Faculty Teaching and Scholarship Award Winners

For more information about these awards, please see the award guidelines.

Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty winner Jason Nordhaus

2017 Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty

Jason Nordhaus

Dr. Jason Nordhaus from the Department of Science and Mathematics is the 2017 Teaching/Tutoring Award winner for Pre-Tenure Faculty.  He teaches both in the classroom and through his research and collaborations where he exposes students to projects in astrophysical research.  Through his tutoring and teaching Dr. Nordhaus strives to create independent, logical problem solvers who can creatively contribute to society. 

Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers winner Kathleen Szczepanek

2017 Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers

Kathleen Szczepanek

The 2017 Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers goes to Ms. Kathleen Szczepanek from the Department of Business Studies.  Her reflective approach to teaching, her dedication to and support of student success, and the great respect she has garnered from her peers is why she is a valued member of the faculty.   Her students recognize, appreciate, and commend the impact she has made on their education and their career.

NTID Tenured Scholarship Award winner Dr. Vincent Samar

2017 NTID Tenured Scholarship Award

Dr. Vincent Samar

Dr. “Vince” Samar, Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies, has made significant contributions to the scholarship of discovery including diverse fields in deaf health research, social determinants of health, cognitive development, and attentional enhancement among a few other topics of special interest. Since 2012, Dr. Samar has taught and mentored RIT Psychology baccalaureate students, as well as taught Senior Project in Psychology to 24 deaf out of 26 total undergraduate students resulting in numerous poster presentations and research projects as co-authors. “Dr. Samar has a record of prodigious scholarship, including 63 publications in refereed journal as well as dozens of presentations at local, regional, national and international conferences.” Most recently, his goals have turned to seeking and writing funds to completely renovate the NTID research lab facilities to better support research experiences in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience for future RIT students.

NTID Pre-tenured Scholarship Award winner Dr. Bonnie Jacob

2017 NTID Pre-tenured Scholarship Award

Dr. Bonnie Jacob

Since 2010, Dr. Bonnie Jacob, Assistant Professor in the Department of Science and Mathematics, has advised 11 deaf or hard-of-hearing students in undergraduate mathematics research. She has co-authored refereed journal articles with six students. Dr. Jacob’s area of study is graph theory, which defines relationships between various objects. “She brings to work a strong background in STEM-focused research and has succeeded thus far in working with our students to expose research concepts, thereby helping them to further develop their analytical thinking skills.” Dr. Jacob has been awarded several internal awards that have involved students in research projects leading to their conference presentations as well as publications. Mathematics research with students is her primary passion.

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Tenured Faculty winner Keith Mousley

2016 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Tenured Faculty

Keith Mousley

As a great role model and exceptional educator, Keith “Moose” Mousley, Associate Professor in the Department of Science and Mathematics, is the 2016 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award winner for Tenured Faculty.   His relaxed teaching style is constantly evolving based on research and his vast experience working with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students.  He uses humor to keep them interested and actively engaged in classroom learning.  He has an open door policy to tutor both current and former students, sharing his passion for math with everyone.

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-tenure Faculty winner Dr. Austin Gehret

2016 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-tenure Faculty

Dr. Austin Gehret

The 2016 Teaching/Tutoring Award winner for Pre-tenure is Dr. Austin Gehret, Assistant Professor in the Department of Science and Mathematics.  He is a tremendous asset to both the NTID and RIT communities.  Serving as a support faculty for Deaf and hard of hearing students taking a variety of biochemistry courses in the College of Science, Dr. Gehret was able to use that experience to shape his associate-level Laboratory Science Technology biotechnology courses in a way that not only provides hands-on experience that is vital for success in biotechnology related careers, it prepares students for success in their future RIT biochemistry courses.  He also serves as a co-advisor for a graduate student.    Dr. Gehret’s patience with and respect for students, puts them at ease as he helps them succeed in the classroom and at their Co-op placements. 

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers winner Eric Kunsman

2016 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers

Eric Kunsman

The 2016 Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers goes to Eric Kunsman in the Visual Communications Studies Department.  He culls from his own experience the value of hard work, determination and respect and aims to instill those qualities in his students.  His ability to be creative in the classroom can be seen in his use of “Time Wasting Tickets”, developed to improve his students’ time management skills and as a way to teach them to become self-motivated, productive member of the workforce.  He is well respected by both his peers and students. 

NTID Tenured Scholarship Award winner Dr. Gerald Berent

2016 NTID Tenured Scholarship Award

Dr. Gerald Berent

Dr. Gerald Berent, Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies, has significantly advanced the field of language acquisition in deaf and hard of hearing individuals through his 36-year outstanding track record of research. His colleagues have noted that his work in this area has informed generations of both faculty and students. His efforts to understand the impact of secondary disabilities and ADHD on DHH students' abilities to learn effectively have been transformative. Dr. Berent’s creation of the Supporting English Acquisition (SEA) website has been a great contribution and tool for English language teachers everywhere. He has also shared his research findings and teaching methodologies through over 50 publications in refereed journals and book chapters, 25 technical reports and publications in newsletters and bulletins. He has also given over 66 presentations at national and international symposia/conferences. Dr. Berent has obtained several grants to further his research, totaling over $800K.

His colleagues have also noted that Dr. Berent's scholarship in English language acquisition in DHH students and his dedication to sharing and applying it in NTID classrooms and classrooms across the world is simply outstanding. His passion for the scholarly process and its role in Deaf education is limitless. In addition to his own research and publication, he dedicates countless hours supporting the scholarly efforts of others. In the role of advisor, mentor, reviewer, editor and NTID IRB committee chair, Dr. Berent tirelessly works to share his expertise and promote the work of other scholars. He demonstrates energy, enthusiasm and creativity, combined with a solid professional base of knowledge to empower his students.

NTID Pre-tenured Scholarship Award winner Dr. Campbell McDermid

2016 NTID Pre-tenured Scholarship Award

Dr. Campbell McDermid

Dr. Campbell McDermid, Assistant Professor in the American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department received the NTID Pre-tenured Scholarship Award. Dr. McDermid has made significant contributions in the field of interpreter education and sign language teaching, through a book on ASL paraphrasing, and several peer-reviewed articles. He has been invited to many presentations worldwide to share his findings.

Dr. McDermid has involved several undergraduate and graduate students in his research projects, and has provided them with important skills and experiences to obtain graduate training in sign language and interpreting research. He has also served as an advisor and consultant for several students in the program. Dr. Campbell McDermid has obtained several grants, including one to examine International Sign Acquisition. McDermid’s scholarship in the field of sign language interpreting has significantly advanced the training of sign language interpreters internationally.

NTID Pre-tenured Teaching and Tutoring Award winner Gary Behm

2015 NTID Pre-tenured Teaching and Tutoring Award

Gary Behm

Gary Behm, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Studies, received the NTID Pre-tenured Teaching and Tutoring Award. “Gary wears many different hats here at the institute, and his teaching/tutoring is highly recognized by his peers and his students. The committee was impressed at the amount of energy that Gary puts into everything he does, and while his workload is split between two areas, he commits well over 100% of his time to both. He is a role model for many students and I would say faculty as well.” 

NTID Tenured Teaching and Tutoring Award winner Mark Pfuntner

2015 NTID Tenured Teaching and Tutoring Award

Mark Pfuntner

Mark Pfuntner, associate professor in the Department of Business Studies, received the NTID Tenured Teaching and Tutoring Award. According to the committee, “Mark is integral to the support and success of the cross registered students there. He embraces a teaching/tutoring philosophy that goes above and beyond the normal classroom approach. He demonstrates energy, enthusiasm and creativity, combined with a solid professional base of knowledge to empower his students.

NTID Pre-tenure Scholarship Award winner Dr. Deirdre Schlehofer

2015 NTID Pre-tenure Scholarship Award

Dr. Deirdre Schlehofer

Dr. Deirdre Schlehofer, assistant professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreter Education, received the AY2014-2015 NTID Pre-tenure Scholarship Award. The selection committee cited the following: “In her work, Dr. Schlehofer involves ASLIE and RIT deaf and hard-of-hearing students and serves as a model for involving students in scholarly activities. Her impact on students is high as a result of engaging students in her projects, serving as a mentor to students through natural interaction in the research environment, and utilizing practical research that students can relate to.”

NTID Scholarship Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty winner Gary Behm

2014 NTID Scholarship Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty

Gary Behm

Gary involved 29 students in his research up to this point and serves as an excellent model involving students in scholarly activities. Many of these students benefitted by receiving their cooperative experience through the CAT Innovation Lab at different companies. Students gain greater awareness of the research process by using Gary’s approach as a model.  Gary engages students in the projects and serves as a mentor to students through the natural interaction in the research environment. He utilizes practical research ideas that students can relate to.  He had 11 internal presentations and 28 external presentations and 13 patents for his work through IBM and 5 submitted through RIT.

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers winner Stacey Davis

2014 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers

Stacey Davis

The committee unanimously agreed that Stacey was the "stand-out" candidate in the pool of candidates. Her letter of support from her Chair Matt Lynn was one of the strongest statements we had seen. Her personal statement was also impressive and showed her commitment to doing whatever it takes to help students succeed.  Many people noted that her workweek includes regular Sunday review sessions for students she works with. She is a role model for others in our opinion. 

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-tenure Faculty winner Scot Atkins

2014 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-tenure Faculty

Scot Atkins

Scot was clearly student centered and goes above and beyond to support student success.  He too had outstanding SRS ratings and his letters of support were great.  The committee was also impressed that his nomination for the award came from an RIT faculty member.

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Tenured Faculty winner Brian Trager

2014 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Tenured Faculty

Brian Trager

Brian submitted an impressive personal statement, outstanding SRS evaluations and a wonderful letter of support provided by his chairperson.  While the other candidate was also very qualified, the personal connection that Brian makes with so many students was the deciding factor for us.

NTID Scholarship Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty winner Dr. Raja S. Kushalnagar

2013 NTID Scholarship Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty

Dr. Raja S. Kushalnagar

Student Involvement:

  • Involved 11 students in his research up to this point- serves as an excellent model involving students in scholarly activities.
  • Patiently instructs his research students.
  • Students have been involved in three different research projects overall.
  • He has students present at conferences.

Student Impact:

  • The focus of his research efforts revolves around visual learners that directly impact our students.
  • Students gain greater awareness of their own accessibility challenges in the classroom through their research experiences.
  • Enables students to be immersed in research.
  • He serves as a mentor to students through the natural interaction in the research environment.
  • Provides training in research methods as his investment in student’s future.
  • Implements solutions based on research findings, such as using real-time replay for missed information after finding there is missed information through visual learning from his eye-tracking research.

Dissemination:

  • Consistent dissemination activities, papers at a variety of conferences including the ACM Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), ACM Special Interest Group for  Information Technology Education (SIGITE), and other conferences in accessible technology (RESENA and ASSETS).
  • Presentations at international and national level conferences.

Overall Rank/Summary:  Average Rank of 5, Outstanding

  • Collaborates with other faculty to pursue his research efforts.
  • PhD in Computer Science
  • Obtained grants, including as a PI for the NSF Grant on Collaborative Captioning totalling $80,146.00
  • “He is deeply engaged in research and involves other faculty and NTID students with the many research opportunities he has pursued.  He has been a great asset in explaining research methodologies and supporting students and other faculty members.” -Letter of Support from David Lawrence
NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers winner Carla Deibel

2013 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Lecturers

Carla Deibel

One of the comments that was often written in her letters of support from her chairperson and her colleague was that she was a "leader", even though she is a lecturer among her tenured and tenure track colleagues. Her workload as a lecturer not only includes an incredibly large number tutoring hours with a wide variety of science students, but she is also the coordinator for the B.S. Support Team in the COS. No other coordinator role is held by a lecturer. In her letter from Dr. Sandra Connelly, a professor in the COS, she was described as one of the "greatest tutors/teachers at RIT!"

She not only successfully supports the students in professor Connelly's classes, but she is also working as a part of a RCFTL project with Sandi and Matt Lynn, where her years of expertise make her an invaluable member of the project. Her letters from students not only praise her skill in tutoring, but also her indepth knowledge of the medical career paths that science students dream about.  Her career advising shows an deep understanding of the fields that her students are interested in pursuing.  She gives them honest advice and encourages them to work hard to achieve their goals. Her SRS results are extremely strong, ranging from 4.6 to 5.0.

NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty winner Annemarie Ross

2013 NTID Teaching/Tutoring Award for Pre-Tenure Faculty

Annemarie Ross

Her personal statement was inspiring to all of us as she identified her teaching approach to that of Anne Sullivan, the teacher behind Helen Keller's successes and she truly is motivated to make a difference in the lives of her science students. One comment from her Chairperson stood out when he described her as a "treasure". Students and colleagues alike respect and appreciate her endless hours of dedication to her students and her passion for science.

She left her industry position at IBM to "give back to the deaf community," and her efforts at NTID have truly reflected that commitment. Her letters of support (from faculty and students) were impressive, especially the one from her colleague Todd Pagano. He clearly holds Annemarie is the highest regard, stating that "everything she does so clearly warrants recognition by the institute". She challenges her students with high (but fair) expectations and often leads by example, inspiring students to share her passion and believe that they can achieve that same success. Extremely strong SRS results ranging from 4.7 to 5.0.