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Featured Faculty Awards

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2018-2019 Featured Faculty Awards

Featured Faculty for Teaching Excellence - Mark Masters

2019 - Mark Masters

Featured Faculty for Service Excellence - Irwin Mallin

2019- Irwin Mallin

Featured Faculty for Engagement Excellence - Laura Link

2019 - Laura Link

Featured Faculty for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavor Excellence - Jeff Casazza

2019 - Jeff Casazza

2017-2018 Featured Faculty Awards

Mustafa_BiologyProf. Ahmed Mustafa with Vice Chancellor Carl Drummond

Dong ChenProf. Dong Chen with Vice Chancellor Carl Drummond

Mary ann cainProf. Mary Ann Cain with Vice Chancellor Carl Drummond

News Release

IPFW Announces Featured Faculty Award Winners

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) announced the two recipients of its 2016–17 Featured Faculty Award in a ceremony on Thursday, November 17, at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center. The purpose of the award is to recognize the exemplary efforts of faculty in teaching and librarianship; research, scholarship, and creative endeavors; and engagement with the community. Continue to News Release.

The recipients of this year's awards were:

Featured Faculty for Excellence in Engagement – Donald Mueller

Donald W. Mueller Jr., associate professor of engineering, has participated in significant, sustained, high-impact engagement activities with local industry. His collaborative academia-industry engineering projects include working with students, colleagues and local industry to apply engineering knowledge, experience, to provide solutions to challenging, real-world problems. The methodology common to each of these projects involves mathematical modeling and computer simulation as part of engineering analysis or design. Since 2011, Prof. Mueller had undertaken:

  1. Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center Projects (IN-MaC Projects - 2)
  2. Technical Assistance Program (or Agreement) Projects (TAP/TAA Projects - 8)
  3. Engineering Senior Design Projects (ESD Projects - 6)

Prof. Mueller also initiated the IPFW Engineering Research and Design Conference—a symposium series to bring together members of industry and academia, both faculty and students, to share current practices and activities, such as those describe above.

Mueller's Faculty Website

Featured Faculty for Excellence in Research, Creative Endeavor, and Scholarship – Zhuming Bi

Zhuming Bi, associate professor of mechanical engineering, explains that sustainable manufacturing is to make products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. Prof. Bi’s sustainable research involved students, helped areas companies and promoted collaboration across departments, disciplines and nations. He has contributed significantly to developing enabling technologies for system reconfiguration, modeling and simulation, and enterprise information systems.

Bi's Faculty Website

Featured Faculty recipients receive a professional development stipend in the amount of $1,000 and are asked to deliver a brief presentation to the IPFW campus community highlighting their work.

The 2016-2017 Featured Faculty Selection Committee was composed of the following faculty members:

  • Adam Dircksen, continuing lecturer in communication
  • Marcia Dixson, assistant vice chancellor for learning and teaching
  • Linda Hite, chair and professor of organizational leadership and supervision
  • George Kalamaras, professor of English and linguistics
  • Rachel Rayburn, assistant professor of public policy
  • Beverly Redman, chair and professor of theatre

2015-2016 Recipient

Kalamaras-GeorgeWabash Watershed FinalKalamaras' Faculty Website

George Kalamaras is a professor of English at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), a post he has held since 1990. Kalamaras recently served a two-year term as Indiana Poet Laureate from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2015. Professor Kalamaras was honored with the first-ever Featured Faculty for Excellence in Engagement award. “George is more than deserving of this award, given his work to share his love of poetry, reading, and writing across the state of Indiana,” said Marcia Dixson, associate professor of communication and assistant vice chancellor for teaching and learning. 

2015 Recipients

Adam Dircksen Adam D. Dircksen, M.S.
Continuing Lecturer, Department of Communication

From the time Adam Dircksen was working on a master’s in professional communication, his interests have focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Investigating, implementing, and teaching innovative and effective strategies to engage students in online classes has long been the emphasis of his work. Dircksen is committed to helping the IPFW community build and deliver effective and engaging online and face-to-face courses. He has served as an online course retention mentor, as a CELT teaching fellow, and as lead fellow. He has worked closely with more than a dozen faculty as they have built and taught their first online courses. A member of FACET, he is currently serving on IPFW’s leadership team, investigating retention in IPFW’s online courses. Dircksen regularly presents on SoTL-related topics, including retention in online courses, student engagement in the classroom, accessibility in online courses, developing effective online teaching evaluations, service learning in face-to-face courses, service learning in online courses, conducting effective online discussions, constructing rigorous and meaningful online courses, oral presentations in online courses, facilitating real-time online discussions, etc. Dircksen is from northeast Indiana and is proud to be an IPFW Department of Communication alumnus. He has served as the department’s online course director since 2008.

Michelle A. Drouin, associate professor of psychology

Michelle Drouin Michelle A. Drouin
Dean, Helmke Library

Since joining the IPFW Department of Psychology, Michelle Drouin, Ph.D., has developed an active undergraduate research lab, a productive research agenda that has attracted international media attention, and service to the campus that has helped to enrich teaching and learning. Drouin mentors 5-15 research assistants (RAs) each semester in conducting psychological research. Drouin has supervised more than 60 RAs—33 have presented their work at conferences and 9 have been coauthors on publications. Since 2008, Drouin has had a two-pronged research agenda, producing both disciplinary and pedagogical works related to the impacts of technology on relationships, communication, and teaching and learning. Drouin’s work on sexting, digital infidelity, and technology addiction has attracted attention from international media sources like The Huffington Post, NBC News, and The New York Times. Many students have been coauthors on these works, and she has also developed active collaborations with a number of IPFW faculty members. Meanwhile, Drouin has also been focused on the ways in which technology can be used in the classroom, leading SoTL research projects on two major IPFW initiatives—implementing iPads in the classroom and mentoring online teachers to improve online students’ learning.

about featured faculty

Each year, IPFW faculty are honored as Featured Faculty for their outstanding performance in the area of research, scholarly activity, creative endeavor, teaching, or engagement. As a quality measure that distinguishes IPFW from other institutions of higher education, the accomplishments of the Featured Faculty illustrate the comprehensive and significant contributions of IPFW faculty in the creation of new knowledge, provoking student curiosity, and scholarship of engagement at IPFW and beyond.


  • Showcase IPFW faculty
  • Elevate exemplary teaching qualities
  • Recognize the significance of creating new knowledge
  • Exhibit excellence in teaching with creative and scholarly works
  • Advance a culture of engagement
  • Emphasize the scholarship at IPFW
  • Communicate the benefits of intellectual opportunity for students at IPFW
  • Demonstrate the benefits of IPFW’s intellectual resources for our community and society
  • Create prestige, recognize, and motivate faculty
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