2024 Buchtel College Awards for Outstanding Achievement



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More than 125 faculty and staff were together at E.J. Thomas Hall for the 2024 Buchtel College Awards luncheon to recognize, honor and celebrate the accomplishments of the college community.

Dr. Mitchell S. McKinney, dean of the college, welcomed everyone and noted, “Our college takes pride in its exceptional community of learners, and we owe it all to our faculty and staff's unwavering commitment to our students' success. Today, we honor and express gratitude to our outstanding colleagues, whose remarkable contributions have truly made a difference.”

Buchtel College Awards

The Buchtel College Awards were presented by McKinney in seven categories to the following recipients.


Ashley Rini


Amy Wolfe


Dr. Ivan Popov

  • Outstanding Staff Achievement Award (tie) – Ashley Rini, director of advising and
  • Outstanding Staff Achievement Award (tie) - Amy Wolfe, senior academic advisor
  • Outstanding Achievement in Early Research & Creative Activity Award - Dr. Ivan Popov, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry


Dr. Greg Wilson


Dr. Toni Bisconti


Mike Drozin

  • Outstanding Achievement in Research & Creative Activity Award - Dr. Greg Wilson, professor, Department of History
  • Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award - Dr. Toni Bisconti, associate professor, Department of Psychology
  • Outstanding Achievement in Adjunct Teaching Award - Mike Drozin, assistant lecturer, Department of Statistics


Dr. Devon Carter


The "Johnny" Awards


Dr. Lara Roketenetz

  • Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Award – Dr. Devon Carter, assistant professor, LJFF School of Education
  • Outstanding Achievement in Professional Service and Community Engagement Award – Dr. Lara Roketenetz, director, UA Field Station, Department of Biology

Exemplary Leadership Award

dean exemplary leadership.jpeg

At the end of the ceremony, McKinney himself was surprised with an Exemplary Leadership Award. “His creative initiatives and unwavering commitment have elevated college morale and relevance,” said Dr. Gary Holliday, assistant director of the LJFF School of Education, who presented him with the award on behalf of the college. “He has fundamentally changed the culture of our college and community through his dedication to student, staff, and faculty well-being.”

"I was completely surprised, and deeply moved, to receive an Exemplary Leadership Award from my BCAS colleagues at the conclusion of our annual Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting (I now have my very own Johnny)! Serving with you as your Dean, and working alongside each of you, as we build a world-class community of learners, is indeed a great privilege. Thank you for allowing me to be your Dean!" - Dr. Mitchell S. McKinney

Dean’s Leadership Awards


Dr. Lisa Lenhart


Dr. Marc Reed


Dr. Maria Alejandra Zanetta

Dr. Lisa Lenhart, director of the LJFF School of Education, was recognized for her inspired leadership of the School of Education faculty and staff, for her exemplary community-public engagement work, especially for her many efforts to strengthen UA's relationship with Akron Public Schools, and also for her career achievements in research, including most recently the creation of UA's Center for Structured Literacy.

McKinney also recognized and thanked Dr. Marc Reed for his dedicated leadership of both the School of Music and the School of Dance, Theatre and Arts Administration. McKinney praised Reed for his public-community engagement and tireless efforts to represent and advocate for our performing arts programs throughout the community.

Dr. Maria Alejandra Zanetta, distinguished professor of modern languages, was honored with the award upon on her retirement after 30 years of service to the university. Zanetta’s academic career is full of awards for teaching excellence, mentoring, and service. A former chair of the department, Zanetta has been a prolific researcher as well as an artist.

Story by: Lisa Craig, BCAS Marketing, lmc91@uakron.edu.