Dr. Rick Edgeman, professor of management and chair of the department of management in the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, was announced today as the 2020 President’s Distinguished Scholar at Fort Hays State University.


"Dr. Edgeman has broad research interests in quality management, lean six sigma, operations management, and supply chain management. He has published extensively in leading scientific journals and currently serves as one of the associate editors for the total quality management and business excellence," said Dr. Jill Arensdorf, emcee of the ceremonies at the 2020 FHSU fall convocation held live on Facebook.


"In his professional career, Edgeman has authored or co-authored a book, 21 edited book chapters, approximately 115 refereed journals, 30 published book reviews, and approximately 90 presentations at conferences," said Arensdorf, provost and vice president for academic affairs.


"Rick, thank you for your contributions to the university and to your discipline."


The President’s Distinguished Scholar Award was first conferred in 1989. All unclassified employees of the university are eligible for consideration and the evaluation of each candidate for this honor is based on an analysis of their performance in the categories of research and creative activities, service, and instruction. Acceptable levels of performance must be demonstrated in service and instruction, with the primary focus of this award on research and creative activities.


An evaluation committee, composed of five of the most recent award winners, reviews applications, and a recommendation is forwarded to President Tisa Mason. The provost chairs the committee and is responsible for administering the award process.


Several other awards were also presented at the Facebook Live convocation.


Navigator Award


The Navigator Award was presented to Dr. Keith Bremer, assistant professor of geosciences. The award was established in 1998 by the Student Government Association to recognize an outstanding academic advisor based on how closely the advisor adheres to the university goals for academic advising.


Dr. Bremer is revered by his students for his thoroughness and responsiveness to their questions on classes and degree requirements.


"Dr. Bremer continues to exemplify the true meaning of advising to ensure student success," said Arensdorf.


Faculty Member of the Year


The Faculty Member of the Year award was presented to Dr. Babu George, associate professor of management and international coordinator for FHSU’s Robbins College of Business & Entrepreneurship. Commerce Bank also provided a $1,000 stipend to Dr. George in recognition of this honor.


Dr. George has amassed a diverse and talented portfolio with an emphasis on impactful business and social science research. His work was cited at least 200 times in 2019, and he continues to author or co-author papers, which provides him with renowned recognition for his scholarship.


The Faculty Member of the Year is selected from the past year's recipients of faculty awards for teaching, for research and scholarly activity, and service.


The 2019-2020 awards for service went to Dr. Seth Kastle, assistant professor of leadership studies and Dr. Jacqueline Lubin, assistant professor of advanced education programs. Outstanding teaching awards went to Dr. Robert Lloyd, assistant professor of management and Whitney Whitaker, assistant professor of psychology. In the area of research and scholarly activity, Dr. Babu George, associate professor of management, and Dr. Linda Feldstein, assistant professor of teacher education, were recognized.


Edmund Shearer Faculty Advisor of the Year Award


The Edmund Shearer Faculty Advisor of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Tanya Smith, associate professor of nursing in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.


The Shearer Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic advising of students.


Shearer, a former chair of the Department of Chemistry, was known for the high value he placed on student advisement. One advisor can be recognized from each of the five academic colleges.


The recipient of this award will also be nominated for the National Academic Advising Association Award. Each FHSU winner will be presented with a certificate and a monetary award. The nominees receive a stipend of $150, and the winning recipient receives $500. Commerce Bank also sponsors this award.


Dr. Smith is one of the reasons the FHSU Department of Nursing has a reputation for its outstanding vigor and remarkable record of attracting quality students. Smith advises approximately 185 students. She continuously assists in the development of meaningful educational plans with her advisees and provides each one with personal attention to ensure they succeed in the field of Nursing.


Besides Smith, the nominees for this award included Dr. Tamara Lynn, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, and Dr. Edward Hammond, FHSU President Emeritus and a professor in the Department of Advanced Education Programs in the College of Education.


John Heinrichs Outstanding Research Mentor


Dr. Whitney Whitaker, assistant professor of psychology, was named the John Heinrichs Outstanding Research Mentor.


This award recognizes faculty members for their commitment, time, and energy in promoting undergraduate research. All current faculty and unclassified staff members at levels comparable to academic faculty are eligible. The winner's home department is awarded $500 of budget funding to benefit the recipient. The Office of the Provost, the Undergraduate Research Environment Committee, and the Office of Scholarships and Sponsored Projects sponsors the award.


Since 2017, Whitaker has served as a research mentor for 16 undergraduate students, published three papers with students as the first author for each publication, mentored 24 student presentations, and received three Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) grants to collaborate with undergraduate students and colleagues on original research. Whitaker also founded the Mindfulness Attention Research Studies (MARS) lab to create a space for undergraduate students to learn about research.


Whitaker's most recent URE grant involved working with a virtual student who added a new level of complexity to her research mentoring experience. The student on this project was also selected as the Outstanding Junior Undergraduate Student in the Department of Psychology in the Spring 2020 semester.


Departmental Awards


This year’s "Closing the Loop" departmental award went to the Department of Applied Technology. The department receives $2,000, provided by Voya Financial, in additional operating budget funding for the year. This award recognizes a department that implements improvements in its degree programs.


The Bachelor of Business Administration program in the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship won this year’s Advancing Assessment Award, receiving an additional $1,000 in additional operating budget funding. This award is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office for Institutional Effectiveness and Quality Improvement. This award recognizes departments that make advances in their program assessment procedures.