Circle of Excellence winners to receive awards April 16

Office of Communications & Marketing | Northeastern State University
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- To recognize distinctive dedication among its outstanding faculty, Northeastern State University will present its 2012-13 Circle of Excellence Awards to Dr. Tiffany Maher for teaching, Dr. Kevin Wang for research and Dr. Michael Wilds for service during a ceremony April 16 at 3 p.m. in the Tower Room of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center.
 
"Dr. Maher, Dr. Wang and Dr. Wilds embody everything that is exceptional about the faculty at NSU," said Dr. Steve Turner, president. "The list of nominees for the Circle of Excellence is always long and the decision always difficult, so I congratulate these three for earning this prestigious faculty honor."
 
The Circle of Excellence awards recognize outstanding faculty for accomplishments and commitment to educating students. Each recipient is honored with a brick bearing their name and award to be placed within the Circle of Excellence in front of Seminary Hall on the Tahlequah campus. In addition to a permanent place in NSU history, recipients receive their choice of a new computer or $2,500 to use toward professional development.
 
Maher, assistant professor of chemistry, guides chemistry lectures and laboratories in the College of Science and Health Professions. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Kansas, a master's degree in chemistry from Missouri State and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oklahoma State.
 
"I define learning as the process by which students integrate new information into their everyday lives and use new knowledge to adjust their understanding of past experiences and events," Maher said. "I teach to encourage life-long learning and appreciation of science. My primary goal as an instructor is to provide the base knowledge so that future experiences can be fundamentally understood. I also want to improve the communication of science among the general public and get more people interested in pursuing careers in sciences, particularly, chemistry."
 
Wang is an assistant professor of biology who joined the natural sciences faculty at NSU-Broken Arrow in 2011. He holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State, a master's degree from the Biotechnology Center of the Chinese Agriculture Academy of Sciences and a bachelor's degree from Shandong Agriculture University in China. His research interest is plant biotechnology.

"My research philosophy encompasses building a bridge between the fields of academics and industrial application," Wang said. "Research in plant biotechnology has many applications and potential for agriculture and human-animal health and development, environmental regulation, food safety, medical science, public health, and energy such as biofuels. The goal of my research is to apply biological principles and technologies to understanding how to best benefit humankind."
 
Wilds is a professor of criminal justice, homeland security and legal studies. He graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University and studied European Community Law at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He is licensed to practice law in the U.S. Supreme Court, Oklahoma's three federal district courts, the State of Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. He has been a member of the NSU faculty for 16 years.

"To serve is to build long-lasting relationships and life-long learning, thereby fulfilling NSU’s mission statement," Wilds said. "To serve and love is to enhance and polish one’s inner being. Through service, one builds character, patience and understanding. One builds wisdom. Through service, one builds one’s self and others."
 
The Circle of Excellence is NSU's highest faculty honor. Only full-time faculty are eligible.

Published: 4/15/2013 1:19:09 PM

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