Office of the Provost

Faculty Honors

2018-19 Award Recipients

Outstanding Educator Award

Jeffrey Orton

Jeffrey Orton

A native of Cedar City, Jeffrey Orton received a Master’s of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern Utah University before working for 10 years in a national auditing firm in Las Vegas, helping businesses throughout the country, and spending portions of his time training new employees. It was while training others that he realized that although he loved working in the industry, he also loved the teaching aspect. It was this gravitation to the educational side of auditing that helped him eventually choose to return to his alma mater, first as an auditor for three years, then as professional in residence in accounting for the past four years.

In that capacity, he focuses his responsibilities and effort on staying current and well-connected with the profession. His goal is to prepare students with the experiential education they need to excel in the field, and the professional connections they need to achieve their highest career ambitions. His objective in the classroom is to prepare students

for the profession, not merely to get a degree, but to learn the skills that they will need the first, the second, and the third year of their career so there are no gaps when they enter the craft.

It is difficult for Jeff to determine what class is his favorite to teach since they are all interrelated, but he enjoys the opportunity to teach at different levels. Because he teaches foundational courses, senior level courses, and master level courses, he has the unique privilege of working with students from the time they first decide on a major all the way through graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and starting their chosen career. For Jeff, seeing what students become through the courses he teaches and helping them create who they aspire to be is what makes teaching worthwhile.

Professor Orton cares about his students and encourages them to work and earn their success. He aims to provide the tools students need to succeed and to help them create the dreams they envision by helping them to find their correct path to get there. He teaches his students: “Create your dreams; don’t wait for them to show up.”

Jeff is a licensed CPA in both Utah and Nevada, as well as a licensed Certified Fraud Examiner. He is also the advisor of the SUU Professional Accountancy Club and spends nearly 800 hours a year assisting students in networking opportunities that will lead to employment and career advancement.

Outstanding Educator Past Recipients


Distinguished Educators

Jason F. Kaiser

Jason F. Kaiser

An assistant professor in the Department of Geology since the fall of 2014, Jason F. Kaiser loves teaching at SUU due to the diverse landscape and research opportunities available to undergraduate students. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Oregon State University, an M.S. degree in geology from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.S. degree in geology/geophysics from Missouri University of Science and Technology. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, his daily mission is to make science and the scientific process accessible and relevant to everyone regardless of his or her professional interests. Dr. Kaiser teaches a range of classes that span from the Jumpstart program in the National Parks sections to a field camp class that closely mimics the work of a professional geologist. In this final class, he observes students putting together everything they learned during their education prior to graduation, making it a fulfilling and full circle of teaching.

Kris G. Phillips

Kris G. Phillips

Dr. Kristopher G. Phillips, an assistant professor of philosophy at SUU since 2014, desires to help students develop the intellectual curiosity and skills necessary to ask and critically evaluate answers to difficult, important questions regarding how to best live one’s life. Originally, from Midland, Michigan, he received master’s and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from the University of Iowa, an additional M.A. in philosophy from Western Michigan University and a B.S. in philosophy from Central Michigan University. Dr. Phillips has published in a variety of areas including pre-college and public philosophy, the philosophy of education, and the history of modern philosophy and is proudly pursuing projects on the work of underrepresented women in philosophy’s Age of Enlightenment, including Margaret Cavendish and Mary Shepherd. One of his favorite courses to teach is the senior seminar where he can witness the culmination of years of intense study on the part of his students.

Lynn H. White

Lynn H. White

Dr. Lynn H. White is originally from Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada, but has been a professor of psychology at SUU for the past 22 years. Dr. White’s primary focus is teaching and mentoring students where she involves them in research that integrates psychological theories, principles, and application into health and wellbeing. Among her favorite classes to teach is statistics. Although one of the most feared classes for psychology majors, it provides a greater challenge for Dr. White to convince her students that statistics can not only be easy and fun, but provide life skills—organized, methodical and detail-oriented—that are highly prized in the “real world.” Always striving for improvement, every semester she challenges herself to make statistics more stimulating, fun and rewarding. Dr. White holds a master’s and a Ph.D. degree in physiological and comparative psychology from McGill University and B.A. degree in applied psychology from Bishop’s University.

Distinguished Educator Past Recipients


Outstanding Educator for Inclusion & Diversity

A.P.E.X. Events - Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director

A.P.E.X. Events - Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director

Two years ago, the well-loved SUU Convocations lecture series, which has been part of campus life for 36 years, came under the purview of Dr. Lynn Vartan, and with her at the helm, it was rebranded and given new direction as A.P.E.X. Events. A.P.E.X. stands for Ask. Ponder. Educate., with the X representing the variety of topics that are explored in the series every week. Diversity is at the heart of all A.P.E.X. Events. From the traditional on-stage presentations to lunches, film screening talk-backs, and special meetings with groups of students for shared conversations and experiences, the campus community is exposed to guests of all races, genders, and social and political perspectives. A notable innovation of A.P.E.X. Events is that Dr. Vartan features all of her guests on her weekly radio broadcast on Thunder 91.1, which gives students and community members the opportunity to experience the exchange of these important ideas, even if they are unable to attend the varied A.P.E.X. Events.

Outstanding Educator for Inclusion & Diversity Past Recipients


Distinguished Faculty for Inclusion & Diversity

Silvia Kozlovska

Silvia Kozlovska

Silvia Kozlovska is a lecturer and curriculum coordinator in the American Language and Culture Center at Southern Utah University. Silvia’s family immigrated from Humenne, Eastern Slovakia, to the U.S. in 1997, an experience pivotal to redefining her world view and one that ultimately nudged her onto a path to a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages earned from Southeast Missouri State University, followed by traveling, and later teaching and living in Seoul, South Korea. Silvia has been teaching various academic English courses at SUU for three and-a-half years and encourages her students to engage with the local and campus communities. In her personal and professional life, Silvia lives by the phrase “Keep your eye on the why,” which she uses as a reminder to herself and others that learning should be intentional, and that her classroom is a safe place to shift perspectives, learn about “the other,” and embrace change.

Distinguished Faculty for Inclusion & Diversity Past Recipients


Distinguished Service

Paula Mitchell

Paula Mitchell

Aesop’s quote, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” is a motto that Paula Mitchell, a native of Cedar City, Utah, embraces wholeheartedly as she provides countless hours of her time assisting students, faculty, staff, and community members with their research in the Sherratt Library’s Special Collections. Her contributions to her profession and the region is one of the quiet examples of an academic not just contributing, but genuinely submerging themselves in the people, culture, and activities that surround them. Paula, a certified archivist, has been working at SUU since 2001, first as a staff member, and then teaching as an assistant professor of library media since 2009. She received a master’s degree in library science at the University of North Texas and a B.S. degree in elementary education at SUU. She is also a graduate of the Preservation Management Institute at Rutgers University.

Distinguished Service Past Recipients


Distinguished Scholarly/Creative Activity

Please note, in 2015-16, the structure of this award changed from a single Outstanding Scholar Award to three Distinguished Scholarly/Creative Activity Awards

James M. Aton

James M. Aton

When Dr. James Aton moved to southern Utah in 1980, he fell in love with the Colorado Plateau. He decided his life’s work would be writing about that place and its people. He was especially drawn to the Plateau’s rivers and canyons, and has taken a hundred or more research trips down those rivers, exploring both the natural and human history of those incomparable landscapes. While Dr. Aton loves archival research, field work is his passion as he tracks down prehistoric and historic sites to figure out how people have made a living in the canyon country. In 39 years at SUU, he has published seven books that have won four awards. Most recently he teamed up with renowned archaeologist Jerry D. Spangler to write about Harvard archaeologists who did pioneering work in Utah from 1928- 1931. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Aton earned his Ph.D. in American literature from Ohio University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from University of Kentucky and Spring Hill College.

Sangho Bok

Sangho Bok

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Sangho Bok is an assistant professor of engineering and electrical engineering and focuses his scholarly work on developing nanotechnology-based biosensors and bioelectronics system for biomedical diagnosis. His research also extends to nanoenergetics and super- resolution imaging. Dr. Bok embraces the motto of “no one left behind in education,” and strives each day to help his students connect in-class knowledge to real-world problems while furthering their lifelong learning goals. He currently teaches programming for engineers, electronics, mechatronics, manufacturing, and electromagnetics, and says his favorite class is electric circuits due to its robust overview into electrical engineering and the numerous real-world applications that students glean from this introductory course. Dr. Bok earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia, his master’s degree in physics from Indiana State, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Sung Kyun Kwan University in South Korea.

Matthew Eddy

Matthew Eddy

Dr. Matthew Eddy believes that sociological imagination can empower everyone to improve the world. To that end, his academic work focuses on human rights non- governmental organization strategies, the recruitment of human rights volunteers in high-conflict zones, military recruitment, and Costa Rica’s ecotourism model. His first documentary film, A Bold Peace (now out in three languages), details Costa Rica’s experiment in demilitarization that has generated conversations around alternative national security strategies, diplomacy, and internal law. That documentary screened at festivals around the world, including at the United Nations Association Film Festival. An assistant professor of sociology, Dr. Eddy teaches a wide variety of courses in that field, and particularly enjoys documentary filmmaking because he sees students producing great work when faced with the multiple creative and technical challenges of completing a short film in one semester. Originally from Denton, Texas, he holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Oregon, a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Austin College.

Distinguished Scholarly/Creative Activity Past Recipients