2017 Bradley Faculty Awards

September 22, 2017

The members of the Bradley faculty the University selects to award are some of the most accomplished members of the campus community. They are being recognized for their achievements in teaching, scholarship and service.

Francis C. Mergen Memorial Award for Public Service

2017 Recipient - Dr. Dean Cantu

Lydia Moss Bradley demonstrated through her action the importance of hard work, philanthropy and public service. It is her legacy that instilled these values in others serving the University and its community. One such individual is Dr. Francis C. Mergen, former chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering who, during his lifetime, shared his industrial engineering experience and his personal & professional resources to help others. To honor Dr. Mergen’s selfless commitment to public service, Bradley created the Francis C. Mergen Memorial Award for Public Service. This award is presented annually to a Bradley faculty or staff member who has distinguished them self in public service.

It is Bradley University's pleasure to announce the Francis C. Mergen Memorial Award for Public Service recipient. Like Dr. Mergen, this year’s recipient has distinguished them self on the job, as well as with local & state organizations. Their passion, dedication and drive to make our community a better place are truly outstanding and are clearly evident through their volunteer efforts. It has been said one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. This year’s recipient certainly does that by serving on the Peoria Academy Board of Trustees, Elmwood School Board of Education, Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force, Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and many other organizations - all while holding a day job on the Hilltop.

Many of the letters of support expressed similar thoughts that our recipient helped their organizations navigate challenging times, set a clear course for effectiveness and fostered collaborative interaction. This individual’s willingness to tirelessly give back and give forward, is a true example of public service leadership that emulates the legacy of Dr. Mergen.

On behalf of the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter and Bradley University Alumni Association, the University is pleased to present the 2017 Francis C. Mergen Award for Public Service to Dr. Dean Cantu, Chair of the Department of Teacher Education.

Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching

2017 Recipient - Dr. Mohammad Hossain

Another faculty award Bradley grants is the Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching. Nominees must hold a full-time, tenure-track faculty appointment, but they must not yet have attained tenure status.

This year’s Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching is awarded to someone who is described as always making a special effort to connect cutting-edge research with his teachings. He presents complex information in a way that is easily absorbed and understood at a deep and fundamental level. He is known to routinely bring his students on field visits so they can see how their coursework correlates to the day-to-day work in their fields.

In his nomination, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, Dr. Mohammad Hossain, is described as having “a palpable enthusiasm when teaching." And, he is “a great example of a young faculty member who has embraced the Bradley teacher-scholar concept and has excelled in both areas.”

He strives to stay on the leading edge of the industry and is known to engage in critical student centric service activities to ensure his students get a well-rounded experience at Bradley.

His students describe him as “knowing how to take hold of the attention of a whole room and hold it throughout the entire class. He even found a way to insert engineering humor in even the worst situations.” They say he would always find a way to relate his lessons to the real-world, showing how they would use it someday.

Another nominator said, “Dr. Hossain always finds time to answer our questions. It may be between classes or at two in the morning. He is the kind of professor that every teacher should strive to be."

Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship

2017 Recipient - Dr. Lane Beckes

The Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship is awarded to Dr. Lane Beckes, assistant professor of Psychology.

Dr. Beckes joined Bradley in 2013. His interest is in neurobiology and the psychology of interpersonal relationships and emotion. His research focuses on the social regulation of emotion, social bonding & affiliation and empathy. He has published over 20 scholarly works, and he is first author on 13 of those publications, including 5 since he’s been at Bradley. He has also sponsored 5 peer-reviewed conference presentations at regional and national research conferences that included a total of 11 undergraduate authors.  

He continues to sustain productive collaborations with colleagues at other institutions and is well known for the impact his research has had on the field. In fact, Forbes magazine recognized one of his publications as one of the most important scientific publications of the year.

He is described by his nominator as a productive, impactful and mission-focused scholar. He is thoughtful, exhibits good humor, is fully responsible to departmental mission & values and is an exceptional departmental citizen.

He is “not the type of scholar and researcher who is productive at the expense of his teaching duties, rather he fully embraces his role as a teacher and has developed courses that have high standards, large enrollments and receive highly favorable ratings.”

Samuel Rothberg Professional Excellence Award 

2017 Recipient - Dr. Edward Remsen

The Samuel Rothberg Professional Excellence Award recognizes outstanding achievements in research and creativity by a senior faculty member. Recipients are expected to make original contributions to their field and submit these contributions for critical appraisal by their professional peers.

The recipient of the Rothberg Award is Dr. Edward Remsen, associate professor of Chemistry. He is in his 8th year at Bradley. His accomplishments are many including 94 publications during his career, with 10 published in the past 6 years. He has also served as a research mentor to 10 master’s students and 15 undergraduate students on the Hilltop. He has 3 patent applications and has given 33 external presentations on his research - 13 of those since he’s been with us.

His nominator says no other faculty member in the history of the department has had the successes in the area of scholarly production as Dr. Remsen.

Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching

2017 Recipient - Dr. Kevin Stein

The recognition of excellence in teaching became a tradition at Bradley in 1957, when Charles M. Putnam established the Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The 2017 Putnam Award recipient is Caterpillar Professor of English, Dr. Kevin Stein. His nominator says, Dr. Stein is the “most prolific faculty member in the Department of English.” He has published eight volumes of poetry, three scholarly books and two anthologies. While we have recognized him as a Caterpillar Professor, he’s also been recognized by the State of Illinois as the Poet Laureate, a position he’s held for 14 years. He’s received more awards than one has time to list.

During his 33 years at Bradley, he has continually revised and redeveloped his teaching style. He’s known to be thorough, fair and well organized. Students flock to his courses, and there are usually waiting lists to get into them.

One student writes, “As someone who wants to become a professor, Dr. Stein has inspired me to create a classroom environment like his - a place where students are respected, where it’s ok to make mistakes and where students don’t just sit in quiet intimidation, but they grow as people, citizens and contributors to the campus and our world.”

Faculty award winners (L to R): Dr. Dean Cantu, Dr. Edward Remsen, Dr. Kevin Stein, President Gary Roberts, Dr. Mohammad Hossain and Dr. Lane Beckes.