Frostburg State University will present three professors with Faculty Achievement Awards during this year’s University Honors Convocation at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, in the Pealer Recital Hall, FSU Performing Arts Center.
This year's recipients are Dr. Karen Soderberg-Sarnaker, Division of Performing Arts, for Academic Accomplishment; Dr. Diane C. Blankenship, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, for Teaching; and Dr. Randall Rhodes, Department of Visual Arts, for University and Community Service.
Soderberg-Sarnaker's superlative academic achievements have been recognized by educators, musicians and music-lovers throughout the state for many years in her roles as performer, choral adjudicator, clinician and conductor. Some of her greatest contributions in recent years have been presentations of selected master works (Handel’s "Messiah," Brahms’ "Requiem" and Orff’s "Carmina Burana") by combining University ensembles with community choirs and regional orchestras. In addition to these undertakings, dozens of other activities/performances signify high achievement in the performing arts. Included among these are performances at the Royal Festival Hall, London’s premier concert facility. Additionally, she has guided the FSU choral program from virtual non-existence to one noted for its excellence and, in particular, for its performances of music from many cultures.
Blankenship, throughout her tenure at FSU, has been viewed and appreciated as an innovative teacher who enlivens her courses by integrating the profession into the overall learning environment. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes creating enjoyment within the educational process for herself and her students. She employs a variety of instructional techniques to teach course concepts and then asks students to link the concepts with a written paper and a service learning experience. This year, she also received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Service Learning from the FSU Institute for Service-Learning in recognition of her efforts to include service experiences in all her courses, partnering with local and state community organizations in need. Blankenship’s work to strengthen the Recreation program’s internship experience and the development of a mentorship program have created vehicles to enhance students’ transformations from student-learners to talented practitioners.
Rhodes’ service contributions to the University have been extensive. From 1998 to 2005, he has served with distinction in several leadership roles: first, as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and then, more recently as chair of the Faculty Senate. In this latter position, he brought an energetic and innovative approach to problem solving that helped bring several major University initiatives to fruition. He is recognized and appreciated as a leader who, by setting and maintaining a positive tone, was able to forge significant consensus among his faculty and administrative colleagues on potentially divisive issues. Additionally, Rhodes has served the University as co-coordinator of the Women Studies minor, chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, member and 2006 chair of the University Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements Subcommittee, member of the Graduate Education Task Force and as an active participant in FSU’s online initiative.
In addition to the Faculty Achievement Awards, the University Honors Convocation recognizes students who have earned Graduate Program Honors, Undergraduate Department Honors and Honors in General Education. The Faculty Achievement Awards are made possible through generous gifts to the FSU Foundation, Inc.
For more information, contact the FSU Office of the Provost at 301-687-4212. FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office at 301-687-4102, TDD 301-687-7955.