Faculty and Staff receive honors

five faculty and staff members honored at annual awards chapel

By: Kristi Spurgeon

Five Walla Walla College faculty and staff members were recently honored at the annual Awards Chapel. These individuals have been recognized for their excellence in academics, their work with students, and their embodiment of the mission of WWC. Honorees were nominated by faculty, staff, and students at WWC.

The recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is Heather Vonderfecht, visiting associate professor of social work. That prestigious award is given each year to a faculty member who shows excellence in upholding the craft and standards of teaching, in interactions with students and relationships with colleagues, in professional development, spiritual credibility, and in service to the academic discipline and/or profession. Vonderfecht has been a professor at WWC for 12 years and is consistently ranked by students as one of the top professors.

The award for Excellence in Advising was presented to Bruce Toews, associate professor of business. A good advisor can prove invaluable to students and is often remembered long after their college career is over. Toews is known for providing excellence advice to students, not only about their class schedules, but also about life in general. Toews has taught at WWC for 12 years.

Joe Galusha, professor of biology, has been named this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Galusha has contributed greatly to his field, particularly in the study of the glaucuous-winged gull. During his 26 years at WWC he has constantly strived to increase his knowledge and share what he’s learned with the world, in the process, instilling a love of research and study in his students.

Staff members receiving recognition awards include Doni Jones, assistant director of financial aid, and Lois Blackwelder, campus chaplain. Both have been recognized for their positive attitudes and obvious love for students. Jones has worked at WWC for five years, providing a welcoming atmosphere and bright smile for students visiting the Student Financial Services office. Blackwelder has spent 16 years demonstrating Christ’s love to students at WWC through her hard work and genuine caring spirit.

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