Four professors honored with Bingham Awards
Four Transylvania professors have been recognized for their outstanding work in the classroom with Bingham Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The award comes with annual salary supplements for five years. A committee of outside educators selects the award winners based on classroom visits, essays from the candidates, and student evaluations.
Assistant professor of biology Sarah Bray has been at Transylvania since 2007. She came to Transylvania from Midland Lutheran College, now Midland University, in Fremont, Neb. She earned a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Florida in 2005. Her research interests include native ecosystems, and most recently she has been working at the University of Kentucky to examine how bush honeysuckle is impacting microbial communities and ecosystem processes.
“I challenge students to devise ways to examine and test real hypotheses and analyze data both in the classroom and laboratory,” she said.
Assistant professor of English Elizabeth Corsun came to Transylvania in 2007 from the University of Iowa, where she was a visiting assistant professor. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa in 2005. Corsun’s research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, popular fiction, Victorian
theater, and the British novel tradition.
“To make reading literature a lifelong habit is an invaluable accomplishment, and the most gratifying reading experiences are often the most exacting,” Corsun said. “Therefore, as a teacher, I help students who are already readers to hone their analytical skills and to deepen their understanding of historical context and literary tradition.”
Assistant professor of mathematics Ryan Stuffelbeam came to Transylvania in 2007 from The Ohio State University, where he was a postdoctoral fellow. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Iowa in 2004. Stuffelbeam’s research interests are in representation theory and number theory. He has been working for two years in p-adic numbers, the Collatz conjecture, continued fractions, and transcendental numbers.
“My ultimate goal is to have students working with the course material in a hands-on fashion and arriving at their own understanding of the concepts rather than rote memorization,” he said. “To achieve this, I believe that an environment in which discussion and curiosity are valued is a necessity.”
Assistant professor of education Tiffany Wheeler ’90 joined the faculty in 2002. She earned her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on literacy from the University of Kentucky in 2007. Her research interests include literacy and language learning, multicultural education, and culturally responsive instruction.
“I try to create a classroom atmosphere where a variety of perspectives are encouraged and valued and where students feel comfortable challenging each other and me in respectful ways,” she said. “I collaborate with the students to set ground rules for discussion in my courses, especially ones that address contentious issues such as race, ethnicity, and social inequalities. I have found that when the students help to create the tone of the classroom environment, they feel a great deal of ownership and connection to their classmates, which promotes thoughtful, engaging, and respectful discussion during the course.”
Computer science professor Kenny Moorman ’91 was promoted to full professor. He came to Transylvania in 1997 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a computer science instructor. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
English professor Kremena Todorova was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. Todorova joined the Transylvania faculty in 2005 after spending time at the University of Notre Dame as a visiting scholar. She earned a Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame.
Chemistry professor Robert Rosenberg was granted tenure. He came to Transylvania in 2007 as an associate professor from Salem State College, where he was an assistant professor for six years. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University.