August 16, 2019
At its pre-semester faculty and staff meeting Aug. 15, Ursuline College recognized four faculty members and two staff members with annual excellence awards.
- Assistant Professor Gina Prosser, DNP, coordinator of the Breen School of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN program, won the Advising Excellence Award
- Mathematics Department Chair and Professor, Muserref (Michelle) Wiggins, PhD, won the Teaching Excellence Award for full-time faculty
- Adjunct Faculty in Educational Administration Patrick Ward, PhD, won the Teaching Excellence Award for part-time faculty
- Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies James Connell, PhD, shown above, won the Marie LoPresti Faculty Award for Social Justice and Community Service
- Executive Assistant Mary Anne Ursick won a Staff Excellence Award
- Senior Computer Support Specialist Bobby Boos won a Staff Excellence Award
The Advising Excellence Award was instituted in 2016 in recognition of the vital role that advising plays in students’ success. The award is given to an academic advisor who provides excellent support to advisees in the best tradition of Ursuline College. Prosser was unanimously recommended by the Advising Committee for her contributions in serving her advisees. She currently serves more than 40 advisees in the RN-to-BSN program. The student who nominated her wrote:
“I can honestly say I would not still be a student at Ursuline if it wasn’t for her professional help …She always seems to have a smile on her face and is quick to share a laugh … She listens to concerns and acts as an advocate … She didn’t hand me the information, but she asked all the right questions to guide me in the right direction for the answer.”
The Teaching Excellence Awards began in 2003 to honor the outstanding teaching that takes place at Ursuline College. One award is given to a full-time faculty member and another award is given to a part-time or adjunct faculty member who has been at the College for at least three years.
According to her nominator, “Wiggins consistently revises the curriculum to meet the needs of students and re-evaluates available resources, choosing those that best enhance student performance. She uses a variety of instructional methods and seeks ways to be both supportive and encouraging to students. She is especially sensitive to the need for women to be confident and successful in a field that has tended to be dominated by men. Wiggins embodies everything that is great about Ursuline College.”
Ward has been an adjunct faculty member in the Educational Administration program for many years. He is responsible for teaching several courses in the program, including a Curriculum Development course that includes future administrators as well as nurses in the leadership track. His student evaluations are always outstanding. Students commend him for his teaching style, his enthusiasm, and his genuine care and concern for the students. The values he espouses are very consistent with those of Ursuline College.
The Marie LoPresti Faculty Award for Social Justice and Community Service was established in 1992 in honor of Marie LoPresti, class of 1942. It honors someone who has made a significant contribution to the Greater Cleveland community in an area consistent with the College’s mission and goals.
Connell is extremely active in St. Malachi parish, where he and his wife have bought, prepared, and served the Monday night meal once a month for the last 45 years. He also serves on St. Malachi’s Finance Committee and as chair of the Partner Parishes Coordination Team. He serves on the Board of the Berea Education Foundation and on the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Distribution Committee.
Connell began teaching at Ursuline as an adjunct in 1992, and has been a vital member of the community ever since. The Ursuline values of Student Focus, Collaboration, Commitment to Spirituality, and Respect for the Individual have been integral to how he lives his life. In the words of a favorite prayer of his, “I touch my Christ in ways another does not know and find the Christ of others touching me. I reach toward God each time there is a need to fulfill and I am communion to my brothers and sisters when I care.”
Nominations for the Staff Excellence Awards are submitted by faculty and staff; a committee selects the winners. Exempt and non-exempt staff employees are eligible.
Staff Council Co-Chair Cindy McKnight, the College’s athletic director, said of Ursick, “She lives the Ursuline College mission. She is the face of Student Affairs, where she is always there to help our students, parents, faculty and staff. She coordinates commencement, which is a huge undertaking, and works with Metz food service providers extensively. With all of her projects, she is always working to find ways to save money and streamline the process. Even with all of these responsibilities she still finds time to volunteer to help other departments if needed and she currently serves on the Mission and Heritage Council.”
McKnight said Boos responds quickly to our technology needs, always with a quiet way of addressing and fixing the problem. To say that he is competent is an understatement, his performance is always exceptional. He does his job without fanfare and one always knows that when he is assigned the task, a solution will be found quickly.