Dr. Peggy Harris and Prof. Kay Osinski are the newest members of Baker University’s Faculty Hall of Fame. They were honored in an induction and faculty appreciation reception on Friday, Feb. 8.
The Faculty Hall of Fame was established in 1990 and comprises 28 members. Induction into this group is the highest recognition Baker University presents to retired faculty members. Individuals selected for this award served as full-time faculty members for a minimum of 15 years and gained off-campus recognition through service in professional organizations, scholarly publications, or fine arts performances. They demonstrated exceptional teaching, provided constructive citizenship in the community, and exhibited personal character and professional ability that touched and enriched the lives of students.
“Baker faculty are leaders, mentors, and educators who promise our students exceptional experiences from the moment they set foot on campus to the day they graduate, leading them to meaningful careers and purposeful lives,” said Dr. Lynne Murray, Baker University president. “I thank Dr. Harris and Professor Osinski for their dedication to this university and, most importantly, to the students whose lives they have impacted.”
Dr. Peggy Harris retired as vice president and dean of the School of Education and the School of Professional and Graduate Studies after a distinguished career as an English, science, math, and physical education teacher; elementary and secondary counselor; college professor; researcher; department chair; assistant dean; dean; and vice president. Her Baker tenure constituted 30 of her 43-year career.
Among her honors and awards, Dr. Harris received the Esther Edwards Scholarship, the highest national scholarship for a female professor at a United Methodist institution of higher education. Her many colleagues in the region admire her for the extreme generosity of her time committed to the students of Kansas and to the institutions that serve those students.
“I can think of no former Baker colleague who made more of a positive contribution to students in his or her department or to Baker than did Dr. Peggy Harris” said Dr. Bill Neuenswander, former dean of the School of Education and Faculty Hall of Fame member.
Prof. Osinksi served as assistant dean of the School of Nursing after almost 30 years, retiring from a distinguished career in nursing and nursing education. She worked as a charge nurse, hospital supervisor, unit director in ICU, clinical educator, clinical nurse specialist, legal nurse consultant, and testifying nurse expert before entering academia. She taught nursing courses at three other colleges before starting at Baker in 1991, the year the School of Nursing was established.
As the School of Nursing grew, Prof. Osinski was instrumental in hiring and developing faculty. She led the faculty through two major curriculum revisions and participated in writing the self-study reports for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing’s initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and subsequent reaccreditation visits. As an outstanding educator, mentor, and clinician, her excellence as an educator was recognized numerous times through teaching-excellence awards. She is widely recognized as an expert nurse and educator by her peers, students, and nursing colleagues.
“One of Kay’s greatest attributes is her ability to communicate and support both faculty and students. She will be long remembered for both her academic contributions and the relationship development she was so good at,” said Dr. Bernadette Fetterolf, dean of the School of Nursing.
Also during the event, faculty members were recognized for their service to the university. Three faculty members were recognized for tenure and promotion: Dr. Ryan Gibb, associate professor; Dr. Scott Kimball, associate professor; and Dr. Charlsie Prosser, associate professor. Dr. Della Anderson was promoted to the rank of associate professor. Faculty members were recognized for their sabbatical leaves for the 2019-2020 academic year. Dr. Tes Mehring was recognized for her leadership and service to Baker University while serving as interim provost. Prof. Martha Harris was honored for her leadership and service while serving as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.