Three Purdue University Calumet faculty members received the university’s 2014-15 Outstanding Faculty Awards for teaching, scholarship and service.
The recipients are Associate Professor of Political Science Meg Rincker of Frankfort, Ill. (Outstanding Teacher), White Lodging Professor of Finance Pat Obi of Munster (Outstanding Scholar) and Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Judith Hack of Merrillville (Outstanding Service).
Recipients of the annual awards are selected by faculty peer committees.
“Faculty excellence demonstrated by tireless commitments to student development, service activities and the generation of new knowledge through scholarly engagement enables a university to prosper and become robust,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “These three award recipients are examples of the many dedicated faculty members who have moved our university forward.”
Outstanding Teaching Award recipient Meg Rincker
A Purdue Calumet faculty member since 2008, Associate Professor Rincker is described by peers as an innovator in the classroom whose teaching empowers students with tools of analysis and effective communication.
She also uses the world as a classroom by engaging students in learning experiences abroad to help them better understand their role as citizens. Additionally, peers credit her with being a mentor to students and colleagues alike.
“I am humbled to be recognized with this award, as I admire so many outstanding faculty at Purdue University Calumet who go the extra mile for their students,” Rincker said. “As a teacher I try to be a connector, someone who connects students with a love of research, great ideas, big thinkers, innovative methods and new approaches as they develop and become happy, successful, complete people.”
She holds a baccalaureate degree from Western Illinois University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.
Outstanding Scholar Award recipient Pat Obi
Professor Obi has authored more than 50 publications, including the 2014 book, “We Must Change the Way We Live,” an introspective outlook about the value of education and financial prudence in a changing world.
The 26-year Purdue Calumet faculty member and holder of an endowed professorship has been a frequent university source of expertise in response to financially-related topics and notably so since the 2009 global financial crisis. He has professional engagements in five continents and has received numerous faculty awards for academic excellence.
“As a research professor, the Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award means the world to me,” Obi said. “It represents the ultimate recognition that one can receive from colleagues. It is also the best complement to the successful completion of my recent book on financial education, ‘We Must Change the Way We Live.’
“At the Faculty Convocation, I dedicated the award to the entire Purdue Calumet faculty, because it is their support that enabled me to make the type of scholarly contributions that resulted in this recognition. I am therefore exceedingly grateful to all my colleagues and the leadership of the university.”
He holds a Higher Diploma from the Institute of Management and Technology, Nigeria; MBA from Southwest Texas State University; and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.
Outstanding Service Award recipient Judith Hack
Throughout her 30-year career at Purdue Calumet, Associate Professor Hack has been a tireless advocate of advancing university, student and faculty success and academic quality. She has been a long-time respected voice of the Faculty Senate and also has positively impacted service learning and experiential learning faculty initiatives.
Her passion for service learning has impressed colleagues and students alike, as has her sincerity, positivity and professionalism. She was instrumental in Purdue Calumet’s adoption of experiential learning, the integration of traditional and real world learning, as a baccalaureate degree requirement.
“To be recognized by your colleagues as outstanding is like eating the frosting on cake, knowing that you get to enjoy every morsel of that frosting every day for the rest of your life,” she said. “People in the community at large off-campus and people in the on-campus community deserve the best I can give them and nothing less. Making things happen for all the people I interact with who need my help is how I start every day at Purdue Calumet.”
Associate Professor Hack is a registered dietitian and holds a baccalaureate degree from Clarke College, master’s degree from Purdue and a doctorate from Andrews University.