Five Brookdale professors accepted one of the college’s most coveted honors on Sept. 2, after being selected by their fellow faculty members for the 2014 Outstanding Colleague Award.
Sociology and criminal justice Professor Joseph Boyle, nursing Professor Barbara Burk, English Professor Brandon Gramer, mathematics Professor Brian McKeon and history professor George Reklaitis were announced as winners during the first college-wide faculty meeting of the 2014-15 school year, following the fall convocation on the Lincroft campus.
“We are extremely proud of you all,” said Dr. Dianna Phillips, executive vice president for educational services, who presented the awards along with history Professor Jess LeVine and fitness Professor Michael Toomey.
The award, which includes a gift and an engraved plaque, is presented annually to up to five faculty members who exhibit excellence in teaching and outstanding service to the college community. First established in 1987, the awards give faculty members a chance to recognize their colleagues for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Boyle, LeVine said, was recognized for teaching in and even chairing two different academic departments, while working as an advisor to the Water Watch Club, sitting on promotion committees and actively participating in college life at Brookdale.
Burk was honored for developing and teaching simulations in the nursing program, volunteering her time in the Teaching and Learning Center, spearheading the African Literacy Project, co-chairing a governance committee and much, much more.
“Students seek her out for help, and she has developed a multitude of clever strategies to support student learning,” LeVine said.
Gramer was recognized for his creative ideas and volunteerism as well, including his use of the Bankier Library as an active learning classroom and his active role in college governance as a steering representative. He is also vice president of the faculty association.
Known as “boss” in his department, McKeon oversees and closely works with nearly 100 adjuncts, LeVine said. All 21 members of the math department signed his nomination form.
“From Middle States to presidential appointed committees to governance, this colleague has served on them all,” LeVine said.
Reklaitis was recognized as an “energetic and refreshingly creative department chair” who acts with integrity and true concern for his colleagues. He recently spearheaded a comprehensive course content reorganization and materials revitalization effort for a course commonly taught by a number of different department members.
He is a member of countless boards and committees, LeVine said, including the Information Technology Committee and the executive board of the Center for Conflict Resolution and World War II Studies.
The award presentations followed a comprehensive faculty meeting that touched on a number of new and ongoing Brookdale initiatives, including the renovations and additions at the Wall Higher Education Center and the college’s transition to Sharepoint this January.
Camille Shelley and Joe Pingitore spoke in detail about the new Brookdale OneCard, which has replaced all staff and student IDs this year. More details are available here.
Dr. William Burns, dean of the arts and communication, gave a fascinating presentation about the ongoing work at the Neptune Higher Education Center, where a financial gift to the new Poseidon Early College High School program will help build “the classroom of the future.”
Technological upgrades, including new digital projectors, web-enabled “smartboards” and cloud-based virtual desktops, will be used in conjunction with redesigned desks and classroom setups to create a more immersive and interactive environment for Brookdale’s next generation of students.
While the improvements will start in Neptune, Burns said they will eventually come to Wall and Lincroft as well.
“It’s a very exciting time,” he said.
Click here for more photos of the awards ceremony.