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Awards For Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Faculty Service Granted at Convocation

At Muskingum University's Convocation, held August 30 on the campus, three faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.

Sandra ShroerThe William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra Schroer. This award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University.

In recognizing Dr. Schroer, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. Schroer teaches – as an operating principle – by incorporating hands-on experiences or service-learning experiences in her classes; a strategy that research has shown to be highly effective in engaging students in their learning, motivating them to excel, and assisting them in the mastery of essential subject matter.”

Dr. Schroer joined the faculty in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo.



Karen DunakThe William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Associate Professor of History Dr. Karen Dunak. This award is named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago.

Of Dr. Dunak’s scholarship, Dr. Callaghan noted that in her first year of teaching at Muskingum in 2010, her book-length manuscript on the culture of the white wedding was accepted for publication by the prestigious New York University Press and was released in 2013.  Titled, As Long as We Both Shall Live: The White Wedding in Postwar America, the book immediately received positive reviews in the leading journals of her field – including the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History.  A nomination letter for the Harper Award from one of her fellow faculty members credited Dr. Dunak with “an extraordinary publication record for a young scholar.”

Dr. Dunak earned her bachelor’s degree from American University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.


Ronald LauckThe Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Ronald Lauck. It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Professor Lauck’s achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan quoted one of Professor Lauck’s fellow faculty member, who said, “Ronald spends countless hours working one-on-one with student technicians, many of whom have gone directly into successful technical careers or to prestigious graduate schools. His investment in students continues long after graduation and his impact is felt far from our campus.”

Professor Lauck joined the Muskingum faculty in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Bluffton College, his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and his master of fine arts degree from the University of South Dakota.