2020 Award Recipients
Jane Machin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing
Donald N. Dedmon Distinguished Teaching Professor Award
Dr. Machin is known for her commitment to providing innovative and engaging learning experiences. Evidence of this can be found in the long list of student organizations and competition groups she has advised. Dr. Machin integrates creativity and discovery into her classroom. Growing up in England spending rainy weekends engaged in building with Lego and playing card games, she came to believe that play is in not the antithesis of work but rather worthy of serious consideration in the higher education classroom. Play she says is interactive and transformative; it requires observation, teamwork and grit, and most importantly encourages critical thinking and creativity. For these reasons Dr. Machin actually prioritizes various types of play in the classroom, even in classes with 120 students. She uses play techniques to address issues of accessibility, diversity and inclusion in the classroom, and broader issues such as nutrition and sustainability. She prepared her course “Creativity and Innovation” for Citizen Leader designation, developed a new course, “The Innovation Playground”, serves as faculty lead for Makers Living Learning Community and collaborates on teaching in the regional jail. Her reputation as a preacher of play has led to demonstrations at numerous national pedagogical conferences and training sessions for her colleagues here. In 2016, Dr. Machin won the national Innovations in Teaching Award from the Society for Marketing Advances and in 2019 she won the Master Teacher Award from the national Marketing Management Institute. She works continuously to improve her own quest for discovery and knowledge acquisition, working towards her MFA in Design Thinking from Radford University. She then conveys that knowledge and enthusiasm to her students through innovative and creative exercises, developing skills that will be of value long after graduating. The success of her teaching methods can be seen in her stellar student evaluations as well as her students’ achievements. One student notes that she is “By far my favorite teacher in college. I talk about her to all my friends. I show off my class journal to my friends.” Another found that “She is very gifted at getting others to open their minds to different thinking processes.” Dr. Machin represents the ideal in academia of a teacher scholar whose synergistic activities in teaching and research have produced excellence both inside and outside the classroom. One colleague divulges that she still uses Lego blocks in class. Another colleague concludes, “Recognizing her work with this award will be a much-deserved honor for Dr. Machin and will continue to add value to the award for colleagues that aspire to follow in her footsteps.”
Dr. Machin earned the Ph.D. in Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. (Hon) in German, Russian and Business Studies from the University of Wales, Swansea.
Taylor Hawkins is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Master of Business Administration student at Radford University. She graduated as a Highlander Scholar from Radford University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. During this time, she designed and completed two research projects focused on invertebrate endocrinology that lead to both oral and poster presentations at international, national, regional, and campus conferences. Additionally, she used this research to develop a science outreach program, Radford’s Roach Roadshow, which she presented to over 100,000 individuals at museums, schools, and digital events across 42 states, as well as Ontario, Canada. She received prestigious Biology awards for her research and outreach efforts including, the Ruth Bricker Painter Award, a Radford University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, the Presidential Research Scholarship, the Dean’s Biology Education Scholarship, the Radford University Undergraduate Biology Research Award, a Student Travel Scholarship, the Scarlet Mangum Award, and Radford University’s Honors College Capstone award. She also developed leadership skills, as a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician and the first female Chief of Radford University’s Emergency Medical Services, as President of the Biological Honors Society, Beta Beta Beta, and as a founding member of the Peer Career Coaches team at the campus Career and Talent Development Center. While in her last semester of undergraduate education, Taylor participated in her first Marketing course and went on to win the BB&T Innovation Challenge. This opportunity inspired her to bridge her science background with her newfound passion for business research, where she currently uses eye-tracking software to understand key aspects of the recruiter resume reading experience.
Leslie Daniel, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education
Distinguished Faculty Advising Award
Dr. Daniel is seen by her colleagues as always having her students’ best interests at heart. Her advising load includes significantly more students than usual, including undergraduates in the special education major, all special education minors and graduate students in the autism studies certificate program. She takes the time to get to know her advisees, and supports them in all aspects of their higher education experience. She knows academic policies and procedures in a detailed way and is able to apply them in advising her students. Serving on the REAL Implementation Steering Committee and the Academic Management sub-Committee she is now involved in the transition to a new general education curriculum and works to ensure that students’ needs are forefront in the process. She is a mentor to new faculty in their advising activities and makes herself available to her colleagues as much as to her students. With students, she practices “intrusive advising” which requires getting to know them as individuals; learns their unique attributes in order to build a trusting relationship and to offer them the most appropriate advice. She is skilled at facilitating the successful transition of students from community colleges into the Special Education program and works with Transfer Quest. She is both a cheerleader for their successes and a source for stress relieving strategies when faced with anxieties. Her knowledge of campus support systems enables her to direct students as needed to other offices on campus. Her effectiveness is demonstrated through consistently positive feedback from her students. She has become a role model for students in their own aspiration to become educators. Student seek her advice at they enter the job search and interview processes and she is called upon to write numerous recommendation letters each year.
Dr. Daniel earned the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. She has the B.S. in Special Education from the State University of New York – Geneseo and the M.S. in Education Administration from Radford University.
Lindsey is preparing to be a special educator. In two field experiences thus far she has demonstrated that she will be a wonderful teacher. She understands how to reach reticent students and is able to get them to engage in class material. Lindsey understands you must develop strong relationships with students and does so with love and good humor. During her time at Radford University, Lindsey has faced several major life stressors that could potentially derail a college career. Nonetheless, she maintained high standards for her school work. She’s now working on her master’s degree in special education. I’m so pleased I may help to alleviate a little of the stress she is under by designating this scholarship for Lindsey.
Nicole Hendrix, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice
Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Hendrix personifies what it means to be a servant leader. Throughout her 14 years at Radford University numerous examples of her demonstrated commitment can be found. Her work ethic is described by her colleagues as unmatched and unparalleled. Her success in her service work has flowed from her immense patience, empathy, and ability to listen to other’s point of view. Her combination of work ethic, temperament and commitment to shared governance are respected and appreciated by her colleagues. Dr. Hendrix is described by many as a visionary with an innate nature to look beyond the current question or problem and determine how today’s actions will shape the future of Radford University. First as Interim Core Curriculum Director and now as Executive Director of General Education, Dr. Hendrix has supported the entire campus as we carve out our own path on the new landscape of higher education with the REAL general education curriculum. She chaired the Academic Values Exploration Team that initiated the process of re-imagining general education. Seeing the value in the insight, experience and expertise of the faculty, she built on faculty enthusiasm for new approaches to general education and in a campus wide effort brought nearly everyone to the table, expanding the table size as needed. She worked diligently to have all perspectives heard and considered which meant both leading teams of faculty on developing the REAL model and obtaining feedback by meeting with academic departments, leadership teams, REAL sub-committees, Senate committees for untold periods of time. One colleague notes that her fair-mindedness is always evident as she weighs the impact and effects of her own decisions and the decisions of the working groups of which she is a part. As another colleague concludes, “For a person to serve in any one of these roles shows a strong commitment to serve the university, but to lead and serve so many of these important efforts show a level of service that deserves to be recognized.”
Dr. Hendrix earned the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the University of Albany. She has the B.S. in Criminal Justice and the M.S. in Criminal Justice, both from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.
Anna Ketron is a graduate student in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Anna came to Radford University from East Tennessee State University. She received a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, a minor in Public Health, and a concentration in Allied Health and graduated Cum Laude. Anna has served as the graduate assistant assigned to the Core Curriculum for the past two academic years. She has demonstrated outstanding, responsible, and energetic support for the Core Curriculum, including the new approach to general education, the REAL curriculum. Her work with the Core Curriculum has supported faculty and students across our campus. Regardless of the tedium or complexity of the task, Anna has shown a willingness to jump in without hesitation to support the unit to the best of her abilities. She manages to balance her rigorous course schedule and her commitment to supporting our general education program. She is a joy to work with and an exemplar of what a Highlander is and can achieve. Anna Ketron is an outstanding student and Dr. Hendrix is overjoyed to have her recognized as part of her award for service to our campus
Robert Trent, D.M.A., Professor of Music
Distinguished Creative Scholar Award
Dr. Trent sees scholarly inquiries and professional activities as informing his teaching and having direct impact on student learning, achievements, engagement and career success; graduates of the music program provide the proof that he is successful in his efforts. In 2001 he founded the Radford University International Guitar Festival and has served as its grant writer, administrator and artistic director. As one colleague notes, “Envisioning such a project, cobbling together funding, locating and recruiting first-class guitarists from around the world and doing an incredible amount of logistical organizing combine to demonstrate what an incredible degree of dedication and creative energy Dr. Trent has exerted to make this project thrive.” A former student describes how Dr. Trent focused on the ‘why’, just as much as the ‘how’, providing the student with a “depth of study of technique, musicianship, and pedagogy” not available at other universities. Dr. Trent’s scholarship includes inquiries into ergonomic approaches to technique, injury avoidance, performance anxiety and the importance of community outreach. He has served as chief editor and a peer reviewer for Soundboard Scholar, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA). The current editor notes that “He is an expert on the nineteenth-century history of the guitar … His lectures on this repertoire in important venues such as the GFA Convention are continuing to have a important influence on the players and teachers.” His own outreach activities include tours in Brazil, Thailand and Vietnam, which are planned and implemented with students. The Naxos label, which is the largest producer/distributor of classical music in the world has released a 2020 album on which he is the sole performer. He has recorded with numerous other labels as well and his performances can be heard on various online streaming services, and have been reviewed by the New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as Fanfare and Soundboard musical review journals . Videos of performances can also be played from his website roberttrentguitarist.com. Dr. Trent is the recipient of numerous international awards and commissions, and invitations for solo and festival performances, residencies, and adjudications. As one external reference notes, “His contributions to his students and the guitar world have been enormous, on-going, and wonderfully consistent over the years and have tangibly elevated music education and musical performance standards world-wide.”
Dr. Trent earned the D.M.A from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. He has the B.M from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and the M.A. in Guitar Studies from Trenton State College (which awarded him the title of Distinguished Alumni).
In 2015, I guided my guitar studio honors students on a combination study abroad and professional concert tour of six Brazilian cities. I also taught guitar students at a university in each of the cities. At one of our residencies, the Federal University of São João del-Rei, a young freshman guitarist performed for me in my masterclass. He was the best guitar student in all six universities where our students and I performed, learned and taught. After graduating with his Bachelor’s degree, he applied for the graduate music program and to be my graduate assistant. Among Octavio’s activities and accomplishments since matriculating into the M.A. degree program was winning first prize in a national guitar competition where he bested doctoral students from The Eastman School of Music, Hartt School of Music, The Peabody Institute, Michigan, The Manhattan School of Music. Over the pandemic separation from the campus Octavio not only kept working, he created online music festivals and conferences with musicians in Brazil, the United States and around the world, which can be found on his blog and Instagram. But, Octavio isn’t in this only for himself, he is a leader; coaching our RU undergraduate students several days a week, and assisting with several classes. He also serves in the community by delivering food for Radford Senior Services, riding with Dr. Myrl Jones, and speaking and performing for the Local Rotary Club. He is deserving of our support in every way.
Meghan Viet, M.S., Director of the Patricia Langford Roughton Teaching Resources Center
Administrative and Professional Excellence Award
Meghan Viet is in her thirteenth year of service as Director of the Patricia Langford Roughton Teaching Resources Center. Ms. Viet is known for providing exceptional service and support for faculty, staff and students. She is very adept at discerning individual needs and efficiently provides clear and concise information. Meghan is the go to person for resolving technology issues in the classroom, working closely with the college’s Technology Coordinator. She is known for taking on tasks beyond her assigned duties that would be a burden on faculty and staff, picking up the slack with aplomb. Her quick wit and attention to detail has endeared her to the faculty and staff in the College of Education and Human Development. In every encounter she is thoughtful, resourceful, and dependable. She maintains a quiet, behind the scenes presence and is driven by how she can be helpful to students, faculty, the university and the broader community. An example of this is how she expanded the idea of bringing a children’s author to speak to Radford’s pre-service teachers into a partnership with Radford City Public Library and Schools in what is now known as Radford Reads with Radford University which was awarded the Virginia Public Library Directors Association Award for Outstanding Program in Cooperative in 2019. Ms. Viet is always willing to lend a hand and was invited to join the planning team for the Schoolhouse Learning Community in 2018 and has both coordinated and attended various workshops and events. This service allowed Ms. Viet to understand better the challenges facing first and second- year students. She is described as being deeply invested in the success of our students. In the words of her Dean, “Meghan’s knowledge, skills, and dedication to our college and the university make her very deserving of the Administrative and Professional Excellence Award.”
Ms. Viet earned the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with Licensure in Elementary Education and the M.S. in Education with Licensure in Library Media, both from Radford University.
Paulette Wright is currently pursuing teacher licensure in secondary Social Science with plans to teach in grades 6-12. Paulette was a member of the inaugural Schoolhouse Learning Community, “a living and learning community that connects and inspires prospective educators from all disciplines and grade levels.” Paulette joined the Schoolhouse Creative Team, of which I was the faculty lead, in her first semester in the community. She, along with her teammates, volunteered their time to assist with t-shirt and bulletin board design, among other projects. In her second year on the Creative Team, Paulette was asked to serve as a liaison and “peer lead” for the group. She enthusiastically agreed and put in extra time to meet with me and her peers to discuss potential projects. While living on campus in the learning community, Paulette led in a variety of ways. She assisted with planning events and facilitating activities at Schoolhouse retreats. She agreed to set up and volunteer in McConnell Library for the MLK Jr. Day of Service, working with school-aged children from the Radford City community. She also volunteered at a local school event to lend assistance and learn more about project-based learning. Most of all, Paulette was engaged and consistently there to support her friends, fellow community members, and the mission of the Schoolhouse. Paulette, now in her third year at Radford University, is on her way to becoming a great educator.