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  • Celebration of Excellence 2020

    The Distinguished Faculty Award 

    The distinguished faculty award is the highest award a faculty can receive at Gannon University.  The Faculty Senate calls for nominations and potential recipients are thus nominated by their peers.  The Faculty Senate decides on the recipient from the nominees. 

    Michael Messina

    Michael Messina, Ph.D.
    Professor of Marketing and Director of Graduate Business Studies

    Excellence in Teaching 

    Each year the Student Government Association recognizes one faculty member for their commitment to the student body, academics of Gannon, and continuing growth of Gannon's spirit and its thriving community. 

    Finalists are chosen based on strong classroom performance, research in their field, outside involvement with students and dedication to the University community. The top ten applicants are then pooled together and voted upon by the student body. 

    Suzanne Kitts

    Suzanne Kitts, Ph.D.
    Program Director and Assistant Professor of Applied Exercise Science Department

    Veritas In Caritate 

    "Veritas In Caritate", translated "truth in love", is the motto of Bishop Lawrence T. Persico, Bishop of Erie. The "Veritas In Caritate" Award, given in honor of the current Bishop of Erie, will be presented to a faculty or staff person who exemplifies this motto through the faith, hope and love that guides their life both in and out of the Gannon University Community. The recipient of the award will be selected from nominations submitted by students. 

    John Ranney

    Dr. John Ranney, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Psychology

    Undergraduate Research Award 

    The undergraduate research award is an award given by the Faculty Senate, in which potential recipients are nominated by their peers. 

    Jessica Hartnett

    Jessica Hartnett, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, Psychology Program

    Excellence in Advising Awards 

    The Excellence in Advising Award is designed to recognize a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated the qualities of an exceptional academic advisor. 

    We have faculty advisors who regularly take a few extra minutes to listen, who invest a little more energy in helping resolve an issue, and who care enough to make an extra phone call.  We want to recognize their efforts and the positive impact they have on their students.    

    While the decision was difficult because there were several highly qualified candidates, one advisor from each college has been selected to receive the Excellence in Advising Award. The recipient of these awards will be from nominations submitted by students. 

    College of Engineering and Business

    Michelle Homan

    Michelle Homan, Ph.D.
    Professor and Chair of Environmental Science and Engineering
    Nominated by: Isaac Merritt, Environmental Science 

    "Dr. Homan first and foremost is an extremely disciplined and organized professor. She values the relationship between instructor and student, always making sure to be professional and courteous. Her classes are well thought out and the assignments/readings are all relevant to what she is teaching and the majors that she advises for. Dr. Homan stays humble throughout her classes. She could be considered an expert in toxicology, but she carefully notes when things are not her personal research or specialty. She brings up the most interesting but also current events to help students learn and be interested. This could be from current events or things that have happened locally in the past. Dr. Homan makes sure she is always available to speak with for both classes and career questions. She'll help with graduate school goals and internships. She is constantly emailing opportunities to everyone within the ESE community. I really believe she teaches because she believes in my generation as the future of environmental protection and change for the betterment of humanity. Through all these things, she still has a sense of humor." 

    College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

    Barbara Townsend

    Barbara Townsend
    Associate Teaching Professor of Psychology
    Nominated by: Ashlyn Keenan, Biology-Secondary Education 

    "There is not a single person that I feel that embodies the role of an academic advisor better than Ms. Barbra Townsend. Since the time that I first met her when I was in high school, she has always been a positive outlet for not only myself but my other peers as well. She goes above and beyond to exceed the expectations of any advisor, and I believe that she represents this award to the highest uttermost extent….There is no one more deserving of this award then Ms. Barbra Townsend. She exceeds all expectations of an academic advisor. Her passion for her job and students is endless, her commitment to her student's well-being can easily be seen, and she is a role model to not only myself, but many other students at Gannon as well. She has touched and changed the lives of so many students, and I cannot emphasize enough how much she deserves this award. Even though she is not my direct advisor anymore, she continues to support me to this day, and I will forever be grateful for her guidance and support." 

    Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences

    Michele Karnes

    Michele Karnes, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Post Professional OTD Program
    Nominated by: Shari Stover, Post Professional OTD 

    "Dr. Karnes has gone above and beyond supporting myself through this online journey. She makes herself available through her email, Zoom meetings, and even with text messages to her personal phone. She puts in so much time, she deserves a raise! She sent me a card of encouragement in the spring and often reminds me through emails that the end is in sight and that I can do everything needed to earn my OTD. She helps me to be a better writer for my capstone. We go back and forth with different sections (and now the whole thing) and she makes comments but does not do the writing for me. I have grown so much under her advisement." 

    Excellence in Service Learning 

    The Award for Excellence in Service-Learning recognizes outstanding teaching that combines student learning with application in the "real world" as a service to the community. 

    Kristin Valdes

    Kristin Valdes, OTD
    Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Doctoral program, Ruskin campus

    Academic Safety Award

    The University Academic Safety Committee (UASC) presents this award annually to a member of our Gannon community (an employee, department or division) whose efforts to foster a safe, healthy, and orderly educational environment have been outstanding. 

    Patrick Smith

    Patrick Smith
    Training Officer, Campus Police and Safety

Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK)

Gannon University Begins Construction on Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge. Learn more about I-HACK.