Faculty, Staff Recognized for Contributions

Students Also Given Scholarships at Awards Ceremony

By: Lisa Krueger

For their excellence in teaching and advising, faculty members Susan Bungard (theology) and Brian Roth (engineering) received awards. Three additional faculty and three staff members also received recognition for their academic and professional contributions.

Every year, Walla Walla University honors both faculty and staff for both distinction in scholarship and dedicated service to the university. This year at WWU’s special Awards CommUnity on April 27, five faculty and three staff were given awards.

Distinguished Faculty Lecturer

This award recognizes excellence in teaching and scholarship, involvement in governance, church, and community service. Each November, the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for the year addresses the faculty, staff, board, and interested students and community members, and is awarded a $2,000 honorarium. The Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2012 is Karen Tetz from the School of Nursing. Tetz, at WWU since 1986, is a masterful teacher who integrates technology and hands-on activities into her teaching, as well as being an active scholar, presenter, and speaker.

Excellence in Teaching Award

This president’s award is given to a faculty member who shows excellence specifically in demonstrating the craft and high standards of excellent teaching. The recipient of this award is nominated by students and faculty, and receives a letter from the president and $1,500. The 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award went to Susan Bungard, from the School of Theology. Students describe Bungard as encouraging, caring, personally interested in their lives and development—the type of teacher that makes learning inviting. 

Excellence in Advising Award

This award results from nomination by students. Some defining qualities of good advisers are a willingness to help, patience, being knowledgeable, encouraging, and a good listener. The recipient receives a letter from the president, a plaque to commemorate this award, and a check for $1,000. This year’s winner of the Excellence in Advising Award is Brian Roth, assistant professor in the School of Engineering.

Excellence in Scholarship Award

Though faculty scholarship comes in many forms, it is summed up as the giving of a professor’s original contributions to his or her specialized field of study. Recipients are thoughtful and dedicated teachers, scholars, and researchers. The faculty member chosen for this award is given a letter from the president and a check for $1,000. The 2012 recipient of the Excellence in Scholarship Award is Kraig Scott, professor of music. “Scott is endlessly enthusiastic about his field. He is consistent in excellent application of his scholarship week after week, year after year. He not only integrates his art into our worship experience, enriching the spiritual vibrancy of our campus community, but he regularly presents in a wide variety of venues as a respected scholar and performer, says Ginger Ketting-Weller, vice president for academic administration.

Outstanding Teaching Award

The C. Michael and DeLona Lang Bell Outstanding Teaching Award goes to a teacher who exemplifies excellence in thought, generosity in service, beauty in expression and faith in God.  According to the criteria, “the recipient should not only excel in his/her area of discipline, but also be widely recognized as an outstanding teacher.  He/she should be exemplary in integrating faith with rigorous thought. He/she must have consistently high faculty evaluation rankings, and must participate in regular, professional and fair administration of evaluations.”  The recipient of this award for 2012 is Greg Dodds, professor of history.

“Walla Walla University’s faculty is a group of people whose knowledge, talents, and performance are truly impressive,” says Ketting-Weller. “Some awards have been set up to say thank you and to acquaint you with faculty who exemplify excellence in various aspects of their work.  Most of these are chosen in consultation with student nominations.  All of them symbolize what makes Walla Walla University an exceptionally good place for our students to learn.”

Rising Staff Member of the Year

This award is given to a staff member who has been working at Walla Walla University for fewer than four years. The person is nominated by students, staff, and faculty, and is given $250, as well as a plaque and a letter from the president. The 2012 Rising Staff Member of the Year is Karl Thompson, director of technical support services.

Staff Member of the Year – Salary

This award is given to a salary staff member who has been employed by the university for four years or more. The recipient is nominated by students, staff, and faculty, and is awarded $500, a plaque, and a letter from the president. This year’s Salary Staff Member of the Year is Duane Anderson, manager of management information systems, which is part of the IS department.

Staff Member of the Year – Hourly

This award is given to an hourly staff member who has been employed by the university for four years or more. The recipient is nominated by students, staff, and faculty, and is awarded $500, a plaque, and a letter from the president. This year’s Hourly Staff Member of the Year is Maria Velasco, custodial building coordinator.

“Although there are many deserving employees across our campus who are critical to our mission,” says Steve Rose, vice president for financial administration, “these awards honor and recognize three staff members who are competent, dependable and dedicated. It is clear to us that these individuals embody what makes WWU so great.”

Scholarships Awards

Also, at this event, students receiving donor scholarships were listed in a special program. This year, 482 students were awarded a total of $618,383 in scholarship money. The majority of scholarship dollars comes from alumni and friends of the university who establish annual or endowed scholarships. 

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