November 3, 2009
Elizabeth Blevins, Director, Office of Communications
Office: (740) 351-3810; FAX: (740) 351-3179; Cell: (740) 464-4854
940 Second Street – Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Web site: www.shawnee.edu
Three Shawnee State University Professors
Recognized for Excellence in Education in Ohio Magazine
Ohio Magazine created “Excellence in Education” for Ohio
colleges and universities in 2003 to recognize outstanding
educators. This year, three professors at Shawnee State
University will be recognized in the December 2009 issue —
Drs. Janna Gallaher, Kurt Shoemaker and Chris Kacir.
one reason that students say they choose SSU is the
personalized attention they receive from faculty,” Dr. Rita
Rice Morris, SSU President, said. “Our professors are
experts in their fields and they find innovative ways to
share their knowledge with students to motivate them in and
out of the classroom. The three professors chosen exemplify
the level of teaching excellence at Shawnee State
University. They make us all proud.”
Dr. Janna Gallaher, professor in computer engineering
technology, has been a practicing electrical engineer for 40
years. She has used her industrial and commercial experience
to help shape the focus for the computer engineering
technology program at SSU.
“Janna is innovative, developing a distance learning system
integrating educational and computer technology with the
Internet that enables high school students to study
engineering technology at their home schools,” said Carl
Hilgarth, professor and chair, Department of Engineering
Gallaher’s industrial background has also helped her to be
instrumental in mentoring students in the program’s capstone
projects course which is intended to prepare the students
for real-world project development and management.
Dr. Kurt Shoemaker, assistant professor of Geology, helps
students perform field-based studies near campus. Advanced
students complement laboratory studies with extended field
trips. He believes that the classroom study is only half of
“Kurt is an exceptionally talented instructor,” said Dr.
Jeffrey Bauer, professor of natural sciences and interim
associate provost. “He provides his students with a relaxing
learning environment that brings out their very best. He is
one of the university’s driving forces in bringing scholarly
presentations to campus.”
Professionally, Shoemaker has conducted research on volcanic
and tectonic developments in the northwestern United States.
He is active in the Geological Society of America and
chaired sessions in both sectional and national meetings.
Dr. Christopher Kacir, associate professor of psychology,
developed partnerships with SSU’s Master of Occupational
Therapy program and Ohio University’s Department of Social
Work which increased the opportunities available for local
students to attend graduate school. He teaches several
popular courses including counseling, abnormal psychology
and evolutionary psychology.
“Chris has improved the curriculum of SSU’s psychology
majors resulting in a rigorous program with increased
student research and internships,” said Dr. Timothy Scheurer,
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He is a committed
scholar and has provided invaluable service to his
department and as chair of the university’s Education
Policies and Curriculum Committee.”
Kacir was nominated by a colleague and received the annual
College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching award at
SSU in 2009.