From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2022–2023

2022–2023 Presidential Award for Outstanding NTE Faculty: Service

Tom Bubulya

Tom Bubulya

Tom Bubulya, Ph.D., senior lecturer of biological sciences at Wright State University, received the 2022–2023 Presidential Award for Outstanding Non-Tenure Eligible Faculty: Service, for going far above and beyond in his service to the Department of Biological Sciences.

Bubulya served as director of the biology graduate program from February 2020 to June 2021, a position usually filled by tenure-eligible and tenured faculty members, who serve as faculty advisors to graduate students.

“When the former director of the program stepped down, none of the tenure-eligible and tenured faculty offered to fill the position,” said Jeffrey L. Peters, Ph.D., professor and associate chair of biological sciences. “Tom recognized that a director was critically important to the program and volunteered to serve, despite not being a primary mentor of graduate students. He performed well in this high-workload position, while simultaneously shouldering the intensive teaching load expected of our non-tenure-eligible faculty.”

Additionally, Bubulya served as the interim freshman biology laboratory coordinator during the spring of 2022, once again stepping in without hesitation, knowing the department did not have sufficient time to obtain approval for hiring a replacement.

The biology laboratory coordinator is a full-time position, which Bubulya performed in addition to his typical teaching load. He stepped into that position again when the newly hired coordinator went on leave in the fall of 2022.

“In my role as dean, I have learned how essential it is to have someone reliable in the laboratory coordinator position, and how a department’s student success and instruction mission can be thrown into chaos,” said Ayşe Şahin, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “As adjuncts come and go, filling in holes, and gaps are juggled. There was, essentially, no amount of compensation that could make up for the stability and support Dr. Bubulya’s work provided for our students.”

Bubulya has also served on the Institutional Biosafety Committee since 2010, including as its chair or vice chair since 2012, the Biology Scholarship Committee since 2013 and the Biology Undergraduate Petitions Committee since 2018. He advises undergraduate honors researchers and serves on the graduate committees of numerous students.

His service extends into the Dayton community through his work with the Dayton Regional Summer STEM Academy, as coordinator and instructor for STEM initiatives at Wright State University, and coordinator of curriculum and co-organizer for the Summer STEM Institute at Wright State.

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