Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2018 COST Faculty Recognition Awards

Dr. Brunskill, Dr. Surmacz, Dr. Shaikh and Dr. Lister.  Dr. Polinski is absent from the photo.
The College of Science and Technology is proud to announce the 2018 Faculty Recognition Awards. The award winners are Dr. Jeffrey Brunskill and Dr. Cindy Surmacz for teaching, Dr. Mohsin Shaikh and Dr. Matthew Polinski for scholarly activity and Dr. Lisa Lister for service.

Dr. Brunskill joined the Department of Environmental, Geography, and Geological Sciences (EGGS) in 2006 and has risen to the rank of Associate Professor. At Bloomsburg, he has taught of variety of courses, including Map Use and Analysis, Meteorology, Principles of GIS 1, and Principles of GIS 2. Dr. Brunksill’s recommender highlighted that “the success of the GIS program and its popular minor are in large part due to Dr. Brunskill’s vision and skills as a teacher and mentor.” In an act of a truly committed educator, Dr. Brunskill even requested that his office be attached to the GIS computer lab to increase his availability to students. Exit interviews with graduating EGGS students revealed that many students count Dr. Brunskill among their favorite professors. Students have noted that he is the hardest, and yet best, professor who teaches students how to teach themselves. Dr. Brunskill’s recommender cannot think of a higher praise from students than to be categorized as hard and highly effective. “We are lucky to count him among our faculty.”

Dr. Surmacz is currently in her 36th year as a faculty member in the Biological and Allied Health Sciences Department (BAHS). As noted by her recommenders, “No one teaches more students year in and year out than Dr. Surmacz” and “she carries a very heavy teaching load with great skill, enthusiasm, and hard work.” Dr. Surmacz primarily teaches Concepts in Biology 1, Anatomy & Physiology (A&P) 1, and A&P 2. She has essentially taught every BAHS major, and many Nursing and/or Exercise Science majors, at least once. Her student evaluations continue to reflect an enthusiastic and effective instructor. Dr. Surmacz continues to be a major contributor to the Academic Biology Learning Environment (ABLE) Center that she founded. Her recommenders noted, “she does everything that she can to ensure student success in the classroom.” Dr. Surmacz also serves on the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee and dedicates untold time to student education and mentoring. Dr. Surmacz is characterized as a “model educator that should be commended for her dedication and commitment to students inside and outside the classroom.”

Dr. Shaikh is currently in his third year as Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. In the last two years, Dr. Shaikh has published four peer-reviewed articles in the journals Audiology Research (twice), Journal of Hearing Science, and Journal of Medicine and Public Health. He has also authored or co-authored five national presentations with four BU graduate students at recent American Speech & Hearing Association conventions. Dr. Shaikh has also been awarded two internal Research & Scholarship grants to fund his research. He has also applied for external funding to support the impactful research that he conducts at BU. Dr. Shaikh is also the Graduate Coordinator for the Audiology graduate program. Dr. Shaikh’s recommender lauded him as “a valuable addition to our department who has been become instrumental in the education of audiology students at both the undergraduate, and in particular, the graduate level.”

Dr. Polinski is currently in his fifth year as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. In the last two years, Dr. Polinski has published six publications, in the journals Science and Nature Chemistry just to name a few, and one book chapter on Plutonium Halides. His recommender noted this is the most-ever publications by a faculty member in the department in a two-year period; the recommender also highlighted a recent publication in the prestigious American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry that featured a BU graduate as first author. Dr. Polinski continues a very active research lab featuring six undergraduates during this nomination period. Dr. Polinski has also been award two internal Research & Scholarship grants and has also sought out external funding. Most significantly, Dr. Polinski is one of an extremely small number of people on the planet to study Einsteinium (Es) chemistry, and he was chosen to travel to Florida State when a literal Act of Congress was used to make workable amounts of the rare element for scientific study.

Dr. Lister is an Associate Professor in the Mathematical and Digital Sciences (MADS) Department. Dr. Lister’s recommender highlighted how Lisa has spent her career improving student’s education experiences and being a dedicated and efficient contributor to the department and university. Dr. Lister has been leading recruitment and retention efforts for over twenty years through the university’s High School Math Contest, which attracts over three-hundred (300) yearly, and the creation of the Math Tutorial Center. This center has been a training ground for many students, including Secondary Education Math students, and provides aid to any student taking a mathematics course. This whole endeavor is under the watchful, dedicated, and enthusiastic eye of Dr. Lister. She does all this while continuing to be the College Algebra Course Coordinator, Chair of the Department Curriculum Committee, member of the COST Curriculum Committee, and other various service engagements at multiple levels of the university. As her recommender noted, “Dr. Lisa Lister has gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve BU.”

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