Peers recognize faculty trio with statewide teaching honors


UIndy Associate Professor John Somers has been named Outstanding Professor of the Year by the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children. Somers is director of graduate programs and coordinator of special education for the School of Education.

Presented at INCEC’s annual conference, the statewide award recognizes a college-level educator who has demonstrated knowledge, skill, and sensitivity in teaching university students about persons with disabilities; often goes above and beyond what is normally expected in the profession; and serves as a role model and inspiration to students and colleagues.

Associate Professor Angelia Ridgway was named University Teacher of the Year by the state chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Ridgway, who is coordinator of the Secondary Education and Master of Arts in Teaching programs in UIndy’s School of Education, received the honor last fall at the Indiana Conference of Foreign Language Teachers.

Harry Miedema, UIndy’s Director of Jazz Studies, was named the state’s Outstanding Collegiate Music Educator for 2011–12 at January’s annual conference of the Indiana Music Educators Association. The veteran teacher and saxophonist, whose decades-long professional career has included touring with Motown acts and serving as musical director for the O’Jays, described the honor as “humbling.” Recently inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Hall of Fame, Miedema performs locally with his Bossa Rio Sextet and hosts the weekly program “How Jazz Works” on UIndy’s public station, WICR-88.7 FM/HD.