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Faculty Development Grants and Awards

Faculty Development Grants and Awards

The Ryan C. Harris Learning Teaching Center offers grant opportunities for faculty development and facilitates awards for faculty achievement.  We are happy to collaborate with faculty seeking to develop proposals or to conduct research linked to improving learning and teaching.

LTC Innovation Grants

For details on the CAP Crossing Boundaries Grant opportunities call 229-4898

Dr. Dennis Doyle, 2019 Recipient of Faculty Award for Scholarship

Dr. Dennis Doyle has been an outstanding and highly productive faculty member in the Religious Studies Department for thirty-five years.  He holds a BA in English from LaSalle University and an MA in English Language and Literature from Ohio University. He earned his doctorate in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America.   Dr. Doyle has written three books and co-edited another. He has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. In addition he has contributed many dozens of items in other genres of scholarship, such as encyclopedia and dictionary articles, book introductions, columns, and poems.  

In particular, Dr. Doyle is being recognized today as an internationally respected scholar in the field of Ecclesiology, the study of theological doctrine relating to the church.  His first book, The Church Emerging from Vatican II, was a popular college textbook that sold over 30,000 copies. This book has now been thoroughly updated and reissued with a new title, The Catholic Church in a Changing World. His second book, Communion Ecclesiology: Vision and Versions, is described by his nominator as “a standard text that offers an innovative, constructive, and balanced approach to the major issues in Ecclesiology of our time.”  

His most recent book, titled What is Christianity? A Dynamic Introduction, was solicited by Paulist Press, the largest Catholic publisher in the United States.  The book is designed for use as a basic text to help provide structure, background, and perspective for a first year college course in theology or religious studies.  The text is organized around the categories of scripture, tradition, sacraments, and Christian life. What is distinctive is the treatment of Christianity from a viewpoint that is simultaneously Catholic and ecumenical.  As Dr. Doyle explains at the outset of the book, “I have tried my best to explore Christianity in a way that not only Christians but also people of various faiths and worldviews can understand what is being said and feel included in any discussion about the material."

This Award is given in recognition of a consistent high level of personal scholarly activity. In addition to the aforementioned accomplishments, Dr. Doyle received a special service award for his fourteen years as the Chair of Research and Publications for the College Theology Society.  His works have been cited in hundreds of books, articles, and dissertations. His publications posted on eCommons, UD’s institutional repository, have been downloaded more than 4,000 times from 102 countries. He has lectured widely in the United States and Germany, and is among the most interviewed and quoted scholars on campus in national and international media.  

Dr. Kurt Jackson, 2019 Recipient of Faculty Award for Teaching

For the past 12 years, Associate Professor Dr. Kurt Jackson has taught with distinction in the Department of Physical Therapy.  He is being recognized by colleagues and students as an excellent teacher.

Dr. Jackson, Associate Professor and Neurology Coordinator, has degrees from Loma Linda University and The Union Institute and University. He teaches all of the content in the DPT curriculum related to neuroscience and the rehabilitation of individuals with neurological disorders.  Students in the DPT program have consistently performed better than the national average on the PT licensure exam that covers all areas of physical therapy, yet the neurology related content that Dr. Jackson teaches makes up a significant portion of the exam. His teaching reflects diverse learning strategies including lecture, small group discussion, hands-on practice of treatment skills, team-based learning, flipped classroom, online discussion, student presentations and experiential learning.  As one of his students stated, “The [classroom] environment is extremely supportive to learning and he always made himself available.” He is a model scholar-teacher who has acted as a research advisor for at least 80 graduate and undergraduate students leading to more than 30 peer reviewed publications and presentations. Dr. Jackson, as chair of the DPT admissions committee, also meets with most students who visit UD’s DPT program to provide a tour and offer admissions advice.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Jackson regularly provides formal continuing education and presentations for physical therapists across the country.  He has also worked with Goodwill Easter Seals during the last three years to provide physical activity screenings and interventions at three local adult day service programs. These efforts have involved DPT students as well as undergraduate exercise science, pre-physical therapy and engineering students, In addition to being a practical learning experience, this has led to a $150,000 grant along with several research presentations.    

In the words of his nominator, Dr. Jackson “consistently receives the highest student evaluations of teaching in his department and works collaboratively both inside and outside of his department to enhance learning and research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. He uses diverse and innovative teaching strategies that incorporate the latest technology. His teaching and research efforts have positively impacted the local community and the profession of physical therapy in numerous and substantial ways.”

Dr. Sharon Gratto, 2019 Recipient of University Award for Faculty Service

Dr. Sharon Gratto has been selected as a co-recipient of the inaugural University Award for Faculty Service.  This award focuses on leadership, mentoring of student activities, the introduction of new services to the university and its broader community, and to other demonstrations of service.   

Dr. Gratto is Professor of Music, Graul Endowed Chair in Arts and Languages, and Director of the World Music Choir.   She has degrees from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, American University, the State University of New York at Potsdam, and the Catholic University of America.  She came to the University of Dayton in 2008 to be the Chair of the Department of Music, a position she held for nine years. As Chair, she oversaw the Department's move to Fitz Hall, worked to improve existing classroom and rehearsal spaces, facilitated the creation of three new concentrations in the Bachelor of Arts degree program in music, helped facilitate the development of a new master's degree program in Music Therapy, and worked tirelessly to hire for diversity among the faculty.  In the words of her nominator, "she brought her energy and vision to matters large and small in the department, always with the primary goal of supporting faculty so that they could give their best to our students."

Dr. Gratto has written multiple student recommendation letters for employment applications, summer programs, music therapy internships, study abroad opportunities, and graduate school applications.  She regularly welcomes students, faculty, and staff into her home for social gatherings and facilitates opportunities for students to experience the City of Dayton’s diverse arts offerings.

As founder and conductor of UD's World Music Choir, Dr. Gratto has established a role for music in the University's efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and global engagement. She developed a close connection with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton through World Music Choir’s participation in Kristallnacht on campus and Yom Hashoah observances in local synagogues.  As the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages, Dr. Gratto has celebrated the unique musical and cultural heritage of Dayton by planning interdisciplinary events such as the 2017 Bluegrass Music Festival Evening, the 2018 Dayton Funk Dance Party and Symposium, and Paul Laurence Dunbar musical, dance, and art and design presentations at the Metro Library and the Dunbar House. She has been deeply involved in the Dayton arts community as a Founding Trustee of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and a Board Member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and she has engaged in numerous community activities benefitting both children and adults.

Dr. Rochonda Nenonene, 2019 Recipient of University Award for Faculty Service

Dr. Rochonda Nenonene has been selected as a co-recipient of the inaugural University Award for Faculty Service.  As you know, this award focuses on ranked faculty members who have distinguished themselves in service while at the University of Dayton.

Dr. Nenonene is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, First Year Experience Coordinator and Co-Program Director of the Urban Teacher Academy.  She has degrees from Baldwin Wallace University and the University of Dayton. The ideals of shared responsibility and collective action propel Dr. Nenonene to support those who are marginalized and to seek access and opportunity for those who have been frequently underrepresented in higher education.

During the past 10 years, recruitment of teacher candidates has been a major point of service to the Department of Teacher Education and to the School of Education for Dr. Nenonene.  Her efforts have included designing the Discover Teacher Education days for local Miami Valley school districts, coordinating student panels and also coordinating recruitment efforts with the Department of Health and Sport Science. She collaborated with the admissions office and Sinclair Community College to recruit and identify students for UD/Sinclair Academy.  In the words of her nominator, "Embracing the Marianist Characteristics of educating for family spirit; educating for service, justice and peace and providing an integral quality education, Dr. Nenonene’s service work has centered on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity." She has been selected and participated on university level committees that include: The University of Dayton Speaker Series; First Year Coordinating Team, Flyer Promise Advisory Committee and OMA Advisory Committee.

As the First-Year Experience Coordinator for the Department of Teacher Education, Dr. Nenonene and a team of colleagues redesigned the first year experience to extend the entire first year to serve students in their transition to college and to help them discern if the teaching profession is the right profession/vocation for them. Among the changes she implemented was the initiation and development of the Annual Teacher Education /Holy Angels Thanks giving Service Project—now in its 10th year.

Dr. Nenonene is the Founding and Co-Director of the Urban Teacher Academy (UTA); with close to 200 UTA program participants now serving as teachers, school counselors and administrators. While UTA originally started as a partnership between UD and Dayton Public Schools, Dr. Nenonene has grown the program to include partnerships and graduate job offers with Trotwood Madison, Dayton Early College Academy and West Carrollton City Schools.

She serves as a mentor and support system to students of color, international students, first generation, Flyer Promise and UD Sinclair Academy students.  She has served as Faculty Advisor for Epsilon Delta Upsilon during which the organization raised over $5,000 to support the local teacher non-profit, Crayons to Classroom. She is deeply involved in the community in which she lives in numerous activities including advising and conducting professional development for Learn to Earn Dayton, Dayton Public Schools & Trotwood Madison City Schools. She also serves an advisor for the city of Dayton & Montgomery County Equity Fellows initiative. Most recently she joined the board of Dayton Early College Academy as a representative for UD. For the past 4 years she has served as a board member of the North American Community: Uniting for Equity—an international organization.


Faculty Development