Huron, Ohio – Bowling Green State University Firelands College Dean William Balzer has been selected by the Erie County Chamber of Commerce as the recipient of the 2011 Marcellus F. Cowdery Educator of the Year Award.

Named after Marcellus Cowdery, a national pioneer in public education who became the first superintendent of Sandusky City Schools in 1848, the award was established by the former and first Dean of BGSU Firelands Jim McBride in 1990.

Balzer was selected by the Chamber’s Senior Council of Past Board Chairpersons in recognition of his outstanding educational leadership and personal contributions that have served to improve the Erie County community.

Balzer has been the Dean of BGSU Firelands since July 1, 2009.  He started with Bowling Green State University in 1983 as an assistant professor of industrial-organizational psychology and was promoted to full professor in 1992.  Balzer has held several previous administrative appointments at BGSU including Director of the Institute for Organizational Research and Development, Director of the Graduate Program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Chair of the University’s nationally recognized Department of Psychology, and Associate Vice President and Dean of Continuing & Extended Education.  He also served as Interim Dean of BGSU Firelands from 1999-2001.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Balzer earned a master degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, and a doctorate degree at New York University, both in the area of industrial-organizational psychology.  In 1996, Balzer was awarded a fellowship from the American Council on Education and spent his fellowship year working in the president’s office at Wayne State University, Detroit. 

A licensed psychologist, Balzer’s research interests include performance evaluation and feedback, job attitudes, and applied decision making, with a recent focus on evidence-based practices in management, medicine, and related areas.  He has published more than 30 articles and chapters and participated in more than 50 conference presentations.

Balzer is also active in the community.  He is a board member for the Erie County Economic Development Corporation, the Firelands Regional Medical Center, the James H. McBride Arboretum Board, and the Mylander Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Notre Dame Academy, Toledo.

Last year the Marcellus F. Cowdery Educator of the Year Award was presented to Perkins Local Schools Superintendent Jim Gunner and Sandusky’s Osborne Elementary School Principal Rebecca Muratori.

The award this year will be presented at the Chamber’s 2011 Annual Meeting & Awards banquet on Tuesday, June 28.

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