Indiana State University Newsroom

Four receive Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award

April 29, 2010

Four Indiana State University faculty members received the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award Thursday during the university's annual Faculty Recognition Banquet.

The recipients are Kimberly J. Bodey, associate professor of sport management; Arthur Feinsod, professor of theater; Beth Whitaker, professor of elementary, early and special education; and Stephen Wolf, professor of chemistry.

Named for a 19th century educator who helped to shape Indiana's public education system and served as the state's second superintendent of public instruction, the Mills Award recognizes Indiana State's most distinguished teachers.

Bodey joined the faculty of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services in 2003. As coordinator of undergraduate sport management, she works with students from the beginning of their ISU careers as a new student orientation advisor through the end as internship coordinator. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in policy development, leadership and ethical decision-making and evaluative research. She has been involved in several service projects with students and has taught ISU graduate-level classes in Cyprus and Morocco. She was instrumental in creating the Indiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Sport Management Scholarship Showcase.

"Nothing of real value comes without effort. I am challenged to inform and persuade - to push students, pull students, and patiently wait for the a-ha moments. But I would have it no other way," she said. "I am honored to be included among the distinguished faculty at Indiana State. This recognition underscores the importance of giving one's best effort every day."

With degrees from Harvard, University of California, Berkeley and New York University, Feinsod has taught theater, introduction to theater, playwriting, directing, all periods of theater history, the history of theatrical style, and mask acting. Since his arrival at ISU in 2001, he has served as artistic director for Crossroads Repertory Theatre, where he also directs plays. He has been a member of the University Honors Advisory Board and Honors faculty, for which he has developed, taught, and is now coordinator for "An Introduction to the Great Works," a required seminar for honors students. He previously taught for 16 years at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where he received the Arthur Hughes Award for Teaching. He wrote "The Simple Stage," published by Greenwood Press in 1992, and is now under contract with Oxford University Press to co-write a two-volume humanities textbook entitled "Humanities and the Spirit of the Times."

"I am especially honored to receive this award after reading the names of all its past recipients; I am humbled to be included in such fine company," Feinsod said. "I cannot receive a teaching award without remembering the exceptional teachers and scholars who served as beacons along my path: Carol Clover at Harvard; Simon Karlinsky and Dunbar Ogden at UC Berkeley; and Michael Kirby at NYU. Each of them taught me how much the joy of knowing is multiplied when shared."

Whitaker, a former classroom teacher and award-winning Blue Ribbon elementary school principal, joined the ISU faculty in 1996. She has been published in the areas of school climate, principal leadership and teacher efficacy. She frequently works with educators in the areas of reading, language arts and teacher motivation. Her passion has always been her students and connecting educational theory to a "real world" understanding of schools. For the past five years, she has been part of the creation of the TOTAL (Teachers of Tomorrow Advancing Learning) Internship Semester. She served as its first coordinator while teaching and field supervising the interns.

"This program is truly the perfect blend of experiential learning and a clinical growth model for our students. Because of this program, we are graduating students with a depth and breadth of knowledge and experiences beyond that of a typical first year teacher," she said.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to be chosen for this prestigious award. Facilitating the learning of my students is at the very core of everything that I do and stand for at this institution. It is a great privilege to be part of the journey our students travel as they develop a professional identity and knowledge base. I am extremely fortunate to be part of a department, college and university that places a high value on teaching and the wonderful students we serve."

Wolf joined the faculty at Indiana State in 2001 after working as a staff nuclear analytical chemist at Argonne National Laboratory for eight years. Wolf said he came to ISU in order to combine his desire to perform scientific research in the field of cosmo-chemistry and to mentor students not only in the fundamentals of science but also in practical human aspects of his experience. Named an ISU Promising Scholar under a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative to encourage faculty research, he has been supported by the Research Corporation and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation to provide research opportunities for undergraduates. He has worked with colleagues to establish the Summer Undergraduate Research (SURE) program and has served as coordinator of the program since its inception in 2006.

"It is an honor to be considered worthy of the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award. This achievement certainly would not have been possible without the support, advice and encouragement from so many of my colleagues. I would like to thank them and my students for providing my motivation to continue improving as an educator on a daily basis," Wolf said.

Photos: - Kimberly J. Bodey - Arthur Feinsod - Beth Whitaker - Steve Wolf