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Three faculty are Socrates recipients

December 18, 2000

Traditionally, the presentation of the Socrates Award is a highlight of Austin Peay State University's winter Commencement.

Recipients of the coveted award are tenure-track faculty adjudged by their peers, as well as by students, as outstanding teachers. Although academic advising, research and creative activities are factors, the primary award criteria is excellence in teaching.

This year's Socrates Award recipients are Dr. Timothy Winters, assistant professor of classics; Dr. Susan Simms, assistant professor of education; and Faye G. Zeigler, assistant professor of nursing.

Winters earned both his doctorate and master's degree in classics from The Ohio State University and his bachelor's degree in Greek from the University of Arizona, Tucson. He was a Fulbright Fellow to the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Greece. He came to APSU from Vanderbilt University where he was an assistant professor.

In additional to his extensive scholarly achievements and honors, Winters was “the clear choice for this year's Socrates Award,” according to Kell Black, associate professor of art and chair of the Socrates Awards Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Black said, “(Winters') student evaluations were consistently and phenomenally high…Colleagues praised his knowledge, scholarship, enthusiasm, generosity and, most of all, his passion for teaching and his ability to make classical languages come alive.

“As one colleague wrote: And for whom could the Socrates Award be as appropriate as for a great teacher of the Greek culture?”

Simms, a resident of Kingston Springs, earned a doctorate in educational administration from Tennessee State University. Her bachelor's and master's degrees, both from Middle Tennessee State University, are in mathematics. She came to APSU in 1998 after four high-level administrative positions with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Simms, too, has an impressive list of memberships in professional organizations, as well as professional presentations and scholarly publications.

Dr. Ron Groseclose, professor of education and member of the Socrates Awards Committee for the College of Education, said, “Dr. Simms…has been instrumental in redesigning (APSU's) Administration and Supervision Graduate Program…(which) is now based on the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards. She serves as a member of the executive board of the Tennessee Professors of Educational Leadership and is an officer in the APSU chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.

“Dr. Simms is an excellent teacher and a nationally trained scholar in the field of cognitive coaching.”

A resident of Hopkinsville, Ky., Zeigler earned a master of science in nursing with a management emphasis from the University of Evansville. Her baccalaureate degree in nursing is from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green.

After serving from 1988-95 as director of nursing at Jennie Stuart Medical Center, Hopkinsville, she came to APSU as an assistant professor of nursing in 1996.

Speaking of Zeigler's work as adult health II coordinator, Dr. Linda Thompson, interim chair of the School of Nursing, said, “She is an extremely effective team leader who encourages team participation…She uses a variety of established and innovative instructional methods to facilitate student learning.

“Ms. Zeigler makes a point to spend extra time with students. She is available at times convenient to students, frequently coming early or staying late to meet student needs. She demonstrates confidence in, respect for and a genuine concern for the students.”

In appreciation of her high level of involvement with students, the May 2000 graduating class named her recipient of the School of Nursing Mentoring Award.

Each recipient of the Socrates Award receives $500 in faculty development funds along with an engraved plaque.