U.S. Naval War College on July 29 held its 12th Faculty Cloister, an annual event that gathers the teaching staff to recognize top educators, share priorities for the coming school year and address special academic topics.
Navy Cmdr. Michael O’Hara received the Weschler Award for Inspirational Teaching for his work in the Strategy and Policy Department.
Nominated by department Chair David Stone, O’Hara was acknowledged for his leadership of seminars that received perfect or near-perfect ratings from students last year. O’Hara was also recognized for lectures on cyber warfare, termination of war and U.S. strategy in the Arabian Gulf, in addition to a reading workshop he organized to help students manage their heavy workload.
“His dedication and work ethic, enthusiasm for teaching, innovation in the classroom and commitment to student success are exemplary among the college’s uniformed professors,” according to the award citation.
Thomas J. Cutler, a faculty member in the College of Distance Education and an award-winning author, received the Distinguished Fleet Professor Award. This award, now in its third year, is given for superior professional performance as a teacher and mentor.
Cutler’s recognition is based on peer and student nominations, which were reviewed by a selection board of the senior College of Distance Education faculty member and previous winners. He teaches in Annapolis, Maryland, through the college’s Fleet Seminar Program.
“His dedication to his craft and to his students is second to none as reflected by his student and colleague rankings over the course of his nearly thirty-year career in the College of Distance Education,” Cutler’s award citation notes.
The faculty also heard from Deanna Conley, a special-education consultant and owner of Prosper Special Education Advocacy Services, about the challenges of adult learning.
The Cloister concluded with reports from the college’s deans about what’s coming in the new academic year.
Haun said associate professor Amanda Rosen will join the college as associate director of the newly created Teaching Excellence Center. Rosen was previously associate professor of politics and international relations and a fellow in the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.