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Professors Adams, Rao and Van Horn awarded faculty honors

Faculty members Dr. Amanda Adams, Dr. Diane Rao and Dr. Stephen Van Horn were recognized for excellence in scholarship, teaching and service at Muskingum University’s Opening Convocation ceremony in the Anne C. Steele Center on Tuesday.

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship, The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award are awarded to members of Muskingum’s faculty at the beginning of each new academic year.

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship, named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago, was awarded to Associate Professor of English Dr. Amanda Adams.

Dr. Adams earned her bachelor’s degree from Miami University, her master’s from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctorate from the University of Oregon before joining the Muskingum faculty in 2010. She has published articles on nineteenth-century literature that have appeared in such journals as Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations and American Literary Realism. Since 2012, Dr. Adams has presented six papers at major conferences in the United States and Europe. In 2014, she published a book, “Performing Authorship in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Lecture Tour” with Ashgate Press.

The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching, named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University, was awarded to Professor of Theatre Dr. Diane Rao.

Dr. Rao earned her bachelor’s degree from Gannon University, her master’s and doctoral degrees from Bowling Green State University. She began her career at Muskingum in 1995. She instructs courses in theatre performance, theatre history and speech communication. During her time at Muskingum, Dr. Rao has directed more than 25 productions and written plays for students to present.

The Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award, named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades, was awarded to Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Stephen Van Horn.

Dr. Van Horn earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his master’s from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He joined the Muskingum faculty in 1999.

During his time at Muskingum, Dr. Van Horn has co-authored nearly thirty conference papers with students, and was key in the development and implementation of Muskingum’s Petroleum Geology major. Dr. Van Horn has served as a department chair, a leader of search committees for president and provost, and executive secretary of the faculty.