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Manchester University is recognizing three members of its faculty for distinguished teaching, scholarship and service.
The 2015 Teacher of the Year is Dr. Rachel Polando, assistant professor of biology. “She can make science come to life,” said one student, who explained that Polando uses humor and helps them “apply what we are learning.”
In addition to teaching the natural sciences, the Mishawaka resident also instructs those in the First Year Seminar program and took students on a January 2015 course to Australia.
“She is not just a great teacher,” said John Deal, economics department chair who nominated her, “she is truly a great mentor and inspiration for her students.”
Effective Aug. 16, Polando will become an associate professor.
Dr. Jim Brumbaugh-Smith, associate professor of mathematics, received the award for service. Chairman of his department, he is well-known for his enthusiasm and thoroughness. As chairman of the Values, Ideas and the Arts Committee, for example, the North Manchester resident works to increase the variety and number of presentations that help expand student horizons.
Learning ballroom dancing a few years ago, Brumbaugh-Smith has since performed in the Otho Winger Experience, started a Latin and ballroom dance club on campus and brought in professionals to teach and enlighten students about the dances’ histories. He also serves on the coordinating committee for the Fort Wayne Ballroom Special Olympics.
The 2015 scholarship award recipient is Dr. Katharine Ings, an associate professor and chair of the English Department. She is a versatile author and scholar, and her journalistic, editorial and traditional scholarly accomplishments are many. She does journalistic work with Selvedge, an acclaimed international textile and fashion magazine, for example, and teaches a course called “The Fashion Police: Understanding the Clothes on our Backs.” Under her guidance, the Oak Leaves student newspaper won nine statewide awards from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association this spring.
Most recently, the North Manchester resident published a review essay in African American Review, the preeminent journal of the field; a book review in the prestigious Journal of Canadian Poetry; and presented an overview of her sabbatical project, “Blood Mothers: Redefining Science Fiction through the Miscegenation Pamphlet of 1863,” in a faculty forum. She is currently copyediting the Norton Critical Edition of 12 Years a Slave.
The honorees were selected by the Appointments Promotions and Tenure committee on the North Manchester campus.
(For release May 14, 2015)