2012 U.S. Professors of the Year Award Nominee
The U.S. Professors of the Year Awards Program celebrates extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching at higher education institutions in the United States. Your nomination is a tribute to your years of excellent teaching and brings honor to your institution. You have demonstrated a passion for educating, a commitment to your students and innovative instructional methods that have inspired and motivated others.
September 16, 2011
Dr. Kristin Park, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1993, was promoted to professor of sociology. Park, who chairs Westminster's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, earned an undergraduate degree from Colgate University and master's certificate in Latin American studies, master's degree, and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She can be reached at (724) 946-7251 or email.
Council on International Educational Exchange's (CIEE) Faculty Development Award afforded the opportunity for Dr. Robison to attend the
Community Engagement and Development seminar in May in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
CIEE is a company that offers study abroad opportunities for college students, faculty and administration. The seminar focused on recent economic and social developments in Brazil, as well as engaging with various community members to learn directly from them. This seminar also featured lectures from various professors and community members, including: a lecture by the commander of Brazil's police pacification units that focused on the role of the peace keeping forces in Rio's favelas (hillside communities); a lecture on the effects of the drug and arm trades on the favelas, and a talk by the community organizer and trained city planner on the effects on the upcoming Olympics on the favelas.
Robison also participated in many field trips during the seminar, including to a police station for women to report domestic violence, sexual assault, or family-related issues; and a visit to the Cantagalo Favela to learn about a youth program started by a local woman and mother to keep the local children productive and out of trouble.
"This seminar was life changing for me," Robison said. "All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro right now as they prepare to host the 2014 Men's World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. It was such a great opportunity to learn from community members and scholars. The program director organized the seminar in a way that was engaging and culturally sensitive."
Robison continued, "I gained ideas for my courses, particularly my "Critical Issues in Policing" course being offered in Spring Semester 2014, and ideas for research in Brazil."
Robison, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2009, earned an undergraduate degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, master's degrees from The Ohio State University and Syracuse University, and Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Her research interests include police work, sociology of gender, intimate partner violence, and qualitative research methods.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Westminster College sociology faculty Dr. Kristenne Robison (assistant professor) and Dr. Kristin Park (professor) attended the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Aug. 19-23 in Las Vegas.
Robison received a SAGE/Pine Forge Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award to attend a pre-conference workshop on "The Best Teachers We Can Be: Learning Scholarly Teaching."
"This is a prestigious professional development grant focused on teaching and was very competitive in the selection process," Park said. "Kristenne and 2007 Westminster graduate Colby King, now a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of South Carolina, were two of only 20 who received this award."
"I learned a great deal from the pre-conference, including how to set the tone of the class on the first day, a new deep reading exercise for my classes, and how to be an engaging and effective lecturer," Robison said. "I found the conference to be a great space to reflect on my teaching, as well as to share and learn with others who are passionate about teaching. The conference reinforced the best practices I am already using and pushed me to think more deeply about the teaching practices I can improve."
Robison, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2009, earned an undergraduate degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, master's degrees from The Ohio State University and Syracuse University, and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.
Park, who serves as chair of Westminster's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, attended an all-day department chairs workshop that included panels and roundtable discussions.
"As a new department chair I found it very beneficial to learn how others have navigated their responsibilities," Park said. "I learned of helpful resources, including a new guide on conducting peer review of teaching and other resources to aid the scholarship of teaching and learning in sociology."
Park, who has been with Westminster since 1993, earned an undergraduate degree from Colgate University, master's certificate in Latin American Studies and master's and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Contact Park at (724) 946-7251 or email
Contact Robison at (724-946-6033) or email
Dr. Rena Zito
June 2013, Dr. Zito received the SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award to attend the American Sociological Association’s Section on Teaching and Learning’s pre-conference workshop titled “Universal Design: Interrogating Inequality in Learning," in August 2013.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Westminster College Distinguished Faculty Award
Dr. Phyllis Kitzerow, professor of sociology, received the Distinguished Faculty Award on May 21, 2011 as a part of the class of 2011 commencement. Kitzerow, who has been with Westminster since 1978, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and master's and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Nominations came from students, faculty, and alumni, citing Kitzerow's commitment to students, not only academically but also through "compassionate counsel, flexibility, time, and attention." Her "unique approach to a variety of subjects and projects is always with intelligent, curious enjoyment, which makes potentially staid academic business lots of fun." Kitzerow was recently selected to give Westminster's 2011-2012 Henderson Lecture that will highlight her study of women who graduated from law school by 1975.
The Distinguished Faculty Award is given to the faculty member who has, over a sustained period of time, demonstrated characteristics of the most outstanding faculty - intellectual vitality, effective communication skills, the ability to motivate or inspire compassion and concern for student success, collegiality, and leadership.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Dr. Phyllis Kitzerow, Westminster College professor of sociology, has earned the 2011-2012 Henderson Lectureship Award.
The Henderson Lecture was founded by the late Dr. Joseph R. Henderson and his wife, Elizabeth, to encourage and recognize original and continuing research and scholarship among Westminster College faculty, and to afford the opportunity for faculty to share their learning with the academic community. Dr. Henderson was a professor of education emeritus at Westminster, having served as chair of the Department of Education and as director of the Graduate Program.
Each year, Westminster faculty members may nominate themselves or others to receive the lectureship, which includes a stipend to support a specific research project. A faculty committee chooses the winner.
Kitzerow's lecture will focus on her continuing research with women who graduated from law school by 1975. Her interviews follow a group of 65 women to examine their career paths, experiences, and the effect of gender on their legal careers.
Kitzerow, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1978, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and master's and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
The 2011-2012 lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the Witherspoon Maple Room of the McKelvey Campus Center.
Contact Kitzerow at (724) 946-7252 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.