Academic Excellence

2012-13 ‘Outstanding Faculty’ honorees share their perspectives

Lynn Miskovich, Thomas L. Keon, and Neeti Parashar
Lynn Miskovich, Thomas L. Keon, and Neeti Parashar

Congratulations to Professor of Physics  Neeti Parashar and Associate Professor of Nursing Lynn Miskovich, who received Purdue Calumet 2012-13 Outstanding Faculty Awards during last week’s Faculty & Staff Convocation.

Parashar, who has served Purdue Calumet since 2005, earned Outstanding Teacher and Outstanding Scholar awards. A Purdue Calumet faculty member since 1981, Miskovich gained the Outstanding Service award.

In Q&A format, following are their viewpoints on the faculty roles for which they were honored.

Professor Parashar

Outstanding Teacher & Scholar

Q: How have you committed to outstanding teaching?

NP: As a university professor, I believe that my primary job is to do the best for my students and bring out the best in them. This belief culminated from the great influence that my own teachers had on me throughout my career. It is especially true in the case of my father, who is the greatest academician I have ever known. Students are my first priority, and that commitment for me is unwavering. As I teach them physics, I also learn a lot from them. It is a two-way process.

Q: How has your scholarly activity impacted your students? Purdue Calumet? Society?

NP: My students and my post-doc at Fermilab continue to motivate me in my scholarly activities. My students have the opportunity of working in world class laboratories, such as Fermilab and CERN. They are part of international collaborations in high energy physics, working with elite scientists from all over the world. Some of my students have been assigned key responsible positions in the experiment, delivering bi-weekly reports and presenting their work in person, both at Fermilab and at CERN. Purdue Calumet has been on the global map of the major Higgs Boson-like discovery last year, a crowning achievement for mankind. This is a huge accomplishment for Purdue Calumet. Despite Purdue Calumet being primarily a teaching institution, my students are witnesses to merit-based and highly competitive research first hand. Pure science research areas, such as mine, are the basis of any advances in a society. They are the backbone of a literate society and affect the way technology drives our lives.

Q: What does it mean to you to receive these two honors?

NP:  I am very honored and humbled by the recognition of my peers for both teaching and research. While I am ecstatic about receiving both awards, it also inculcates in me a bit more responsibility and provides me with an incentive to work harder and do my best.

Professor Miskovich

Outstanding Service

Q: How have you attempted to commit yourself to outstanding service as a Purdue Calumet professor?

LM: Service to the community is part of my personal and professional philosophy.  Throughout my 32 years at Purdue (Calumet), I have strived to enhance the quality of life for those within our community. This goal is consistent with (Purdue Calumet’s) mission as a land grant university. My professional service has evolved in three interrelated areas.  As a nurse practitioner, I provide direct primary healthcare to vulnerable populations within our community at the Catherine McAuley Clinic and Sojourner Truth House. Involvement in health policy and legislative advocacy serves to develop awareness of the need to expand the provision of healthcare and improve quality of life for the most vulnerable. Finally, as an educator I integrate community based experiential learning with graduate and undergraduate nursing students to instill knowledge and inspire a professional commitment to service within vulnerable populations.

Q: Why do you consider service, in the manner you have demonstrated it, so important in your role as a faculty member?

LM: Both within the classroom and in clinical practice, I emphasize professional service to vulnerable populations. My commitment to providing health care services to the medically uninsured at Sojourner Truth House and the Catherine McAuley Clinic has expanded to include clinical opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate nursing students, in addition to students within counseling and pharmacy.  Each student gains a greater understanding of the daily adversity faced by those in need and guided to identify resources and interventions necessary to meet client needs. These inter-professional, experiential learning experiences provide students with an opportunity to “give back” to their community.  Such experiences serve to engrain the professional responsibility of not only providing care to vulnerable populations, but volunteering service to improve quality of life.

Q: Finally, what does it mean to you to receive this honor?

LM: I am deeply honored and humbled by this recognition. I interpret this honor as a reaffirmation by the administration and my colleagues to support faculty service outside the confines of the university and with vulnerable populations. This has motivated me to continue my current commitments and pursue additional service learning opportunities.