2007-2008 Mario & Alma Pastega Award Winners — 2008
September – December
Mario & Alma Pastega Faculty Award for Research
Marita Cardinal, Ph.D., professor of health and physical education, has spent her career trying to impact others lives in a positive way. Cardinal found a way to combine her love of dance and movement with her academic interests and has carved a niche for herself that has provided her with a variety of research paths.
This year’s winner of the Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship, she has been a dancer since the age of five. Her father, a physical educator, introduced her to kinesiology during elementary school.But when she reached college she saw other sides to dance culture – she saw students going through the extreme requirements of college-level dance such as over-use and extended use. Cardinal believes that students face problems with conditioning, weight management, and how to stay thin without neglecting proper nutrition.
“I want students to feel empowered that they have the power and knowledge to take care of themselves and be healthy,” said Cardinal. “I don’t want them to let stereotypes affect their self-identity.”
Cardinal said that this kind of support was lacking when she was in college and she realized that she wanted to provide it for her students. “Coming from a family of educators, I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” said Cardinal. She designed a dance wellness curriculum model for dance programs as her dissertation, earning her doctorate of education from Temple University in 1993. Since then her research has branched into several directions.
She has developed a screening program to determine where dancers are and what they need. Freshmen especially face overwhelming emotional issues that add to the pressures of dance. She’s also planning studies to look at the bone density of dancers because osteoporosis is typical in dancers, especially ballet dancers.
Dance and movement integration in the classroom is another research focus of Cardinal’s. She wants to provide resources for elementary school teachers to teach their students through movement. A third research focus of Cardinal’s is physical activity promotion for the general public, finding ways people can use physical movement to be healthy.
Linda Stonecipher, Ph.D., chair of the Health and Physical Education Division is a strong advocate of Cardinal’s research interests. “Marita has an international reputation in dance education and wellness. Marita’s colleagues around the country have recognized her contributions to the field.”
Cardinal was also recently named the National Dance Association Scholar/Artist Award recipient for 2009 and the 2008 Faculty Academic Advisor of the Year. This fall Cardinal will begin teaching class for both the Health and Physical Education Division and the Theatre and Dance Department.
Mario & Alma Pastega Staff Award for Excellence
Faculty, staff and students hear Teresa Bybee’s voice everyday, but not everyone has had the opportunity to get to know her. As the telecommunications coordinator for Western Oregon University, she is the voice for the phone and voicemail system and is the one to go to with any telecommunication needs.
Those who may have visited her in person, either while she was located in the Business Office or after her recent move to University Computing Services, would recall her generous nature and colorful M&M collection.
Bybee, this year’s winner of the Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Staff Excellence, joined WOU in 1995 after working at Oregon State University. She wanted to work in a smaller, more close-knit community. “It’s like an extended family,” said Bybee. “You get to hear about things going in people’s lives. And I like the way everyone works together here to make Western a better place.”
Bybee is an integral part of WOU’s day-to-day operations. She works with departments on campus to meet their telephone needs and puts together the annual campus directory, including getting photos of employees. Recently, her projects have included helping implement a new emergency notification system for campus, wireless access and support for other computing projects. Bybee is often called upon to provide expertise for the Oregon University System when they are testing programming software for telecommunications across the seven campuses.
She said she loves all of the projects she gets to work on and sees herself retiring in this role. “I love working with people, finding out their needs and how to provide options and solutions to meet those needs,” said Bybee.
“She’s always been very personable and pleasant,” said Darin Silbernagel, director of business services. “Teresa has always done a super job of meeting the needs of the client and the office staff. She’s very deserving of this award.”
A Mario and Alma Pastega award has significant meaning to Bybee. A native Oregonian having grown up in Corvallis, she witnessed the work that the Pastegas did for the Corvallis community. Bybee said: “It’s amazing to me that I’d get an award linked to the Pastegas. It means a lot to me because I’ve always admired them and the great things they do.”
LouAnn Vickers, employment and recruitment specialist, believes that it’s Bybee’s approachability that leaves a lasting impact on the campus community. “Because of her calm and caring demeanor, Teresa manages to make the individual feel that their situation, or perhaps crisis, is worthy of her time. I believe it would be a challenge to find someone on campus who would not agree with the selection of Teresa Bybee for this award.”
Mario & Alma Pastega Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence
Kit Andrews, Ph.D., associate professor of English, has brought a global perspective to the classroom. Throughout his 25-year teaching career, he taught for the Peace Corps in West Africa, was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, a visiting professor in London, and recently taught in Kassel and Ludwigsburg, Germany. Before he became a teacher, he worked on a dairy farm in Switzerland and taught English at a Club Med in Tunisia.
Andrews received his doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Oregon in 1992, his dissertation titled, “Resistance through Mourning: Pater after Adorno.” Receiving this year’s Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching wasn’t the first honor he has received for teaching ability. In 1987, the year he received his master’s in comparative literature, he was cited for Excellence in Teaching English Composition.
He joined WOU in 1998 and says he’s stayed because of the faculty and students. “I’m always amazed at the level of commitment to students, research, and to the university. Also the flexibility of the English department and the Humanities Division has allowed me to teach a range of courses that keeps me from becoming stale,” said Andrews. His courses have covered topics ranging from world literature to mythology to philosophy of history to the modern novel.
Many of his students are very supportive of his teaching, including Taisa Efseaff. “Dr. Andrews is the epitome of what a teacher ought to be: passionate, engaging, knowledgeable, well-prepared, challenging, and fair. Dr. Andrews as a teacher has helped me to be more successful in my other classes because he’s taught me how to think about literature, what questions to ask, and really to just apply myself to what I’m learning.”
Andrews thrives off of the success and enjoyment of students. He appreciates that students acknowledge the work of the faculty, and let their professors know when they’ve helped the students. He also respects the student’s intelligence, hard work, and efforts to improve. He said students tend to care about each other and help out their classmates, adding that there is a class atmosphere at times at WOU that is humane and intellectual at once.
Not only has Andrews inspired his students to learn, he has inspired many to become teachers themselves. “Dr. Andrews deserves this award because he has been an inspiration for me and encouraged my desire to become a teacher,” said student Onest Robert. “He wants every student to succeed and works hard to help students in every way he can to achieve that goal.”
For the future, Andrews looks forward to incorporate available technology into the classroom and tackle his reading list of German philosophy and British writers influenced by German philosophy. Andrews also plans to maintain the demanding level of his courses, and looks forward to being challenged by his students to read things in a new way.
Curator: Marissa Clausen, WOU Art Student