The Woods recognizes outstanding faculty
May 1st, 2012 | By Dee Reed
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) annually honors outstanding faculty who have made significant contributions in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. The faculty awards are named in memory of esteemed Woods professor of English, Sister Mary Joseph Pomeroy, who personified excellence. Each of this year’s awardees embodies the spirit of excellence -- espoused by the College in its motto, “Virtue with Knowledge United” -- in a particular aspect of faculty work.
In recognition of their exceptional scholarly merit and extraordinary service to the College, this year’s recipients are:
- Michael Boswell, assistant professor of music and director of choirs
- Jennie Mitchell, Ph.D., professor of business
- Patricia Jancosek, associate professor of art
Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Award for Service
Michael Boswell, a member of the SMWC faculty since 2005, has demonstrated exemplary service to the College, to his profession, and to the community.
Boswell, assistant professor of music and director of choirs, said, “Being a professor and performer in the specific area of choral and vocal music presents an enduring opportunity and responsibility to serve not only students, but the College, the community and my profession in a very public way. Even at an institution the size of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, these opportunities abound.”
Boswell notably serves his profession as a sought-after professional chamber ensemble singer. He has performed in the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Vox Humana and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician for both local and state competitions and auditions. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing on a state and national level.
His service to the College has included many committee roles, such as the compensation committee, the Four-Star committee, the faculty affairs committee, the 2011 inauguration committee and two vice presidential search committees. Additionally, he coordinated the Sr. Sue Pietrus Memorial Concert and is a member of the SMWC faculty quartet.
As the director of the SMWC Chorale and Madrigals, Boswell is noted for his distinguished conducting and planning of numerous performances for our students. His spring choir tours recruit many new students for the campus program. Each performance brings culture and extended community attention to the College.
The upcoming Madrigals tour in France is a wonderful educational opportunity for students. This tour also serves as a reminder of the College’s unique history and identity. He commissioned a special piece of music by an internationally known composer featuring the words of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and written expressly for women’s voices, which will be performed in France.
He serves the community as a member of the Arts Illiana Advisory Committee, a member of the Board for the Terre Haute Children’s Choir and the choir director for the Seelyville United Methodist Church.
Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship
Jennie Mitchell, Ph.D, professor of business, is a previous winner of the Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Award in 1992 and the Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Award in Service in 2002. She has continued her exemplary record of leadership and scholarly accomplishments at the College.
The epitome of a life-long learner, Mitchell sets the bar for instruction using technology, innovative pedagogy and the development of new initiatives. She is the author of numerous grants resulting in successful new endeavors for the College. In 2009, she authored first of three Operation Diploma grants awarded by the Military Friendly Research Institute. This initial grant kicked off activities, which have allowed us to fund new ways to help make SMWC a more military friendly campus and thus increase the enrollment of military students and families. She was one of the authors of the ELEVATE Hewlett-Packard tablet grant and also the virtual academic support team grant awarded by the Independent Colleges of Indiana Ball Venture Fund. The social marketing experiment, awarded in 2010, helped the business department establish the virtual team internship program that partners students with non-profits on social media projects. Her newest grant activity has grown out of the virtual team internship project -- the Mobile Museum Developers -- just submitted in 2012.
She has authored white papers, case materials, book chapters, Excel student files, QuickBook files and podcasts for numerous courses, such as accounting problems, auditing, business finance and virtual internships. Many of these have been by invitation from publishers and organizations.
Mitchell has presented at the national Desire2Learn (D2L) conference nearly each year since our adoption and her white paper “Quality Review: Sending the Right Signal” was accepted by D2L in September 2011. She co-authored a book chapter, Building an Interactive Fully-Online Degree Program, which was published in 2010.
Indeed, Mitchell is a leader and motivator. Everything she learns, she shares with faculty, staff and students. She has presented numerous workshops on campus for faculty D2L course development and interaction, and she continues to include new podcasts, Excel problems and technology for her students so that they may learn the very newest applications as well. In fact, this year, she tested and implemented a new method of online teaching, using roadmaps for four of upper level courses. Each roadmap takes about 40 hours to build, and thus a course with eight units takes about 320 hours to complete.
Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching
Patricia Jancosek, associate professor of art, the recipient of the Pomeroy Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching, began her career at The Woods in 1995. Her teaching philosophy is well aligned with the mission of the College. She writes, “It has always been my goal in the classroom to provide an environment of learning that would engage the students at a dynamic cerebral level and encourage life-long learning. Encouraging them to think critically by evaluating, questioning and assessing has always been a part of my teaching paradigm.”
Jancosek is an expert in the field of design theory and the author of her own textbook, which she regularly uses and updates as her discipline evolves. She is responsible for providing critical foundational skills to students within their major, but she is also the lead instructor for a general studies course. She embraces students and creates an inviting atmosphere for their learning. She created a very successful online 8-week cohort class incorporating technology to deliver lectures, and included discussion threads that encourage students to give thoughtful responses and engage with each other.
Her instructional materials are concise, well-organized and easy to follow. She has a strong grading rubric for the essays that are assigned. This rubric helps students see the important aspects expected and allows them to tie their responses to learning outcomes such as analyze, discuss, interpret and write, which are critical to the mission of the College. Jancosek has demonstrated intentionality and success with students.
Jancosek has a reputation for being a mother to the students, but don’t be fooled into thinking she is easy -- she’s just student-centered. Her teaching evaluations are consistently excellent with comments such as “She always makes students her first priority;” “She was enthusiastic about the class and always wanted to hear student feedback;” “She is approachable, eager to engage students in dialog and extremely knowledgeable.”