Thursday, April 18, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Dr. Kateryna Schray selected as Outstanding Faculty Award winner

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Kateryna Schray, a professor of English at Marshall University, has been selected as MU’s Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2012-2013.
Schray will receive $5,000 through a grant from Charles B. and Mary Jo Locke Hedrick. The award is named in honor of Charles Hedrick’s father, Charles E. Hedrick, a former history professor and later Chairman of the Graduate Council, and one of the founders of Marshall’s graduate program.
Marshall’s Center for Teaching and Learning announced the Hedrick Award and two others honoring four faculty members. They are:

Here is a brief look at the awards and the winners:
Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award
This award recognizes a full-time faculty member who has a minimum of seven years teaching experience at Marshall and has a record of outstanding classroom teaching, scholarship, research and creative activities.

Dr. Kateryna Schray has been at Marshall since 1996, when she was hired as an assistant professor of English.

“Dr. Schray is, quite simply, an exemplary teacher,” said John Van Kirk, also an English professor at Marshall. “Dr. Schray is one of those rare people who can shine brilliantly both in the classroom and on the page, an innovative and truly inspiring teacher and a scholar of the first rank.”

Schray describes her teaching philosophy as “embarrassingly simple: provide students with a supportive learning environment, identify and build on their strengths, and make each person an active participant in his/her own education, all the while remembering that learning is inherently joyful.”

Dr. Jane Hill, chair of the department of English, said she has “never had a colleague who more vividly and completely embodies the ideals of our profession.”

“Dr. Schray’s reputation as a teacher is, quite literally, national in scope,” Hill said. Hill said that for the past two years, Schray has been among the top five teachers in America, according to, and the highest-rated English professor in the country.

“From the moment she started work on Marshall’s campus, she has established a record of outstanding scholarship, teaching and service, and maintained the excellence in all these areas consistently over all the years she has been here – an extraordinary achievement,” said English Professor Shirley Lumpkin.

Schray previously received the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001and the Reynolds Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009.

Schray said she takes three guiding principles with her into the classroom: 1, Learning is a joy; 2, Come as you are; 3, An education really does make a difference.

“I have taught writing in an industry setting, in a homeless shelter, in a convent, and in an impoverished country,” Schray said. “In all those settings my students were taking an active step towards improving their lives in a way that nothing else could. I want my students to leave my class with a quiver full of lightning bolts and the confidence to launch them.”

Schray earned her Ph.D. in Medieval Literature from the University of North Carolina in 1997. She received her bachelor’s degree from La Salle University and her master’s from Georgetown University.

Marshall & Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award

This award includes a $3,000 stipend, and all full-time faculty members who have completed six or more years of service at Marshall are eligible.

Dr. David Hatfield served as chair of Marshall’s English department for eight years before returning to the classroom in 2008. It was a challenge going back to full-time teaching, but according to Hill, Hatfield met that challenge and more.

“Dr. Hatfield models a trust in the learning that is possible for Marshall students,” Hill said. He has developed “a pedagogy of meeting students where they are and working with them to move toward the skills, knowledge, and interests that we want them to have.

“That he has maintained such a high level of student satisfaction during his transition from a primarily administrative role as chair for eight years to a full-time teaching role is even more impressive.”

Hatfield believes the most effective aspect of his teaching is that he helps students interrogate and develop their own habits of mind.

“I have to be in charge of the discussion, but the times I’m at my best in that role is when I’m invisible in that role, because I believe that students, given the right tools and opportunities and environment, also can teach themselves – and that’s the kind of learning I have found most valuable and that sticks with the students,” Hatfield said.

English Professor Dr. John K. Young, Hatfield’s colleague since the fall of 2000, said Hatfield played a vital role in reconfiguring the English undergraduate curriculum by revising the senior capstone course.

According to Young, Hatfield ceded the “structural authority ordinarily inhabited by professors in order to enable students to invest in their own educations.” Hatfield’s students “engaged in a genuine problem-solving endeavor, enabling them to generate more authentic artifacts of their learning,” Young said.

Whitney Douglas, a former faculty member at Marshall who worked with Hatfield, said his students tend to think of his courses “not as a required class, but as a vibrant intellectual space.”

“That clearly speaks to the kind of learning environment he creates for students, and the possibilities he opens up for their intellectual engagement,” Douglas said.

Hatfield earned his Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University in 1993. He received his bachelor’s degree from Marshall in 1981 and his master’s from Marshall in 1983.

Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award
Each of these three award winners receives a $1,000 stipend. The award honors outstanding junior faculty. All faculty members teaching on a full-time, tenured or tenure track appointment who are at the instructor or assistant professor rank and who have completed one to five years of service at Marshall are eligible.

Dr. Allison E. Carey came to Marshall in 2010 from a part-time position at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and a full-time instructor position at Cannon Upper School, a private school in Concord, N.C.

“Her excellence in making the transition to Marshall as teacher, scholar and colleague has been seamless,” Hill said.

Carey earned her bachelor’s degree and her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, and her master’s from the University of Florida. She says three aspects of her teaching are most effective in helping students to achieve the learning outcomes: practice, support and praise.

The students practice various skills they are learning; they are supported through extensive feedback, which is not always academic, from Carey; and, she praises her students as frequently as possible.

“Students thrive on praise – as do we all – and I think that helps them grow as students,” Carey said.

Lumpkin highly recommended Carey for the Pickens-Queen Award.

“I think she is a model of the reflective attitude, the efficient, high energy, productive, well-organized classroom teacher, and the engaged scholar of teaching the Pickens-Queen was designed to honor,” Lumpkin said.

Dr. Laura Michele Diener joined the Marshall faculty in 2008 and, as history Professor Montserrat Miller said, “we have never been the same since.”

“Her love of history is tremendously infectious and from what I have observed from visiting her classroom and from occupying an office across the hall from hers, no student is immune.

Dr. Daniel Holbrook, associate professor and chair of the history department, said Diener’s classes generally involve projects that go beyond reading, researching and writing. They frequently, he said, involve “hands-on” experiences with material artifacts.

“Thus, for example, in her class on the history of textiles, students get to actually work with fibers, carding, spinning and weaving them to produce fabric,” Holbrook said.

Diener stresses the importance of writing in her classes.

The most important concept students can learn in my class is that their strongest asset is their writing,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if they are writing essays, research papers, creative prose, or poetry – their words are valuable.”

Diener earned her bachelor’s degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies in 2000 from Vassar College, her master’s in history in 2003 from The Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in 2008 from Ohio State.

Daniel Kaufmann was hired in the School of Art and Design in 2009 from a pool of well over 100 candidates. He has fit in well with the art faculty and fits the dynamics of the school, especially by integrating current technologies into the courses he teaches and by developing the facilities that are provided to the students, according to Professor Peter Massing.

“He has exceeded the expectations that new members in our department continue to present,” Massing said.

Kauffman teaches photography in the School of Art and Design, but also teaches broad-ranged skills and concepts that can be translated to any number of career choices.

“The skills I would like students to gain from my courses are self-advocacy, technical problem solving and critical thinking,” Kaufmann said.  It is important, he said, to build a strong sense of community in the classroom.

“Having a sense of community in the classroom creates a dynamic learning environment in which peer interaction and discourse helps to drive the content of the class,” he said.

Kaufmann received a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1997 and a bachelor of arts degree in studio art in 2003, both from Florida State University, and a master of fine arts in studio art in  2008 from the University of New Mexico.

“Kaufmann effectively transfers his creative energy, enthusiasm and expertise to students,” said Byron Clercx, director of School of Art and Design. “He is acutely aware of their desire for independence and their concurrent need for technical, conceptual and (at times) emotional guidance.”

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
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