Widener Honors Faculty for Teaching Innovation, Research and Civic Engagement

 Dr. Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, professor in the School of Nursing; Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, associate professor in the School of Human Service Professions; and Dr. Michael Rosko, professor in the School of Business Administration, garnered top honors at the event coordinated by the Office of Teaching, Learning and Assessment. 

Drayton-Brooks, a resident of Swedesboro, N.J., received the Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has designed and implemented an innovation or experimental teaching/learning project. Dr. Beth Barol, associate professor in the School of Human Service Professions; Dr. J. Wesley Leckrone, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Michael Rosko, professor in the School of Business Administration, were honored as nominees.

Drayton-Brooks provided leadership in the design, implementation and evaluation for the doctor of nursing practice curriculum at Widener. In this evidence-based curriculum, students complete portfolios, competency-based clinical performance assessment, and a culminating capstone practice improvement project to substantiate student learning and to demonstrate that expected program outcomes are achieved.

She serves as the academic program director for the doctor of nursing practice and the family nurse practitioner master's program. Drayton-Brooks has taught across the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs for more than 15 years.

Drayton-Brooks earned her doctorate in education and bachelor's in nursing from Temple University and her master's in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She also earned a post-master's certificate from Widener's family nurse practitioner program, and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at University of Pennsylvania.

In 2007, she was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice where she advised on health care policy, provider education, workforce diversity, and nursing practice to governmental, nursing, and inter-professional audiences. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2010 in recognition of her faculty leadership and academic accomplishments.

Goldberg, a resident of Richboro, Pa., received the Outstanding Researcher Award, which recognizes a faculty member who is acknowledged nationally for his/her research and scholarship, quality of scholarly work, contribution to the profession/discipline and contribution to promoting the university's mission and vision. Dr. Karen Leppel, professor in the School of Business Administration; and Dr. Stephanie Schechner, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, were honored as nominees.

Goldberg's research focuses on neuropsychological applications in the medical community and on learning disabilities. Specifically, his work focuses on evaluation and rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injury, learning disabilities and differential diagnosis of dementia.

He has presented at the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology conferences and has been published in journals such as The Pittsburgh Orthopedic Journal, Practical Neurology, SCI Psychosocial Process, and Neuropsychology Review. As faculty in Widener's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology since 1996, Goldberg has contributed to his research community by developing a neuropsychology database that has been used extensively in graduate students' dissertation research.

In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Goldberg is director of the neuropsychology concentration and a clinical consultant in the Neuropsychology Assessment Center. For his scholarly contributions and service, Goldberg's work has been recognized with an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Widener School of Human Service Professions and numerous faculty development grants to support his research efforts.

Goldberg earned his doctorate in clinical psychology and a certificate of training in clinical neuropsychology from Widener. He earned a master's in educational and psychological services from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's from Franklin and Marshall College.

Rosko, a resident of Springfield, Pa., received the Faculty Award for Civic Engagement which recognizes a faculty member's contributions to Widener's civic engagement mission, especially the contribution to students' understanding of their social responsibilities, and the impact of their disciplinary learning in a particular program involving community constituencies. The winner of the award is selected from the finalists for the Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award and the Outstanding Researcher Award. Goldberg and Leckrone were honored as nominees.

Rosko has been working with an industry partner at a major health system to develop a multifaceted team project to engage healthcare management students in healthcare issues. The students are addressing such issues as quality, access, and costs to improve the efficiency of healthcare providers through process improvement.

Given an authentic project, his students documented the major work processes, performed gap analyses, and developed a metrics scorecard or dashboard. The industry partner co-taught the course and provided feedback to the students using current industry standards. Rosko utilized teleconferencing, digital information repositories, and electronic forums as collaboration tools to engage his students in understanding relevant theories and applications. As part of this innovation, the course work was integrated with ongoing research and other courses in the master's of business administration curriculum.

Rosko is a member of the editorial boards of Health Care Management Science, Public Budgeting & Financial Management, and Journal of Health and Human Services Administration. He has lectured on health economics and financing issues at a number of international settings, including INSEAD, University of York, and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

A Widener faculty member since 1979, Rosko received his doctorate in business administration and a master's in business administration in health administration from Temple University. He earned a bachelor's in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Applications of all three awards were reviewed by external academic leaders including Dr. Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College; Dr. Deneese L. Jones, provost at Drake University; and Dr. B. J. Reed, senior vice-chancellor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,500 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.


Photo:  Widener University President James T. Harris III (far left) and Provost Stephen C. Wilhite (far right) congratulate faculty award recipients (left to right) Michael Rosko, Shirlee Drayton-Brooks and Kenneth Goldberg.


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