Top educators earn new title: Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor

OGDEN, Utah — Continuing a 19-year tradition, Weber State University announced the newest Brady Presidential Distinguished Professors, with this year’s recipients representing the fields of communication, nursing, and physics and astronomy. 

Named after the late Rodney Brady who served as WSU president from 1978 to 1985, the honor recognizes WSU professors who demonstrate the highest quality teaching, scholarship, research and community service. Rodney and Carolyn Brady provided a generous gift to fund this annual honor. 

Colin Inglefield

As chair of the physics and astronomy department, Inglefield exemplifies excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Over the years, he has taken on a diverse and challenging teaching load, often going beyond the standard curriculum — from giving “bed of nails” demonstrations to leading book discussions. He also provides one-on-one mentorship to pre-med students and future engineers.Colin Inglefield smiles for a picture in his graduation regalia.

As a scholar, Inglefield develops solid state and materials research projects that involve Weber State students. As a materials scientist, he collaborates with faculty across the university to provide interdisciplinary microscopy projects for students. Inglefield has contributed to 26 publications, six of which included undergraduates. He also coordinates and presents at events like the Physics Open House, which draws hundreds of visitors each year. He has been involved in the American Physical Society and Society of Physics Students, and has hosted a meeting of the Four Corners section of the APS at WSU. His research and expertise have influenced curriculum in physics departments across Utah’s higher education system.

Throughout his many years as department chair, Inglefield has helped students and colleagues achieve their greatest potential. He genuinely supports the work of others and uses his role to carve out opportunities for faculty and staff to pursue the best work they can do. He has fostered a culture of support and success, evidenced by countless physics students who moved on to graduate studies and satisfying careers under his mentorship, as well as a department that has earned the university’s top awards. 

Melissa NeVille

During her 14 years at Weber State, NeVille has served as an accomplished visionary leader, having overseen both the Master of Science in Nursing program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, where her transformational leadership style helped develop programs that have earned national recognition and experienced growth. Thanks to her leadership and outstanding faculty, the MSN program ranked in FORTUNE's Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs and received Princeton Review's 2022 Best Online Nursing School Master's Programs. NeVille also guided the accreditation process for both graduate programs in nursing with outstanding results, including full accreditatiMelissa NeVille Norton is wearing her graduation regalia and smiles for a picture.on status of Weber State's first doctoral program.

Through her passion for creating evidence-based instructional design infrastructure, high-impact student education experiences, and clear pathways for student success, NeVille has contributed significantly to the school's course development, program development, and instructional enhancements in graduate nursing education and assessment. For these efforts, she received the Presidential Teaching Excellence Award. In all this, she has maintained her registered nurse and advanced practice registered nurse licensure and certification since 2001. She continues to serve as a pediatric nurse practitioner at a free clinic, engaging with her community and supporting underserved populations through her clinical and philanthropic work.

NeVille is accomplished with program and institutional assessment. As chair of the Appointment, Promotion, Academic Freedom and Tenure committee, she helped implement a university-wide end-of-course evaluation process and streamlined the tenure document, earning her the WSU Faculty Governance Award. Recently, she was appointed Chair of the Graduate Council and entrusted with the responsibility of spearheading the development and implementation of the university's Office of Graduate Studies initiative.

Sarah Steimel 

Steimel’s contributions to her students, department, college and the university are exemplary. As a communication professor, her research and teaching interests are in organizational communication, diverse people in organizations, and research methods, with a major part of her research focusing on communication in nonprofit organizations. Since starting at WSU in 2011, Steimel has racked up 17 publications in leading academic journals and books, and 44 presentations at academic conferences to include the National Communication Association. Her work is often singled out for excellence by hSarah Steimel is wearing her graduation regalia and smiles for a peers, having received “Top Paper” or “Top Four Paper” five times. She was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Award in 2020 to conduct extensive research in online education. In this area, she has incorporated best practices into her own career, with research published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 

Steimel draws glowing reviews from students in WSU’s Master of Professional Communication program. She earned the Presidential Teaching Excellence Award in 2018 and has twice been a finalist for the Western States Communication Association Distinguished Teaching Award. She’s known as a champion of student research, having chaired five thesis committees for graduate students and led 10 students in independent study or research projects. 

Aside from all this, she also finds time to serve as reviewer for several journals and as elected school board chair for the DaVinci Academy charter school. At WSU, she has served as Director for the MPC Program, Director of Graduate Studies, and recently transitioned to Associate Dean of the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities. She has also run the Engaged Learning Series for the Center for Community Engaged Learning from 2013 to 2015. In all these roles, she has made profound impacts and has always prioritized student success.


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Rachel Badali, news coordinator