Four Honored with University Senate Distinguished Faculty Awards

Posted on 5/10/2017 3:28:50 PM

Since 1969, the University Senate has honored faculty members who make significant contributions to the university by presenting them with Distinguished Faculty Awards in the areas of creative arts, research, service, and teaching. Recipients of the awards are recognized during May commencement.

The 2017 award recipients are:

Award for Creative Arts

Stanley Chepaitis, Department of Music

Stanley Chepaitis, Senate Award for Creative ArtsStanley Chepaitis has served as a faculty member at IUP for 25 years. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree as well as the coveted Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.

He has studied violin with John Celentano, Renato Bonacini, Carroll Glenn, and Raphael Bronstein. He has studied jazz composition and improvisation with John Blake, Bill Dobbins, and Rayburn Wright. He currently chairs IUP’s string faculty and is first violinist of the Litton Quartet.

His recent performances include recitals at the Eastman School’s Kilbourne Hall and at the Academies of Music in Zagreb, Croatia, and Ljubliana, Slovenia. He has recently performed concerti with orchestra by Prokofiev, Dvorak, Beethoven, Bach, Saint-Saens, as well as his own Paganini in the Vernacular for violin and orchestra.

Chepaitis has recorded three CDs of original works. His latest CD, Double Take, features works by Bach and Telemann alongside original jazz compositions based on those works. He has also recently released a recording of progressive rock compositions by heavy metal drummer Mike Barnett well as a recording titled The Matisse Jazz Project with noted jazz pianist Chris Bakriges. The Matisse Jazz Project presents improvisatory performances based on Matisse’s paper collages.

Chepaitis has created an innovative, holistic approach for teaching improvisation to string players of all ages and is much sought after as a clinician. His recent clinics have taken him to Hannover, Germany; Michigan State University; Washington State University; Baldwin Wallace College in Cleveland; University of Ohio; University of Oregon; University of New Mexico; Eastern Washington University; Seattle; Wilmington, Delaware; and the Pittsburgh Music Academy. He was a master clinician for the American String Teacher’s Association’s first Alternative Styles Conference and has since presented at ASTA conferences in Reno, Kansas City, Detroit, Albuquerque, and Louisville.

Award for Research

Todd Thompson, Department of English

Todd Thompson, Senate Award for ResearchTodd Thompson earned his BA in English and political science at Kalamazoo College in 1997, his MFA in writing at the School of the Art Institute in 2000, and his PhD in English (American Literature) at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008. He is currently an associate professor of English and also serves as assistant chair of the Department of English

His recent publications include the book The National Joker: Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Satire as well as a number of articles, editions, and book chapters, including “American Literature Time Machine: Toward a Democratic Canon in the Undergraduate Survey Course” (co-written with IUP graduate student Kaitlin Tonti) in Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice; “‘Homespun,’ ‘Indian Corn,’ and the ‘indigestible…Stamp Act’: An Empire of Stereotype in Franklin’s Letters to the London Press” in Community without Consent: New Perspectives on the Stamp Act; “Satire in Circulation: James Russell Lowell’s ‘Letter From a Volunteer in Saltillo’” (co-edited with IUP alumnus Dr. Jessica Showalter) in Scholarly Editing; “‘Satire upon all of us’: The Self-Made Man as Confidence Man in P.T. Barnum’s America” in Nineteenth-Century Prose; and “From Brahmin to Biglow (and back again): James Russell Lowell as Temporary Satirist” in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance.

He recently was awarded a Peterson Fellowship, an archival research residency at the American Antiquarian Society.

Award for Service

Justin Fair, Department of Chemistry

Justin Fair, Senate Award for ServiceJustin Fair received a BS in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech, an MS in Chemistry from IUP, and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut. He is currently an associate professor of chemistry, whose primary teaching responsibilities include College Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and the Chemistry of CSI. Fair also mentors numerous undergraduate and graduate research students with research interests in green chemistry, neurotransmitter synthesis, chemical education, and teamwork.

Since joining the IUP faculty in 2009, Fair has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to serving the university and the Indiana community. Fair’s primary service contribution to IUP has been the development of the Research Experiences for Summer Scholars Program.

This program, first offered in 2014 within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, provides IUP students with mentored, summer research experiences and professional training in resume writing, networking, and presentation skills. RESS has received an overwhelmingly positive response from student participants and has proven to be a successful model for cross-disciplinary interaction and the development of a “community of science.” Enrollment in RESS has steadily increased under Fair’s direction, and the program has been expanded university-wide.

Fair also serves as his college’s chemical safety officer and on the University Safety Committee, the University Senate, the University-Wide Promotion Committee, the University-Wide Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and several other departmental, college, and university committees. Fair exhibits a similar level of diligent service to the local community as a volunteer member of the Indiana County Technical Rescue and Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Fair brings with him training and experiences as a nuclear medical science officer in the U.S. Army, where he was responsible for identifying and mitigating biological, chemical, and radiological hazards. Fair participates in all functions of the rescue team, and serves as the team’s chemical specialist. In this role, which requires extensive training and certification, Fair contributes to community safety by responding to incidents involving the release of toxic industrial chemicals, vehicle and semi-trailer accidents involving hazardous materials, and even structure fires when the Rapid Intervention Team is dispatched. Fair also participates in the Visiting Scientist program, offering numerous chemistry presentations designed to enhance the scientific interests of local school children.

Award for Teaching

Lisa Price, Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services

Lisa Price, Senate Award for TeachingLisa Price is a professor in the Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services, where she prepares students to be speech-language pathologists who can conduct thorough evaluations and provide gold standard treatments to children with speech, language, and developmental disorders in schools, hospitals, and clinics.

Price’s priorities as a professor in this clinical discipline are to provide learning experiences that build students’ knowledge of assessment and treatment for speech-language disorders; teach students to consume and apply research evidence that supports clinical choices; demonstrate and scaffold students’ use of high-quality clinical interactions and strategies so that they can provide effective services to children and their families; and facilitate students’ independence in clinical problem solving.

Her instruction centers on the goals of creating a community of learners, serving as a model for her students, and facilitating students’ internalization of external knowledge through learning experiences that move them from co-construction of knowledge to independent functioning. Price places utmost importance on providing quality experiences in her teaching so that her students have the knowledge and skills needed to positively influence the lives of the children and families they will serve in the future.

Price’s publications are closely linked to her teaching practice and include invited articles, professional development materials, books, book chapters, and articles in refereed journals. Most recently, Price co-authored the book Revitalizing Read Alouds: Interactive Talk about Books with Young Children, PreK–2, which was invited by the editors of the series and published by Teachers College Press. She has made numerous conference presentations and also regularly attends conferences for professional development. She received the 2012 College of Education and Educational Technology Outstanding Researcher Award. Additionally, Price is engaged in service at the university, college, department, and community levels. Price is a member of professional organizations and has had roles on national committees for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She served as a reviewer and editorial review board member for Reading Research Quarterly and a variety of other journals.

Price was recognized at the annual African American Cultural Center’s Pre-Commencement Reception as a faculty member who supports minority student achievement. She is currently a member of the College of Education and Communication's Inclusion Task Force, serves on the Racial Justice Coalition for Change, and is a mentor through the BLEND Mentoring Program and the Frederick Douglass Institute for Intercultural Research. Her work to secure funding for augmentative and alternative communication devices for children with severe speech disabilities recently earned her the 2017 Ray Coppler Disability Awareness Award.