Every day, Ohio State faculty and staff strive to ensure the educational opportunities that students have go beyond the classroom and into the world. With their help, both education and experiences in the collegiate environment serve as powerful mediums that create the next generation’s problem solvers and innovative leaders. This past April, three incredible faculty and staff members were presented with awards in leadership, service and professional development.
Maryn Weimer, Senior Associate Director for the Center of Automotive Research was awarded the Mary Ann Williams Leadership Award, Katy Arenschield, Engineering Co-op and Internship Program Manager was presented with the Ruthmarie Mitsch Development Award, and Dr. Patricia Cunningham was posthumously awarded the Commitment to Service Award which was also named in honor of the late professor. All three women demonstrated exemplary accomplishments recognized by their peers and those impacted by their efforts.
Among her colleagues, Weimer is known for her positive attitude, strong sense of morale and an energetic approach that encourages others to put their best work forth. Those who nominated her say she inspires staff to dedicate their efforts to reaching their highest potential by having them take initiative with their ideas and adopting roles within their positions. She strives to make continuing education a necessity and has supported the development of three distance learning contracts, including one that was international.
Weimer has been praised for her effective use of communication and collaboration and by encouraging freedom in creativity among the staff. By considering the perspectives of her colleagues and constantly working to improve the lines of communications she has significantly improved the productivity and atmosphere at CAR.
“Receiving this award has truly left me shocked and amazed! I am so lucky to work with a team of talented and hardworking individuals that collaboration, cooperation and empowerment seem natural. To be recognized for something you love to do and have so much passion around just reinforces that I am in the right place and working on the right things! Thank you so much to all the amazing team members I am fortunate to work with every day,” said Weimer.
Katy Arenschield, was presented with the Ruthmarie Mitsch Professional Development Award which she will use to attend the Conference for Industry and Education Collaborators through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
Arenschield has been the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program Manager in the College of Engineering Office of Career Services for almost four years. The conference is a professional development opportunity that is offered for practitioners who work with engineering students and employers.
“My recent interactions with ASEE have given me the confidence to get outside my comfort zone and participate in an event that is not simply geared towards professionals just like myself, such as the career services conferences,” said Arenscheid. “I know that I will grow professionally through this event, learning from both engineering faculty and other practitioners who work with engineers and I am extremely excited about this opportunity. Receiving the ASFW award will help greatly in ensuring I can attend this conference.”
Patricia Cunningham II, PhD received the ASFW Commitment to Service Award which was also named in her honor. She was known by her students and close colleagues affectionately as “Dr. Patty” or the PhDiva and strived to be a voice for those at Ohio State who wanted to pursue their education. Cunningham was very passionate about the “education for citizenship” initiative which sought to create a more civically engaged community at Ohio State. Her most recent contribution included the development of the Social Change program formed through the Office of Student Life.
As the Director of Social Change, Cunningham helped connect the University with Columbus and other surrounding communities. She sought to address issues dealing with poverty and educated and mentored high-risk juveniles to reduce recidivism, empowered girls to develop their leadership skills and offered numerous professional and personal development opportunities for students.
She also advised and encouraged students as a retention counselor for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; served as the advisor for the AEPi Jewish Fraternity; founded and advised the Unplugging Society, an undergraduate student organization focused on addressing women’s rights issues; was a committed and engaged board member for Columbus Early Learning Centers and 1 Girl; was a co-principle investigator for the Ohio Appalachian Project, which researched and raised awareness for the limitations and difficulties students face in rural Ohio and served ASFW as conference chair from 2012-2015. She was also an instructor for several courses during her tenure at Ohio State.
Cunningham continued to be a mentor and advocate for students despite the most trying battles with her health. She has left behind an incredible legacy for like-minded individuals to pursue and though she has passed on, she has impacted the most brilliant students and accomplished faculty during her time at Ohio State. The Patricia Cunningham II Service Award will be given annually to an individual that exhibits many a strong commitment to giving back to the Ohio State community through exemplary dedicated service.