Springfield, Ohio — Four Wittenberg University professors were among 47 faculty recipients from 13 area colleges and universities honored by the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) with Excellence in Teaching awards.
Adjunct Instructor Cathy Balas in the School of Community Education (SCE), Assistant Professor of Mathematics Adam Parker, Associate Professor of History Scott Rosenberg and Associate Professor of Languages Lila Zaharkov were honored at SOCHE's 13th annual Faculty Awards Conference at Wittenberg on April 25. All award recipients were nominated by SOCHE member colleges and universities. Balas and Zaharkov were nominated by SCE Dean Elma Lee Moore, while Parker and Rosenberg were nominated by Wittenberg Provost Ken Bladh. All were honored for their outstanding contributions to teaching and learning with a plaque and a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.
The event included a presentation by Alan Kalish, director of faculty and graduate teaching associate development at The Ohio State University. He discussed the constructive use of student and colleague feedback to improve teaching.
Balas has been an adjunct faculty member at Wittenberg since 1996, teaching human resource management, an international human resource field study program in Canada, effective proposal preparation, negotiations and independent study courses. Director of Education for AVETEC, a Springfield-based non-profit organization that is part of the National Aerospace Leadership Initiative, Balas previously served as Chair of Clark State Community College's Board of Trustees, was a founding member of the Clark County Literacy Council and the Ohio Management Training Institute and was appointed by the Governor of Ohio to serve as the co-chair of planning for the State Job Training Council. Balas has a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and a master's from Central Michigan University.
Parker teaches a wide variety of courses in mathematics for majors and non-majors. His thesis and main research interests are in algebraic geometry, specifically the moduli space of stable maps, topology, mathematics history of the last century, undergraduate research and curriculum development. Parker holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and psychology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. Recipient of Wittenberg's Omicron Delta Kappa Teaching Award for Excellence in 2006, Parker joined the Wittenberg faculty in 2005.
Rosenberg has taught a variety of history courses at Wittenberg since 2000, including two surveys of African history (Africa to 1500 and Africa since 1500), a survey of South Africa and classes on African-American history. He will lead students on a fourth service trip in the last seven years to the African nation of Lesotho in June. Rosenberg holds a bachelor's from Kenyon College, a master's from Ohio University and his Ph.D. from Indiana University. He earned Wittenberg's Omicron Delta Kappa Teaching Award for Excellence in 2005 and the university's prestigious Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2006.
A member of Wittenberg's faculty since 1977, Zaharkov teaches courses in Russian language, literature and culture, and her current field of research examines religious elements of Soviet literature. She was instrumental in creating the university's Russian Area Studies major, and since 1979 she has served as group leader for student-faculty tours of Russia. The former director of Wittenberg's International Education Program, Zaharkov has frequently presented papers at professional meetings and is an active member of the American Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. Zaharkov received her bachelor's from Boston University, two master's degrees from The Pennsylvania State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Formed in 1967, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education is a consortium dedicated to advancing higher education in the region through active collaboration, resource and knowledge building, and effective professional development programs.