College Honors Faculty with Distinguished Awards
Campus News

Four Franklin College faculty members received awards recognizing their scholarly accomplishments, service to the college and teaching excellence at the inaugural Faculty Recognition Luncheon, hosted by the Franklin College Board of Trustees on October 14, 2021.

Traditionally, the awards have been bestowed during the annual Commencement ceremony in the spring, however, the decision to move the faculty recognitions to the fall was recently made in an effort to honor all faculty members for their dedication and service to the students and campus community, and to pay special tribute to the faculty members who have been selected to receive distinction through the presentation of four special awards.   

Stacy Hoehn was the recipient of the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence. The award, given by a vote of the Franklin College Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the president and the academic dean of the college, recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates extraordinary dedication and commitment in service to the college.

Hoehn is an associate professor of mathematics. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Xavier University in Ohio before obtaining a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. Hoehn began teaching at Franklin College in 2012. Prior to her employment at Franklin College, she served as a National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow and assistant professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Hoehn is credited for generating the idea and spearheading the work to have an original sculpture by renowned mathematical artist George Hart installed on campus to commemorate the mathematics department receiving the American Mathematical Society’s 2019 National Award for Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department. Franklin College joins an elite group including Princeton, University of California-Berkeley, MIT, and the University of London in displaying Hart’s work.

A recent alumna was among those who nominated Hoehn for the award. She wrote: “I began correspondence with Dr. Hoehn even before I made my decision to attend Franklin College. She goes above and beyond the qualities a faculty member should possess to earn this award. Throughout my college career, Dr. Hoehn has been the professor who can most easily communicate ideas and concepts to students. I have had her for several courses, all varying in difficulty. Some have been classes with only fellow math majors while others have been courses with people from all majors. In those classes it has been interesting to see how Dr. Hoehn connected the concepts to other disciplines, like business or psychology. Dr. Hoehn exceeds expectations in her dedication to students.”

In addition to teaching, Hoehn, has been very active in service to the college. She serves as a co-adviser to the math and computing club, she has served on the Institutional Review Board, and she was recently elected to a three-year term on the Faculty Steering Committee. Hoehn also headed efforts to add an actuarial science major at Franklin College that is recognized by the Society of Actuaries. Professionally, Hoehn serves as a public information officer for the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). She has also completed a data science specialization through Johns Hopkins University and has presented at numerous regional and national conferences. She gives back to her alma mater by mentoring students at Xavier University.

Kyra L. Noerr, received the Faculty Steering Committee Distinguished Service Award. The recipient of this award is a faculty member who shows outstanding service to the college.

Noerr serves Franklin College as program director, department chair and associate professor of exercise science. She earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in physical education with an emphasis in exercise science, before earning a master of science in kinesiology, clinical exercise science track, and a doctorate of philosophy in health and rehabilitation science, all from IUPUI. Before her employment at Franklin College, she gained experience as an adjunct faculty member in the department of kinesiology at IUPUI.

Colleagues praised Noerr for her dedication and service to the college, especially concerning her willingness to step into a leadership role left vacant by a departing employee to serve as a member of the Charting the Future Core Team, a four-member campus group charged with the administrative oversight of the $1 million Lilly Endowment grant initiative centered around digital fluency.

“I can attest to the meaningful contributions Kyra made to our effort as a representative of the faculty. She worked tirelessly on behalf of her colleagues to advocate for their interests and was instrumental to our success in securing the grant funding for our digital fluency initiative,” commented one colleague. “Kyra also accepted the challenge of serving as the chairperson for the search committee that successfully completed its charge via the hiring of our new director of digital fluency. Her leadership of the search process was exemplary and demonstrated her willingness to go above and beyond to serve the needs of the college.”

In addition, Noerr has served the campus community in several different ways during her tenure, including as a member of search teams for faculty and cabinet-level appointments, as a member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, as a member of the Presidential Council for Diversity, as the department chair for the exercise science department and as a guest lecturer for the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program.

Jeffrey Williams received the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award. The award recognizes a faculty member’s scholarly achievement at the college, as well as his/her work outside the college (publications, presentations, etc.).

Williams, Ph,D., LAT, ATC, joined the Franklin College Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) faculty in 2016 as an assistant professor of athletic training and coordinator of clinical education. His expertise is in clinical research topics surrounding the assessment and correction of movement and dysfunction, mainly in the upper limb and spine. Williams has presented professionally at numerous conferences and partnered with fellow experts in the field on scholarly manuscripts.

Williams graduated cum laude from Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. He then received his master’s degree in kinesiology before obtaining his doctorate degree in higher education administration, both from Illinois State University. Prior to arriving at Franklin, Williams served as an instructional assistant professor and clinical coordinator for the School of Kinesiology and Recreation at Illinois State.

In addition to teaching, Williams is currently serving Franklin College on the Institutional Review Board and Undergraduate Research Committee and as an academic adviser. He has also served on the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, search committees for two cabinet level positions and on the Re-Accreditation Self-Study Working Group for the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program.

One of Williams’ nomination letter stated: “In the “scholarship of discovery” he has been exceedingly productive, publishing 5 peer-reviewed manuscripts (4 as lead author) since coming to FC. He’s also had 4 peer-reviewed abstracts accepted and given 7 professional presentations in that same time, many in collaboration with his FC students. In presenting and publishing his work, Jeff has elevated Franklin’s reputation throughout the country. He exemplifies the “scholarship of application” through his clinical work as a certified athletic trainer and his ongoing training to maintain multiple active certifications and memberships. Not only does this work serve his patients, but it also elevates his training so that he can offer the best and most current instruction to our students.”

Casey J. Hayes, Ph.D., received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits excellence in mastery of subject and effective communication, has respect for all students, and believes that all students can learn and provides helpful feedback to other students in a number of ways.

Hayes serves Franklin College as a professor of music, the A.J. Thurston Endowed Chair of Music, music department chair and director of choral activities. He joined the faculty in 2009. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education and choral conducting from Butler University, and his doctorate in music education from the Steinhardt School of Education, New York University. He is a member of the Franklin College Gold Quill Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society and the Indiana Delta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He is the artistic director of Quarryland Men’s Chorus of Bloomington, Indiana, and a former music director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and chair of the creative arts department of The Hewitt School, a private school for girls in Manhattan.

A nominator praised Hayes talent and dedication, saying: “Dr. Hayes is profoundly dedicated to teaching and student success. In addition, he is a passionate champion for social justice regarding the LGBTQ+ community in our student population. Dr. Hayes’ mastery of the subjects he teaches is extraordinary.  He is an expert in working with all types of choirs.  I have never worked with anyone who has such a honed ‘musical ear’ as he does.  His choirs thrive and he ensures that every student involved in them has an incredibly fulfilling experience. His method for teaching music history is also superior.  He delves deep into the music to ensure that students truly understand what they are looking at and to what they are listening.  He keeps them actively engaged so that it is an interactive experience and not just a lecture of pertinent information.” 

Earlier this year, Hayes joined an elite group of U.S. citizens after he was named a recipient of the Fulbright-Botstiber Award in Austrian/American Studies. This achievement marked the fourth time a Franklin College faculty member has been named a Fulbright scholar. Hayes spent the months of February through July teaching, conducting research and providing expertise abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. He was selected based on his research into the “Rosa Wien” (Pink Vienna) which focuses on the historic role that Vienna played for Weimar Germany’s displaced LGBT community. . Hayes conducted his research at the Institut für Musik und darstellende Kunst (MdW) in Vienna.

Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED Oct 25, 2021