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College of Education and Human Sciences presents 2024 faculty, staff awards

Friday, May 3, 2024

Media Contact: Christy Lang | Manager, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-9740 |

Oklahoma State University's College of Education and Human Sciences recognized faculty and staff excellence in service, mentorship, research, teaching, creativity, innovation and more on Wednesday.

In total, 14 awards were presented, nine to faculty and five to staff members.

The 2024 recipients are:

Faculty Awards 

Dr. Sheri Vasinda — associate professor in teaching, learning and educational sciences — received the Global Education Faculty Excellence Award, which honors excellence in international teaching, research and outreach programs.

Dr. Yoo Kim — assistant professor of nutritional sciences — received the Marguerite Scruggs Award for Meritorious Early Career Research, which recognizes faculty who, through achievements in the early stages of their careers, demonstrate outstanding potential to become distinguished faculty of the college in the future. 

Kim was also awarded the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award for his contributions in developing the next generation of scholars. The award is intended to advance undergraduate student development and support the university’s undergraduate research agenda. 

Dr. Jay Dawes — associate professor of applied exercise science — received the Research Excellence Award. The award honors individuals who have demonstrated meritorious achievement in research. Dawes co-directs the Tactical Fitness and Nutrition Lab and his research focuses on improving health, fitness and occupational performance for first responders and military personnel.

Dr. Jon Smythe — assistant professor in teaching, learning and educational sciences — received the Teaching Excellence Award, recognizing unusually significant and meritorious achievement in the instruction of students for a period of four or more years.

Robin Fisher — lecturer in the School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences — was also awarded the Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Douglas Knutson — assistant professor and director of the Health Education and Rural Empowerment Lab — received the Graduate Faculty Excellence Award in recognition of his achievements in leadership, scholarship, professional involvement and university and community service, especially as it relates to involvement with graduate students and contributions to graduate education. 

Dr. Mike Yough — associate professor, educational psychology program coordinator and director of the Motivation in Classrooms Lab was — received the Leadership and Service Excellence Award for his exceptional level of loyal service to the college, OSU and broader community.

Dr. Sarah Johnson — clinical assistant professor in the School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology — received the Outreach Teaching Excellence Award for her exceptional contributions to advancing the university's land-grant mission through outreach. 

Staff Awards

Melynee Naegle and Kayley Watson were awarded the Staff STAR Award. The Staff STAR award recognizes CEHS staff members who are considered all around stars by their department as well as those outside their immediate work group. Naegele is a field coordinator and success coach with the Unidos Se Puede/United We Can project in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Watson is a sponsored programs specialist in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. 

J.D. Winterhalter — CEHS Information Technology manager — received the Creativity and Innovation Award. This award recognizes staff whose big ideas and creative thinking help address challenges in CEHS with special consideration for collaboration and commitment to the college mission.

Ann Hentges — Patricia Kain Knaub Center of Student Success administrative support specialist — received the Morsani Staff Service Award for her exceptional level of loyal service to CEHS. This award is intended to emphasize the importance of service, leadership and commitment to OSU. Hentges has given 31 years of dedicated service in her role.

Senior academic advisor Michelle Crew was presented with the Staff Mentor Award for her servant-leadership and helping others to achieve their goals. This award recognizes CEHS staff members who have successfully mentored and encouraged colleagues to reach their fullest potential in the college and in their career. 

Story By: Jillian Walker |

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