Bitonte boasts healthy awards list

By Madison Fessler

The Bitonte College of Health and Human Services faculty has received many awards in the past month.

Nancy Landgraff, department chair of graduate studies, won the 2023 Tressel Endowed Chair Award for Excellence in Department Chair and Instructing. 

Landgraff’s award came with a monetary prize of $24,000 for her and the department to use how they see fit. Landgraff and faculty in her department have been discussing how they want to spend the money.

“Part of the money that comes to the department is for departmental use, things that we want to do as a team. So whether it be research or faculty development or improvement in certain areas or special speakers or individual development,” Landgraff said. “It’s just whatever that we decide as a group we want to do.” 

The award was previously given to Nancy Wagner, director of the Centofanti School of Nursing, for the 2021-22 academic year. Landgraff said it’s meaningful to the college that both winners of the award come from Bitonte.

“That kind of recognition to what we’re doing here in the college — to grow good health professionals that are sound in what they’re doing, sound in their skills and employable — is very important,” Landgraff said.

The doctor of physical therapy program is included in the graduate studies department. The program has won the Ohio Physical Therapy Association Program of the Year award two years in a row.

Eleven schools participated in the Program of the Year competition. The award is given to the university with the most points. Points are based on service hours completed by students in the program.

“A lot of the service [the students] did was out in the community. They’ve helped with Habitat for Humanity, they made Valentine’s and took them to local nursing homes, they put on an event for some of the adults with disabilities that attend Purple Cat,” Landgraff said.

Another faculty member recognized by the university was John Hazy, criminal justice and consumer sciences department chair. Hazy won the Watson Merit Award and the Excellence Award for Department Chairpersons in Teaching.

Hazy said the awards won are not just his, but belong to the whole department as a symbol of its hard work and dedication.

“You don’t earn these kinds of awards by yourself, these awards are based on the efforts that everyone makes day in and day out,” Hazy said.

Other Bitonte College of Health and Human Services faculty members won awards as well.

Dana Davis, department chair for social work, said there have been three awards given to the social work faculty.

“One [award] for our amazing administrative assistant, Mrs. Shari McKinney, and two for our part-time faculty,” Davis said.

McKinney won a 2023 Distinguished Service Award. The part-time faculty awards were for the 2023 Part-Time Teaching Excellence Award.

The first part-time award went to Heather Eynon in the undergraduate program of social work. The second went to William Aley-Byrne in the graduate program of social work.

For more of the awards won by university faculty, visit YSU’s website.