Columbus State University News Release
April 15, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ga. — An emergency room doctor-turned-professor is Columbus State University’s 2011 Educator of the Year.
Dr. Paula Walker, an associate professor of health science, accepted the award during Friday afternoon’s 2011 Scholastic Honors Convocation on Columbus State’s main campus. Other top faculty honorees are business professors Mike Daniels for faculty service and Ed O’Donnell for research and scholarship. The Faculty Cup, recognizing CSU’s top student for 2010-2011, went to biology major Roma Patel.
Walker joined the CSU faculty in 2005 after transitioning to full-time teaching from practicing emergency medicine at Detroit’s St. John Hospital and Medical Center. With advanced cardiac life support among her specialties, she teaches graduate and undergraduate students in courses such as Death and Dying, Consumer Health and Community Health Problems for CSU’s Health Science Program in the College of Education and Health Professions.
Before completing a residency at St. John in 1998, Walker earned a medical degree from Wayne State University in Michigan after finishing undergraduate studies in microbiology at Howard University. Her career shift to education included a stint at Chattahoochee Valley Community College.
She has developed an online course supporting CSU’s distance education initiative and serves as the pre-med advisor to health science students, on the Graduate Council and Preprofessional committees, and she chairs the CSU committee for Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
O’Donnell, a former aircraft and hydraulic industry project manager, has flourished as a scholar, with recent research published in the Journal of Management Studies, Marketing Management Journal, Frontiers of Entrepreneurial Research and others. An assistant professor of marketing for the Turner College of Business and Computer Science, his current research interests include international product strategy, sales management and inter-organizational business relationships.
Daniels, while teaching at CSU for 31 years, has served 120-plus institutional committee appointments. A professor of economics, he has produced more than 40 economic studies supporting educational, business, infrastructure and quality of life improvements in the surrounding community.
Patel was unable to attend the convocation, as she was in Huntsville to present her recent research into orthodontic rubber band toxicity as part of a regional conference of the Tri-Beta national biological honor society. A CSU Dean’s List regular pursuing a career in dentistry, she also has been active in supporting medical services to impoverished Costa Rican communities as local chapter president for the American Medical Student Association.
Other top student honors, the Academic Recognition and Phi Kappa Phi Senior awards, went to music majors Emily Vold and Amanda Beard respectively.
New faculty emeritus designees are retired or retiring professors Bill Birkhead (biology), Terry Norris (criminal justice) and library faculty Erma Banks, Callie McGinnis and Sandra Stratford. The award to the late Bill Chappell (political science), also part of this class, was presented to his widow, Delane, during a March 4 memorial service on campus.