several upper-division classes related to plants and environmental restoration and soil science.

Wood completed B.S. and M.S degrees at the U of A in 1984 and 1988, respectively. After a successful 22-year career as a consulting environmental and soil scientist and co-owner of an environmental consulting firm on the East Coast, Wood returned to Fayetteville in 2010. Eager to give back to the institution that had prepared her so well for her own career and seeking to encourage the younger generation of students to share in her passion for environmental and soil sciences, she completed a doctorate in 2013 while also serving as an instructor in the CSES Department. Wood has been a valued member of the department since 2012, climbing to the rank of teaching associate professor. A member of the Teaching Academy, she has also been awarded a Golden Tusk award for meritorious work with underrepresented high school students in the Arkansas Delta, the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Teaching Award, the John W. White Teaching Award and, most recently, the Hoyt Purvis Award for service to international programs. 

IMHOFF AWARD FINALISTS

The teaching academy also recognizes two Imhoff Award finalists for 2021.

Lauren Lambert is an experienced public speaking lecturer, having taught in the field for nearly 20 years. She holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in communication/public relations from Missouri State University. In her current role as the U of A Department of Communication basic course director, she works to support faculty and graduate teaching assistants in public speaking course development, student assessment and course management. Her teaching focuses on supporting each student in understanding and appreciating the role of public communication through public affairs and personal development, promoting and edifying ethical decision-making in speech research and preparation, and adapting to student learning abilities to ensure student engagement and understanding.

Sam Rochell is a third-generation educator who has served as an assistant professor in the Department of Poultry Science since 2016. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Auburn University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He currently mentors five graduate students and a post-doctoral fellow in his research laboratory and has directed seven graduate students and an honors student through the completion of their programs. Rochell teaches Introduction to Poultry Science each fall, Poultry Nutrition each spring and guest lectures in various graduate courses throughout the year. He also serves as an academic adviser to undergraduates and faculty adviser to the Poultry Science Club.

NEW TEACHING ACADEMY INDUCTEES

portrait of professor jennifer beasleyJennifer Beasley has more than 25 years of experience in education as an elementary school teacher, gifted facilitator and university professor. After receiving an M.A. in education administration and gifted education, Beasley completed her doctoral work in educational psychology at the University of Virginia. She is currently the director of the Teacher Education Program in the College of Education and Health Professions, preparing teacher candidates for today's classrooms. She received the 2012 College of Education and Health Professions Innovative Teaching Award. Other professional contributions include authoring articles for educational publications and serving on the editorial board for the National Association for Gifted Children's publication Teaching for High Potential. In addition to providing workshops and training both nationally and internationally in differentiating instruction, Beasley has also facilitated ASCD Professional Development Institutes across the United States focusing on Understanding by Design, Differentiation, and Assessment.

portrait of professor Eunjeu ChoEunjoo Cho is an associate professor and graduate coordinator in the Apparel Merchandising and Product Development Program of the School of Human Environmental Sciences. She graduated from Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea, with a B.S. in 2001 and an M.S. in 2003. She worked as an associate merchandiser at Sourcing & Vendor Development Korea, a branch office of Gap Inc., from 2003 to 2007. She earned her Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2011. Her research topics include experiential marketing, ethical branding, luxury fashion marketing and cross-cultural consumer buying behavior. Her research scholarship has appeared in leading academic journals including Psychology & MarketingInternational Marketing Review and Journal of Consumer Marketing. Her teaching focuses on fashion brand management, fashion retailing and merchandising theories. She is mentoring three undergraduate and three graduate students in securing funding for research projects. She received the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards in 2018 and the Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award of Excellence from Bumpers College in 2021.

portrait of professor david christianDavid D. Christian is a Licensed Professional Counselor/Supervisor and Licensed School Counselor. Before joining the U of A, he spent nearly a decade teaching in secondary and post-secondary settings in Texas. In addition to teaching courses on counseling theory, career counseling, counseling research and adventure therapy, Christian has led multiple international educational experiences to Senegal and New Zealand. He also publishes teaching-related scholarship on experiential education, counseling andragogy and creativity in the classroom. He is currently an associate professor in the Counselor Education and Supervision Program in the College of Education and Health Professions and the director of the Adventure Therapy Lab, which specializes in the use of experiential education-type activities to foster therapeutic growth.

portrait of professor Kathy ComfortKathy Comfort is a professor of French in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. She teaches various courses in French language, literature and civilization at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has created two upper-level business French courses to give students training in using French in their future careers. In conjunction with the Chambre de Commerce de Paris Ile-de-France, she opened a language testing center at the U of A. Among the tests the center offers are the Diplômes de Français Professionnel, which certify an individual's ability to work in a French/Francophone business or organization. Two of Comfort's undergraduate honors students have received Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) grants, and three have had portions of their honors theses appear in Inquiry. Comfort founded the first U of A faculty-led French language summer program (initially in Besançon, currently in Perpignan). She has also taught the University Perspectives course numerous times. In 2009, she received the Fulbright College Master Teacher award. 

portrait of professor nathan kemperNathan Kemper is a native of Missouri, where he grew up on his family's dairy farm, a Missouri Century Farm established in 1889. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Missouri State University in 2001. Upon graduating, he took a position with Deutsche Bank. Kemper moved to Fayetteville to pursue a master's degree in agricultural economics at the U of A, graduating in 2005. He then worked for the university's Division of Agriculture from 2005-2013, conducting research focused on economic impact analysis, poultry/livestock economics, water quality, agricultural sustainability and recreation/tourism economics. He also coordinated the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers program that provided training, business planning consultation and cash payments to Southern farmers and fishers negatively impacted by U.S. trade policy. Kemper completed his Ph.D. in public policy, with an emphasis in food policy economics, at the U of A in 2016. His current research interests are food policy and marketing, Query Theory, research methods and teaching methods. Kemper teaches courses at the U of A in microeconomics, agribusiness management, farm management and marketing. Kemper teaches in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

portrait of professor William McComasWilliam F. McComas holds the Parks Family Distinguished Professorship in Science Education and embraces the range of opportunities that define life in higher education. His research focuses on the impact made by incorporating the history and philosophy of science into the science curriculum, along with writing scores of articles and books targeting ways to enhance science teaching. However, teaching is equally important, a view that began with his service as a biology instructor at a large suburban Philadelphia high school. While at the U of A, he has been named the 2014 Innovative Teaching Award Winner by the College of Education and Health Professions, received the Collis R. Geren Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Education from the U of A Graduate School and International Education in 2018 and had a Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship to Dublin City University, Ireland. McComas is also a frequent keynote speaker on a range of topics related to high-quality science instruction in the U.S. and abroad. He has been a guest at more than a dozen foreign universities.   

portrait of ashlea bennett milburnAshlea Bennett Milburn is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the U of A. Her research interests include applying operations research tools and techniques to logistics planning problems arising in healthcare systems, public health and disaster response. She teaches courses in the College of Engineering in operations research applied to logistics systems. Milburn's accolades include a 2016 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2016 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Logistics and Supply Chain Division Teaching Award and numerous other teaching awards from her department, college and university. Her service to the profession includes, among other things, acting as a board member and associate editor of INFORMS Transactions on Education since 2018.

portrait of professor Kelly SullivanKelly Sullivan is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering. He earned a B.S. in 2006 and an M.S. in 2008 from the U of A. He received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida in 2012. His research aims to improve the resilience and reliability of complex networks in various applications by advancing methodology in optimization and systems reliability. Sullivan teaches courses in operations research and network optimization and an Honors Research Experience course sequence. Sullivan's teaching has been recognized by the Industrial Engineering student body and the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering. In addition, he was the recipient of the 2020 College of Engineering Rising Teacher Award.

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