October 15, 2015 – The university held its third annual Celebration of Scholarship Day on Oct. 13 in the C.W. Pettigrew Center. During this annual event faculty were recognized for their accomplishments in teaching, research, and service during the 2014-2015 academic year.
During his welcome statements Dr. Ian Toppin, Director of faculty development said, “I think this is always an awesome event for showcasing our faculty and the great things that you are involved in, and unless we pause to do this, those great things will go unnoticed.” Dr. Rayton Sianjina, FVSU’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, also welcomed faculty members, their guests, and their students to the event. Sianjina delivered remarks on behalf of FVSU’s Interim President, Dr. Jessica Bailey, who was not able to attend due to other out-of-town obligations. Dr. Sianjina stated, “We have one purpose, reason and goal. It is to celebrate the many accomplishment our faculty members have been involved with in various disciplines and different fields. FVSU is indeed committed to its mission to graduate students who are skilled in written and spoken communication, problem solving and critical thinking. Do we have perfect students? No. If we did, we wouldn’t exist, so we have to work, and be patient with our students and mentor them in their professional growth.”
Sianjina also noted the event features the best of FVSU’s faculty.
“It highlights the independent creative work that faculty members are heavily engaged in,” Sianjina said. “As a multidisciplinary annual event, it is a celebration to provide our students with opportunities to be exposed to various practices and inquiry across disciplines. If we do not challenge ourselves, it will be almost impossible to challenge our students.”
While attendees ate lunch, pianist Al-Devin Jackson and saxophonist David Kerr serenaded guests with a few musical selections. After their performance they received awards for their “excellence in musical performance.”
Dr. Toppin informed the audience about the awards vetting process. He mentioned that this year the committee received 13 nominations and eight packets were submitted those who were nominated. Committee members gave rubric scores to each packet during the review process. Incomplete packages were not considered for winning awards. However, all candidates who submitted a packet were honored with certificates for their efforts.
College of Arts and Science Dean Dr. Uppinder Mehan and College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology Dean Dr. Govind Kannan gave remarks about each honoree from their respective colleges.
Dr. Kannan presented Dr. Seyedmedhi Mobini, a professor of veterinary science, with the Service Excellence Award, and Dr. Mahipal Singh, an associate professor of animal biotechnology, received the Research Excellence Award in STEM Disciplines. During his comments about Dr. Mobini, Dr. Kannan said, “Dr. Mobini and I go back a long time, he chaired the committee that hired me 18 years ago, and we have a great working relationship. When he went back to teaching he never sat back and relaxed. He is involved in a variety of activities on campus from animal care and serving on the faculty senate. He takes care of all the animal care needs on campus. Nationally, he also serves on the animal welfare committee of the AMA, and the list goes on.”
In Dr. Kannan’s comments about Dr. Singh he lauded him as a research scientist with more than 28 years of experience in cell and molecular biology, biotechnology, microbial genetics, and epigenetic regulation of genes. Dr. Singh has more than 120 publications, including 45 peer-reviewed journals and three book chapters. Dr. Kannan shared that Dr. Singh is a good researcher, so good that the University of Chicago lured him away, but he enticed him to come back to FVSU.
Dr. Edward Demenchonok, a professor of English and Foreign Languages, received the 2014-2015 Research Excellence Award in Social Sciences and Humanities. He has experience as a senior researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and is listed in the 2000 Outstanding Scholars of the 21st Century. Dr. Demenchonok came directly to the awards event from a trip to Greece, where he participated in the World Public Forum. Participants at this forum discuss topics such as global warming, and other dangers that threaten the existence of humanity.
Following the awards ceremony, lectures were given in the Center for Teaching and Learning (303 Hunt Memorial Library), where each award winner gave a presentation about their area of accomplishment and professional practice.
For details, contact Dr. Toppin at (478) 822-6991.