Faculty recognized for achievements at Fairmont State

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fairmont State University’s outstanding faculty members were recognized on Thursday, April 2, during the Faculty Achievement luncheon for their exemplary efforts throughout the 2018-2019 academic year.

“Around here, we’re fond of saying, ‘Welcome home,’ and the hard work and dedication of our Fairmont State faculty truly make this campus a home for our students,” said Fairmont State President Mirta Martin. “Whether it’s in the classrooms, the labs, or in the field, our teacher-mentors prioritize the education, safety, and personal growth of every Falcon. Thank you for all that you do. We could not fulfill our mission without you.”

Faculty were recognized for their years of service: 20 years – Denice Kirchoff, Sharon L. Mazure, Dr. John O’Connor, and Gerald Sapp; 25 years – Frances Young; and 30 years – A. Joseph Shaver and Robert C. Weaver. 

The following faculty members were honored at the event: Leisa Muto, William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence; Dr. Andreas Baur, Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award; Jan Kiger, Faculty Recognition Award; Marcus Fisher, Fairmont State Foundation Fellow Award; Tom Cuchta, Fairmont State Foundation Grant; Jason Noland, Excellence in Academic Advising Award; Paul Edwards, Outstanding Adjunct Award. 

William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence: Leisa Muto

Professor Leisa Muto, CPA, CMA, joined the Fairmont State faculty in 2014 and is currently an associate professor of accounting.  She holds a Master of Professional Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting, both from West Virginia University.  She has also earned a Master of Arts in Latin from Marshall University and a Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies from West Virginia University.  Most recently, Professor Muto has adopted cutting-edge flipped classroom approaches in her courses which have improved student learning and engagement.  As a result of her efforts in course design, she has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards including the 2015-2016 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs Region 2 Award for Teaching Excellence.

Harold and Roselyn Williamson Straight Award: Dr. Andreas Baur 

Dr. Andreas Baur received his doctorate in organic chemistry from the Universität Regensburg in Germany. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles and a lecturer position at the California State University at Fresno, he joined Fairmont State in the year 2000.  Andreas was promoted to professor of chemistry in 2010 and was awarded the William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015. During his subsequent sabbatical leave, he joined Dr. Jessica Hoover’s research group at West Virginia University as a visiting scholar conducting research in the areas of inorganic chemistry and catalysis.

Faculty Recognition Award: Jan Kiger

Jan Kiger uses her multiple roles as Department Chair of Health and Human Performance, Program Coordinator of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership minor, Faculty Leader for the Wilderness Explorer First-Year Seminar Program, and Advisor for the Explorers Club as platforms to inspire and educate students to be their best selves.  These roles, along with her previous experiences as a Division I women's basketball coach, public school teacher, and owner of an outdoor shop provides her with a rich and interesting background that encourages students to explore their possibilities. 

Outstanding Adjunct Award: Dr. Paul Edwards

Dr. Paul Edwards started teaching at Fairmont State in 1967. He began his career teaching history, including the first ever Black History course at the college in 1969. He created and taught other courses over the years such as The Future in Global Crisis, The Ecology of Man, Empowering Leadership, Ideas of Great Leaders, and Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. He also spearheaded the creation and teaching of the English as a Second Language program, the Community Service Learning Program, and over a dozen Lifelong Learning classes. During his tenure, Dr. Edwards served in the positions of Dean, Vice President, and Provost for the college. Upon retiring in 2009, he continued his professorship in an adjunct status and has enjoyed utilizing his expertise to instruct Honors courses over the last decade. 

Foundation Fellow: Marcus Fisher 

Marcus Fisher is an assistant professor for the Information Systems Management (ISM) program at Fairmont State University. In addition to advising students, Professor Fisher focuses on advancing the University in areas such as application development and testing, big data analytics, intelligent systems and machine learning, robotics and automation, embedded systems, and information assurance and cyber security. Professor Fisher’s areas of research include systems and software engineering, intelligent systems, application testing, cyber security, verification and validation, and embedded systems. Mr. Fisher earned his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at West Virginia University in 1999 and 2001 respectively, where he also earned his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology in 1996.  

Foundation Grant: Tom Cuchta

Tom Cuchta is a West Virginia native whose hometown is Moundsville, WV. He attended Marshall University for his bachelors and master's degrees in mathematics, and he then attended Missouri University of Science and Technology for his PhD in mathematics studying special functions and difference equations, which he earned in 2015. Tom started at Fairmont State in August 2016.

Outstanding Advisor Award: Dr. Jason Noland 

Dr. Jason Noland serves as an Assistant Professor in the School of Education, Health & Human Performance.  His primary responsibilities are to teach EDUC 2201: Instructional Technology, various courses in the M.Ed. in Digital Media, New Literacies, and Learning.  He also teaches the Music in the Elementary Classroom course, serves as liaison to Blackshere and Simpson Elementary School's, and is a national CAEP accreditation site visitor.