At right, Brian McEnnis, professor of mathematics at the Ohio State University at Marion, was presented the 2013 Distinguished Faculty Service award Friday during a surprise ceremony at his calculus II and engineering mathematics class in Morrill Hall. Making the presentation was Michael Boehm, left, vice provost for academic and strategic planning at OSU. At center is McEnnis' wife, Rosalie. Photo by Bill Sinden/The Marion Star
Written by Kurt Moore, The Marion Star
Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013
MARION — Brian McEnnis, an Ohio State University at Marion mathematics professor and founder of Marion’s Science Cafe program, received recognition Friday for his contributions to the university.
Michael Boehm, Ohio State University’s vice provost for academic and strategic planning, presented McEnnis with the President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service.
The award recognizes faculty whose contributions to university policies and programs impact the quality of the university.
Boehm said the university gives three of the awards each year. McEnnis is one of 50 faculty members to receive it over 20 years and joins former recipient physics professor Gordon Aubrecht as Ohio State at Marion recipients.
“You are touching students’ lives all over Marion County and beyond,” Boehm said. He specifically discussed the OSUM mathematics professor’s help with the university’s annual science fair and the monthly Science Cafe scientific discussion series.
Boehm, Ohio State at Marion Dean Gregory Rose and others surprised McEnnis during a math class Friday. Rose and other faculty nominated McEnnis for the award.
“Dr. McEnnis’ service contributions to Ohio State are both extensive and varied,” Rose said in his nomination. “He has worked tirelessly to extend the reach and visibility of The Ohio State University into our communities.”
“This is overwhelming” McEnnis said. “I really appreciate the recognition and kind words my colleagues made.”
McEnnis, who lives in Marion, joined Ohio State at Marion as a tenure track assistant professor in 1978. He became an associate professor in 1984 and a full professor in 1992.
He mainly teaches remedial and first-year mathematics courses. As a senior faculty member, he also steps into committee and leadership roles.
He directs the annual North Central District Science Fair and the Marion Area Science and Engineering Fair held annually at OSUM. He launched the Science Cafe in 2007 to “bring science from the campus to the community.”
“Indeed not all professors have an interest in helping young people learn to love math, but Brian is really good at this,” OSU professor of music Tim Gerber said in his recommendation.
Mariam Hellalat, a sophomore in the Friday class taught by McEnnis, said she thinks he’s one of the best teachers.
She talked about his patience, giving an example of how he worked with a student recently to help her understand how to do a problem.
“He just kept going until she understood,” Hellalat said.
McEnnis plans to retire after this school year but will continue to be involved in the science fairs. He will receive a $3,000 bonus.