The public is invited to the annual spring convocation of Fort Hays State University on Friday, when President Tisa Mason will deliver her first state of the campus address, and the winners of the spring 2018 faculty awards will be recognized.
The convocation, which begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall, also will feature annual reports from the Faculty Senate and the Graduate School.
The spring faculty award winners are Dr. Mohammad Riazi-Kermani, professor of mathematics, for research; Angela Walters, associate professor of informatics, for teaching; and Ken Windholz, instructor of psychology, for service.
All three recipients received a $500 check for their accomplishments. Each faculty member was notified of the award in a surprise visit to a classroom by FHSU President Tisa Mason, Interim Provost Dr. Jeff Briggs and Deron O’Connor, community president of Commerce Bank, which contributes to the cash award.
Riazi-Kermani was recognized especially for his contributions to the Mathematics Stack Exchange, a question-and-answer site for academic mathematicians at any level and professionals in related mathematical fields. More than 500,000 people around the world participate.
“Indicative of his vast knowledge in all areas of mathematics,” said the recommendation letter for Riazi-Kermani, “Dr. Riazi-Kermani has solved problems in a variety of mathematical areas such as calculus, real analysis, algebra/precalculus, linear algebra and differential equations.”
Walters’ recommendation letter said she “is an outstanding teacher who exemplifies committed quality instruction.”
“Not only is she naturally a strong communicator who is a master of her subject area,” the letter continued, “she is a person who continually seeks to strengthen her teaching and constantly works to maintain currency in her rapidly changing professional field.”
The letter also noted she initiated and is leading an overhaul of the curriculum for Web and application development in the W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
The recommendation for Windholz said community service has been a hallmark of his life throughout his 40 years of experience in providing mental health services to individuals in the Hays community and as a faculty member at Fort Hays State.
His service include being an announcer for numerous FHSU sporting events – basketball, football and baseball. In the Department of Psychology, he is faculty sponsor for the Psychology Club, and in the community he works with the Hays National Alliance on Mental Illness and works hard, in the words of the recommendation letter, “to increase awareness of mental illness in the community through diverse service activities.”
They join three other faculty members, who were recognized for teaching, research and scholarly activity in the fall 2017 semester, as candidates for the Faculty Member of the Year Award. The winner of that award and the $1,000 prize that goes with it will be announced at the fall convocation in August.
Each of the five colleges of the university nominates outstanding faculty members to receive the awards. Recipients are selected by a committee appointed by the respective college deans.