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ASC faculty members and lecturers

Eleven ASC Scholars and Teachers Receive 2016 Distinguished OAA Awards

Eleven Arts and Sciences scholars and teachers — covering the diverse range of disciplines in arts and humanities, natural and physical sciences and social and behavioral sciences — won top university awards that recognize and honor outstanding performance and deep commitment to Ohio State's land-grant mission of scholarship, teaching and service. Three are recipients of the Distinguished Scholar Award; five of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching; one received this year's only President and Provost's Award for Distinguished Faculty Service; and three received the Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer.

2016 Distinguished Scholar Award

Supported by Ohio State’s Office of Research, the Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments by senior professors.

Alice Conklin.Alice L. Conklin
Professor, Department of History

Alice Conklin is an internationally respected scholar in the history of European imperialism; modern social sciences; race, racism and anti-racism; and museums. Her knowledge of the developments inside France and its overseas colonies reoriented both the study of French colonialism and historical scholarship on modern Western expansion. Conklin’s work shed new light about the ways the West’s modern democracies justified colonial expansion a century ago, and how it continues to shape attitudes toward racial and ethnic difference.

B. Scott Gaudi.B. Scott Gaudi
Professor of Astronomy and Ohio State’s Thomas Jefferson Chair for Discovery and Space Exploration, Department of Astronomy

B. Scott Gaudi, an extraordinarily skilled extrasolar planet hunter — involved in discovering nearly two dozen exoplanets to date — also led a team of 69 international astronomers who detected a scaled-down solar system, indicating that systems similar to ours might be common throughout the galaxy. Gaudi, who had served on NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Science Definition Team since 2005, was named principal investigator of WFIRST’s planetary microlensing team that aims to discover thousands of planetary systems around distant stars.  

Brian McHale.Brian G. McHale
Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, Department of English

Brian McHale is one of the world’s most influential scholars of postmodern literature and culture and one of its leading narrative theorists. His seminal book, Postmodernist Fiction (1987), develops a distinction between modernism and postmodernism in fiction widely adopted by other scholars in the field. This book and other writings have made McHale a household name among students of the postmodern period. He is co-founder of Ohio State’s Project Narrative, internationally recognized as the world capital of narrative studies.


Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching

Recognizes superior teaching by faculty, nominated by students, alumni and colleagues. Our distinguished teaching award winners do not lack amazing testimony from their nominators.

Hollie Brehm.Hollie N. Brehm
Assistant Professor, Sociology

An undergraduate student offers the ultimate tribute: “Professor Brehm has not been at Ohio State long, but the impact she has had on Ohio State and her students is worth noting. As a college student who loves to stay in bed, her passion for teaching makes me trek to her class every single day. If that isn’t impressive, I don't know what is.”

Michael Edwards.Michael C. Edwards
Associate Professor, Psychology

“Dr. Edwards is engaging … clear … and always provides opportunities for questions,” a student said. “I particularly love how he is able to get inside his students’ heads and anticipate our questions in advance. I think this ability ... is a mark of a phenomenal teacher.” Another says, “I’m impressed by his open-door policy. He always makes time for his students.”  

Karen Eliot.Karen Sue Eliot
Professor, Dance

One of Eliot’s graduate students said, “She is an inspirational role model and what I would like to be … Karen has a passionate curiosity for dance that is contagious. The most remarkable thing is that often after teaching ballet she rushes off to a committee that serves PhD students in the development of their dissertations. (Her) positivity … is endless!

Elizabeth Kolkovich.Elizabeth Kolkovich
Assistant Professor, English

An undergraduate said, “She showed me the brilliance of Shakespeare and gave me a genuine interest in the historical period around his life … I am thankful for all she has done for me and excited to pass this passion to my own children. A colleague remarked, “She has said, ‘I want to teach them not what to think, but how to think for themselves.’” 

Amy Shuman.Amy Schuman
Professor, English

Students say, “Professor Shuman is a force of nature in the most positive sense. When her attention focuses on you, you feel you are the most important person in the world. Given that the graduate student experience is fraught with self-doubt – which can severely impede confidence and progress – this is a special gift indeed.” “She is the kind of teacher students wish for and faculty aspire to be.”  


The President and Provost's Award for Distinguished Faculty Service

Honors faculty whose service has been both extensive and made a long-lasting, positive impact on the quality of the university and beyond.

Caroline Breitenberger.Caroline Breitenberger
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Director, Center for Life Sciences Education (CLSE)

Colleagues agree, “Caroline gives of herself for the support of others every day. Indeed, on a daily basis, she is trying to improve the education of the students on this campus, and by giving of herself for the betterment of others. Caroline defines distinguished service.” CLSE director for nearly 10 years, Breitenberger is a driving force for improving how biology is taught to both majors and non-majors, nationwide.


Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer

Recognizes lecturers, senior lecturers, or other auxiliary faculty members for teaching excellence. Nominated by students, faculty and alumni, who wrote spirited letters of support; chosen by a committee of students, other award winning faculty and alumni.

Barbara Heck.Barbara Heck, Germanic Languages and Literatures

Colleagues and students consistently cite Heck’s exceptional abilities in the classroom, saying, “She is indispensable in mentoring new graduate students and contributes extensively to activities of students living in the German House. She is one of the biggest reasons that German language training is regarded so highly at Ohio State and beyond.”

Christopher Callam.Christopher H. Callam, Chemistry and Biochemistry

“If there were a ‘rock-star’ category for excellence among instructors, Chris would be in that category,” a nominator says. “…every day, he answers endless questions, listens, mentors and encourages his students to think hard, work hard and challenge themselves. He connects with students and they absolutely love his deep caring approach to teaching.”