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Distinguished Full Professors
The Distinguished Full Professor Award recognizes faculty members who have achieved the rank of Professor and who continue to perform in an exemplary manner through service, scholarship, innovation, leadership, and other professorial achievements. It is intended both to recognize those professors whom faculty should emulate and to reward professors who show outstanding leadership at the college. The award was first given in 2011.
2012 Distinguished Full Professors
2012 winners are Robert Fitrakis, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of Social Sciences; posing with Dr. Harrison are Thomas Habegger, Ph.D., Professor of Sport and Exercise Studies; and James Taylor, CEC,Professor of Hospitality Management. Not pictured is Gerald Mueller, Professor of Mathematics.
The Selection Committee felt that Robert Fritakis’ dedication to teaching, his scholarly work, community service, public speaking, activism, love of politics, and boundless energy all combined to merit the Distinguished Full Professor Award. As a senior faculty member in the Social Sciences Department, Dr. Fitrakis maintains a strong academic and intellectually oriented community, and he serves on many college committees and councils. In 2004, he earned a J.D. from the Ohio State University College of Law, and while a professor, he has written 11 books, presented 26 conference papers, and won 11 awards for reporting as an investigative journalist, among hundreds of other scholarly activities. As one supporter wrote: “If you Google Bob Fitrakis, you will find that his work is cited by hundreds of scholars and journalists worldwide!” Dr. Fitrakis’ extraordinary range of accomplishments and his dedication to the advancement of his students and the well-being of the community make him worthy of this award.
The Distinguished Full Professor Award Committee felt that Dr. Habegger’s attitude and commitment to inclusion in the Sport & Exercise Studies program supported the development, confidence and determination of a multitude of students across age, gender, ethnic background and socio-economic barriers. He prides himself in being able to support and advocate for his students from their initial enrollment, through the celebration of their induction into the Sport and Exercise Studies Hall of Fame after years of career and personal success. Dr. Habegger’s commitment to the community is evidenced by his 20-year participation with the Spina Bifida Summer Sports Camp for children. Many of those children have gone on to attend and graduate from Columbus State’s degree program, earn advanced degrees, and even return to the camp as counselors. Tom Habegger’s unique mentoring style earns the utmost respect from his colleagues, his students, and the host of successful alumni and community members he has helped along the way.
The Distinguished Full Professor Award Committee felt that James Taylor, Certified Executive Chef, impressed upon us his deep commitment and devotion to his culinary students. He works tirelessly advising new students and working on his students’ chef apprenticeships. He is very proud of their achievements long after their graduation. Jim’s commitment to preparing students for culinary team competitions,and college activities such as Taste the Future, In-Service Day, Foundation events and much more—is quite commendable. He is also extremely active in the American Culinary Federation, the ACF Columbus Chapter, in which he has been both President and Chairman of the Board, and the American Academy of Chefs.
Since becoming a full professor in 1998, Gerald Mueller has devoted himself to curriculum development and governance, at the program level, the college level, and the state level. To ensure student success and attainment, he developed a University Parallel Committee that helped to identify requirements for pre-majors in the Arts and Sciences. With this work, begun in 1996, through his work with Board of Regents Transfer Assurance Guide panels, the Ohio State Preferred Pathway Program, and the statewide semester conversion effort, Jerry Mueller’s expertise and willingness to serve in the articulation, transfer, and college readiness areas has had an enormous impact on the students of Ohio.
Posing with Dr. Harrison are Steve Abbott, Emeritus Professor of English; Jackie Miller, Professor of Nursing; and Greg Goodhart, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics.