Faculty and Staff Recognized for Excellence

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Dr. Thompson and Kaleb Whitehair present Dr. Welter the Faculty Distinguished Service Award

The contributions and achievements of staff and faculty members were recognized during the university’s Honors and Recognition Dinner on May 5.Paul Green received the Administration/Staff Distinguished Service Award

Paul Green, production manager in the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts, received the Administration/Staff Distinguished Service Award, and Dr. Stephanie Welter, associate professor of biology, received the Faculty Distinguished Service Award. The Student Government Association recognizes KWU administration/staff and faculty through the distinguished service award. The faculty and staff recipients were voted on by the students.

Dr. James Townsend, associate professor of chemistry, received the Exemplary Teacher Award.

Criteria for selection includes excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the university and the community. The recipient for the KWU Exemplary Teacher Award is chosen by faculty peers.

The award is sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, and by Mahaska, who each provide $500 for the annual prize. There is also a plaque hanging in the Student Activities Center and one in the Hazen Center for Teaching Excellence that holds a photo of the current winner.Dr. Townsend receives the Exemplary Teacher Award

Interim Provost, Dr. Damon Kraft, who presented the award, described Dr. Townsend as “a caring teacher who is clearly liked and respected by both students and colleagues. As an exemplary model of effective teaching, course innovation, and life-long learning, this faculty member continually practices self-improvement in all areas of the role of ‘faculty.’ Consistently high course evaluations reflect that the students respect and appreciate the mentoring and caring approach used in his classrooms.”

At their February meeting, the KWU Board of Trustees approved the promotion and granted tenure to two faculty. Tenure is awarded by the university as a deserved recognition of academic achievement, personality, character and quality of services of the individual concerned. It is the granting of continuous contract status in a specific division or department to a ranked faculty member by an affirmative act of the board of trustees after recommendation by the president.

The newly tenured faculty are Dr. Annie Hoekman and Dr. Jacob Ogle.

Dr. Hoekman first came to KWU as a student, earning her B.S. in 2003, and her M.B.A. in 2005. Annie started teaching as an assistant professor in the Computer Studies Department at KWU in 2010. She recently earned her Ph.D. in Adult, Occupational, and Continuing Education. Besides receiving tenure, Dr. Hoekman has also been promoted to associate professor beginning with the new academic year.Dr. Hoekman and Dr. Ogle are recognized by Dr. Thompson and Dr. Kraft

Dr. Ogle started at KWU in the fall of 2011 as an assistant professor of math. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics. In addition to his role in the classroom, he has served as the university’s Faculty Athletic Representative this year. Dr. Ogle has also been promoted to associate professor beginning with the new academic year.