USAO Faculty Members Honored for Classroom and Research Work
Three faculty members were honored recently at the University of Science and Arts – two for teaching and one for research.
Dr. Linda McElroy and Dr. John Bruce received the Regents Award for Superior Teaching. Dr. Stephen Kandeh received the Superior Scholarship/Research Award. The USAO Board of Regents honored the recipients in April. Honorees receive a plaque signed by members of the board and a $1,000 stipend.
One student nominator wrote, "Dr. McElroy is very dedicated to her job. You can tell that she loves what she is doing. She is always patient if anyone ever needs to talk to her and she is understanding and not judgmental. Her tests are hard, but fair. She is honest and a great person.”
"Dr. McElroy is always willing to lend a hand, even if it isn't pertaining to her classes. She is a true mentor and leader. I have learned more from Dr. McElroy in my time here than any other professor. She is compassionate about what she does," another student nomination said.
McElroy is an associate professor of education at USAO. She has been a member of the faculty since 1995.
She received her bachelor of science degree from USAO (then the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts) in 1972. She earned her master's from the University of Oklahoma in 1992 and her doctoral degree from OU in 2000.
Before coming to USAO, she was a reading specialist at Lexington Public Schools, a teacher and teaching assistant at Wanette Elementary School and a director and teacher for Mother's Day Out -- a weekday early education program of the Purcell First Baptist Church.
McElroy has been the writer, co-writer or editor for at least 14 articles in publications that include The Oklahoma Reader, Journal of Literacy Research, The Chickasha Express-Star and Reading Psychology. She has made presentations at conferences and workshops throughout Oklahoma and in Texas, Arizona, Washington, Florida, South Carolina and California.
She is a member of the International Reading Association, National Reading Conference, Oklahoma Higher Education Reading Council, Oklahoma State Department of Education Reading Consortium, Oklahoma Reading Association, Grady County Reading Association, Oklahoma Association of Teacher Educators and is a lifetime member of the USAO Alumni Association.
"Dr. John Bruce is a very creative and talented professor. His understanding of literature is profound and amazing. He grades based on ability and growth and tries to foster growth in his students," said one nomination for John Bruce.
"Dr. Bruce is a talented individual whose taste for the unusual and descriptive makes me want to be in his class again. His teaching style is both usual and unusual at the same time.
"He has inspired me to pursue a career in linguistics by including word origins and roots in the writing curriculum. He is a superior teacher and deserves the award."
Bruce is an associate professor of language and literature at USAO. He has been a member of the faculty since 1998.
He received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. He earned his master's from the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas and his doctoral degree from the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Before coming to USAO, he was a lecturer at the University of Texas-Pan American and an instructor and adjunct instructor at South Texas Community College. He has been published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology and has made presentations in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Bruce is a member of the International Relations Committee and the Clemente Course Committee at USAO. He also is a member of the Conference of College Teachers of English, Institute for Evolutionary Psychology, Modern Language Association of America and South Central Modern Language Association.
Stephen Kandeh received the Superior Scholarship/Research Award for research efforts focusing on poverty in Africa and for the Africa Symposium, which he organized for the past two years at USAO.
“Africa’s future is extremely relevant, both to our campus and the U.S. society as a whole,” Kandeh said, who is from Sierra Leone. “Many of our students may, in time, be faced with policy making, investment or research opportunities that may have something to do with Africa.
“As a society, it is important to know that U.S. policy is never complete without Africa. An emergent constituency in the U.S. claims close ties to this continent, forcing legislative consideration at all times. But more importantly, African resources are crucial to our world economy and daily living here in America.”
Kandeh is an assistant professor of sociology at USAO. He has been a member of the faculty since 2001.
Kandeh received his doctoral degree in rural sociology and agricultural economics and his master's degree in African-American and African studies from Ohio State University. He also received a master's and bachelor's degree from the University of Sierra Leone in West Africa.
Before coming to USAO, he was a research associate, program coordinator and instructor at Ohio State University. He also was a lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone and at the YWCA Business Institute in Sierra Leone.
Kandeh's research interests include agricultural technology transfer and use, natural resource conservation and land use policies in Africa and the United States, minority labor market participation, social and political responses to social change and the institutions of family, marriage and religion.
The Board of Regents created the Regents Award for Superior Teaching in 1979. The board added a third award for Superior Scholarship/Research in 1990. Both students and faculty members nominate candidates for the Superior Teaching Award. A nine-member committee on campus chooses the winners.