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By Melanie Conner, American Public University System Student and Alumni Affairs Liaison, and David E. Hubler, Quality Assurance Editor
Congratulations to our 2019 APUS faculty award winners! These awards recognize nine outstanding faculty members at the graduate and undergraduate levels who have demonstrated teaching excellence. They are University leaders and scholars, dedicated to guiding our students into the future.
Wallace E. Boston Leadership Award
James J. Barney is the 2019 winner of the Wallace E. Boston Leadership Award. It is given to a member of the APUS community for outstanding leadership and for making a significant impact on the community, industry or the world around us.
After graduating from American Public University with a Master of Arts in Political Science in 2009, James Barney became a part-time professor in Legal Studies at APU’s School of Security and Global Studies in 2010. He became a full-time associate professor in 2012. In 2016, he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award, School of Global and Security Studies.
Barney serves as a faculty advisor to the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and the Model United Nations Club.
Barney believes that several short, in-person experiences including participation in mock trials, Model United Nations and debating competitions provide online students with rich educational experiences.
He is currently conducting research on the United States Supreme Court and working on a project to launch an annual students’ study abroad trip to Europe.
Excellence in Teaching Awards
Dr. Richard “Dick” Leiter, Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching, School of Business
Dr. Richard Leiter has more than 25 years of full- and part-time collegiate teaching in economics, finance, marketing and management. He served as the Southern Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta reporting to the Secretary of Education.
His students share a common gratitude to Dr. Leiter for his specific feedback and attentiveness to economics questions or clarification of principles. Dr. Leiter prides himself on recognizing students who might be having trouble with online learning and encouraging them to reengage. He is sensitive to the small details and is prompt and thorough in responding to student questions and engagement.
Douglas Sloan, Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching, School of Health Sciences
Since coming to APUS, Douglas Sloan has consistently been recognized in the top 10 percent of faculty for engagement. Some noteworthy accomplishments include assisting the Health Information Management (HIM) Program Director in developing the Annual Strategic Plan for the HIM Program. He has assisted the HIM Program Director in numerous updates for all HIM courses and in the development of a HIM virtual coffeehouse to foster collaboration and networking among all HIM students, faculty and staff.
Sloan also has assisted the Dean of Health Sciences in the development of new curricula for a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Program, in solicitation and identification of a curriculum developer for the Master’s in Health Administration program, and as a mentor to two part-time faculty members.
Lisa Kochevar, Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching, School of Security and Global Studies
Lisa Kochevar has been teaching undergraduate courses at APUS since September 2011 and has more than 17 years of teaching experience in Political Science. She has served as Chair of the School of Security and Global Studies Brown Bag Committee for the past two years.
As a full-time faculty member, Kochevar has worked to provide her students with a fresh perspective on intelligence issues and policies. She has been a mentor to new faculty and has volunteered for initiatives like the Classroom Innovation and Interactive Content Project. In addition, she has worked to ensure that her courses draw from high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER).
Dr. Karen Hand, Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
As a leader in the field of technology, Dr. Karen Hand employs innovative technologies in her classroom, such as video lectures and coding simulations to demonstrate to her students the effects of newly taught code.
Having previously earned a Master’s in Open and Distance Learning and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies, Dr. Hand brings her Instructional Design expertise into her course development at APUS. She produces top-quality course development with features intended to draw students’ attention to the key requirements and learning objectives of the course, including checklists of weekly activities and detailed templates to guide students through all aspects of analysis and writing assignments.
Dr. Jennifer Sedillo, Graduate Excellence in Teaching, School of Health Sciences
Dr. Jennifer Sedillo sits on the curriculum committee for the Public Health Program and School of Health Sciences. She co-developed digital volunteering opportunities for public health students.
Dr. Sedillo says that her overarching teaching goal is to prepare her graduate students to be valuable members of the public health community, whether through research or service. She believes it is critical to include real-world assignments and critical thinking skills in her classes.
Dr. Sedillo values students’ contributions and the time they devote to higher education, so she wants to make sure their time is well spent in the classroom. She believes in challenging her students in their critical thinking and research skills.
Outstanding Faculty Awards
Dr. Joseph “Dylan” Maddox, Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year, School of STEM
Dr. Joseph Maddox came to APUS in 2014 as a part-time professor in Natural Sciences. He became a full-time faculty member in Environmental Sciences in 2016.
Dr. Maddox earned a B.S. at Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Chicago, University of Florida, and La Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana. He also recently received a Doctor Honoris Causa from La Universidad Científica del Peru in Iquitos.
Dylan is a Research Associate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and a docente extraordinario at La Universidad Científica del Peru. He has an active research program at both institutions with projects in Peru, Panama, Africa, Madagascar and the United States. He mainly studies the molecular ecology of birds, but also has projects involving plants and microalgae. He has produced 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Dr. Harry Cooper, Outstanding New Faculty Member of the Year, School of STEM
Dr. Harry Cooper began working at APUS as a full-time professor of Cybersecurity and Information Technology in the summer of 2018. He is currently serves on the School of STEM Curriculum Committee and the STEM Academic Quality Committee.
A native of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Dr. Cooper earned a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, Intelligence and Forensics from Utica College in New York. Dr. Cooper earned a Doctorate of Science in Cybersecurity in 2018 from Capitol Technology University, after successfully defending his dissertation, “Freedom of Information in the Age of Terrorism: The Mosaic Theory in Practice.”
Shannon Cichocki, Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Member of the Year, School of STEM
Shannon Cichocki came to APUS in 2007 as a part-time professor in the Information Technology department. She has master’s degrees in Business, Psychology and Information Technology. She also holds a certificate in the Open Group Architecture Framework TOGAF, ITIL and Configuration Management. Shannon is currently working on her doctorate in Cybersecurity at Capella University.
While teaching is her passion, she has worked full-time as a Configuration Manager at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since May 2000. Her work there includes supporting space shuttle efforts and the new Orion program, a new NASA spacecraft.
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the 2019 Faculty Excellence Awards. Their dedication to excellence and their selfless commitments are what we value in our faculty. We are proud of the APUS values that they demonstrate in their daily lives.