Cameron University announces winners of University Choice Awards

Four members of the Cameron University faculty and staff have been selected as this year’s recipients of Cameron’s University Choice Awards, which recognize members of the campus community who best embrace and advance the mission of the university. Ron Gaines, Dr. Courtney Glazer, Marcella Gustafson and Terry Hacker received their awards during a ceremony yesterday at the Cameron campus. Each received a plaque recognizing his/her achievement as well as a $1,000 stipend.

 “The University Choice Awards recognize the achievements of Cameron’s faculty and staff,” says President Cindy Ross. “This year’s recipients each play a pivotal role in Cameron’s standing as the University of Choice for Southwest Oklahoma.”

The Cameron University Choice Awards were created in 2009 to recognize members of the campus community who best embrace and advance the vision of the university, as set forth in “Plan 2013: Choices for the Second Century.” That document serves as Cameron’s strategic planning guide for the first five years of Cameron’s second century. The university earned praise for its forward thinking and planning efforts from the Higher Learning Commission evaluation team, referring to Cameron as “future oriented” and remarking that strategic planning has moved from a weakness cited 10 years ago to a strength.

photo of award winners

Nominations were made by CU students, faculty and staff. In order to be eligible, nominees must have been employed full-time at Cameron for at least one year.

 “In each of the four categories, there were a number of deserving individuals nominated,” says Ross. “Nominators were thoughtful and effective in articulating why the individual nominated was deserving of the award.”

The University of Choice Award

The University of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron University the University of Choice by providing students a top quality education. Ron Gaines, Temporary Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the 2011 recipient. He is described as an excellent instructor teaching a diverse array of classes. One nominator noted his tireless commitment to Cameron’s students both in and out of the classroom, specifically complementing him for the countless hours he spends tutoring students. He is an advisor for students entering the allied health fields and is always on duty to offer students academic and career advice. Gaines consistently volunteers to teach additional students as needs arise, is a regular contributor to the university’s annual program quality improvement reports and volunteers to serve as an ambassador during summer Gold Rush events. 

The College Experience of Choice Award

The College Experience of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward providing students the College Experience of Choice by fostering a traditional collegiate atmosphere. This year’s recipient, Marcella Gustafson, International Student Admissions Coordinator, is noted for making Cameron the “College Experience of Choice” for a unique and special population of Cameron’s students—the international students. Her work with this student population often begins before the students ever reach campus as she guides future Cameron students through the complex world of international travel and student visas. She offers guidance to the International Club, Students of the Caribbean Alliance and other student organizations. Gustafson plays a key role in the annual International Student Scholarship Banquet.

The Location of Choice Award

The Location of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron University the Location of Choice for community and regional events. Terry Hacker, Carpentry Foreman, is the selected recipient. Hacker has helped make possible many of Cameron’s special events by lending his carpentry skills for construction and set-up. He has served the university for more than 20 years, and his “can do” attitude and professionalism are noticed by all who work with him. Among many other projects, he is credited for significant renovation work to the seventh floor of North Shepler, where offices were converted to residential suites, and the Cameron University Wellness Center.

The Partner of Choice Award

The Partner of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron University the Partner of Choice by expanding existing and developing new community and area partnerships that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of southwest Oklahoma. The recipient is Dr. Courtney Glazer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Education. Dr. Glazer is noted for her diligence in ensuring positive relationships exist between Cameron University and the public schools of Southwest Oklahoma and beyond. In addition, she works hard to place Cameron’s education students in appropriate and beneficial student teaching assignments. During the most recent visit by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Cameron’s education program received high marks for field experiences provided to students, educational opportunities that exist due to strong partnerships with area school principals and classroom teachers. Each semester Dr. Glazer hosts more than 60 public school teachers from Southwest Oklahoma on Cameron’s campus for a mentoring and training event. She also sponsors monthly meeting of Nationally Board Certified teachers and serves as a member of the Community Partnership Council Education Subcommittee, a partnership with Fort Sill.

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April 19, 2011

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