Waynesburg University presented the 2021 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards to three faculty members during the March 23 Charter Day virtual celebration.
Presented annually, the awards recognize faculty in three categories: Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty, Excellence in Introductory Subjects and History of Teaching Excellence.
“We are grateful to the Lucas-Hathaway Charitable Trust for providing the opportunity for us to recognize outstanding faculty members every year,” said Provost Dr. Dana Cook Baer. “The three faculty members who were selected this year are talented and compassionate individuals. They represent the many faculty and staff members at Waynesburg University who recognize that the gifts we have received are not ours alone, and, like many others, they use them for the purpose of serving Him and serving other people.”
Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty
Recognizes a non-full-time faculty member who teaches at any Waynesburg University site or online.
Described as an “example of dedication,” Jeremy Olisar, part-time lecturer in music, received the 2021 Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty Award.
A nomination stated that Olisar “creates a teaching environment that is encouraging, even when students fail” and that he “always finds a way of turning student difficulties into a teaching tool.”
Another nomination described Olisar as being “caring and considerate of students” and shared that he “prioritizes their skills.”
Olisar holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Clarinet Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Minors in Music Education and Conducting. He also holds a Master of Arts in Band Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University. He is certified in music education (K-12) in the state of Pennsylvania.
Aside from his duties at Waynesburg, Olisar has been involved in a number of instrumental music teaching experiences with local school districts.
He is a member and the director of the James “Fuzzy” D. Randolph Kiltie Band.
Excellence in Introductory Subjects
Recognizes a faculty member with teaching excellence in introductory subjects.
Introduced as a faculty member who “espouses the Christian mission of the University,” Dr. Sherry Parsons, assistant professor of nursing and director of Student Health Services, received the 2021 Excellence in Introductory Subjects Award.
Nominations for Dr. Parsons shared that she “goes above and beyond for students and teaches with hope, wisdom and encouragement” and that she “keeps material organized and accessible at all times and makes sure everyone is following along and grasping the information.”
Another nomination said that she is a “rock star professor,” who is “all about providing support and care when it’s needed.”
Dr. Parsons joined the University in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Waynesburg University. More recently, she earned a Ph.D. in education, specializing in Nursing Education from Cappella University.
Dr. Baer highlighted that, as the director of Student Health Services, Dr. Parsons played an important role in the successful implementation of COVID-19 protocols on campus.
History of Teaching Excellence
Recognizes a faculty member with a history of teaching excellence.
Presented as a faculty member who is “a phenomenal leader with creative and practical ideas,” Dr. Faith Musko, assistant professor of forensic science, received the 2021 History of Teaching Excellence Award.
One of the nominations for Dr. Musko shared that she makes “information interesting and relatable by designing classes in ways that are useful for real-world applications.”
Another nomination stated that “as a mentor, scientist, role model and amazing all-around educator, Dr. Musko reminds students that they can succeed and challenges them to explore their limits to help them grow.”
Dr. Musko holds a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science with Minors in Biology and Chemistry from Waynesburg University, a Master of Science in Forensic Science with a concentration in Criminalistics from the University of Central Oklahoma and a recently completed Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership from Robert Morris University.
She currently serves as the chair of the Professional Development Committee and organizes the University’s annual CSI Camp for prospective students.
Lucas-Hathaway Charitable Trust
The Lucas-Hathaway Charitable Trust has established an endowed fund that provides two annual teaching excellence awards for full-time faculty members and one award for a part-time faculty member. Faculty members were nominated by students, faculty or alumni. Each recipient will receive a commemorative plaque and a $1,200 award. The Trust is funded by J. Richard Lucas and C. Joan Hathaway Lucas, members of the class of 1950.