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NSU announces 2017 Circle of Excellence recipients

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) -- Northeastern State University announced the three 2017 Circle of Excellence Award honorees at a ceremony honoring all past and current recipients April 18.

The 2017 Circle of Excellence Award honorees are: Dr. Spence Pilcher for teaching, Dr. Cindy Cisar for research and Dr. Robyn Pursley for service.

NSU faculty members are nominated by their peers in one of the three categories: teaching, research and service. A selection committee of past honorees chooses the best in each category for this recognition.

Cisar is a faculty member in the NSU Department of Natural Sciences where she is a professor. Prior to her time at NSU, she worked for 17 years as a research scientist at the University of Arkansas and with the USDA Poultry Production and Products Safety Research Unit. She has published 16 journal articles, and 62 NSU students have worked on research projects with Cisar. Her students have presented their research results at conferences around the country and have been accepted to professional and graduate schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Pilcher is a professor of chemistry and the advisor of the Chemistry Club. Pilcher taught at Northwestern Oklahoma State University before returning to his alma mater, NSU. He has also held visiting scholar positions at Southern Methodist University and the University of Tennessee.

Pursley is a faculty member in the NSU Drama program, the chair of the Department of Art and Drama and the artistic director for the River City Players. She serves on the Executive Board of the Arts Council of Tahlequah and is an active volunteer with the Humane Society of Cherokee County and Tahlequah Public Schools.

“I truly feel that the faculty at Northeastern State, as stated in our mission have ‘high expectations for student success, provide quality teaching, changing curricula and engage in research and scholarly activities that impact our communities,’” said Dr. Renée L. Cambiano, professor and faculty council president.

“As I have reflected upon last year's celebration and moved my thoughts into this year's recognition of the circle of excellence honorees, all I could think about was the passion, enthusiasm and how NSU faculty are impacting lives around them.”

Each faculty honoree of the Circle of Excellence Award receives $2,500 that he or she can receive as a check or use for professional development. The office of Academic Affairs and the NSU Foundation provide help and support for this award.

For more information, contact Renee Cambiano at

Published: 5/3/2017 1:55:01 PM

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