Sunday, March 10, 2013

2013 Faculty and Staff Awards Night Honors Employees

“49104: The Next Best Place” was the theme for this year’s annual Faculty/Staff awards night, held Sunday, March 3, at the Howard Performing Arts Center. Each year at this event faculty and staff are given recognition through the Years-of-Service Awards, Excellence in Service Awards, Faith Development Leadership Award, Daniel A. Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Awards and Siegfried H. Horn Excellence in Research & Creative Scholarship Awards.

“49104” was an Andrews-themed take on Garrison Keillor's popular radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. It featured all local talent, including live bluegrass music by Five for Grace and a script written by Bruce Closser, Scott Moncrieff and Ivan Davis from the Department of English and Ronald Knott, director of the Andrews University Press. A cast of faculty and staff performed “live” radio skits about life in our little community, “Where all the faculty are strong, all the staff are smart, and all the students are over-performing.” Nicholas Miller, associate professor of church history at the Seminary, was the host for the evening’s performance, and coached the audience on proper British ways of etiquette and pronunciation. The title song, “49104: The Next Best Place,” was a parody written and performed by Knott, based on “Something Good” from The Sound of Music. Dining Services implemented the theme with local food items served from farm stands erected in the Howard Lobby.

Siegfried H. Horn Excellence in Research & Creative Scholarship Award
This award was established in 2011 to honor Siegfried Horn’s legacy of scholarship and contribution to the field of biblical archaeology at Andrews University, and his impact upon the world church and the wider community of scholars. The award was established to recognize the lifetime scholarship achievement of Andrews University faculty members. The chair of the Scholarly Research Council accepts nominations in four separate categories: Arts, Humanities and Education; Pure and Applied Sciences; Professional Programs; and Religion and Theology. Award recipients, who must be associate or full professors and full-time employees for a minimum of five years, are selected by the membership of the Scholarly Research Council.

This year’s recipients were: Fernando Canale, professor of theology & philosophy, Department of Theology & Christian Philosophy; Winston Craig, professor of nutrition, Department of Nutrition & Wellness; Tevni Grajales Guerra, professor of research and statistical methodology, Department of Graduate Psychology & Counseling; and Øystein LaBianca, professor of anthropology, Department of Behavioral Sciences.

Staff Excellence in Service Award
The recipients of this award are hourly or salaried full- or part-time staff who have served for at least three consecutive years, and have not previously received the award. The award is given in recognition of outstanding service to the University, the church and the community, and for demonstrating, by precept and example, a Christ-centered life. This year’s recipients were Cynthia Caballero, secretary, Ruth Murdoch Elementary School; Gregory Offenback, heavy equipment operator, Transportation; and Edelmira Guzman, custodial supervisor, Lamson Hall.

Daniel A. Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Award
Eight faculty members received the Daniel A. Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Award. This award recognizes faculty whose teaching reflects the high standards of excellence modeled by Daniel A. Augsburger in his 60 years of teaching at Andrews University. Augsburger’s leadership, academic rigor, breadth of knowledge, teacher-scholar role, along with care and concern for students, exemplify the best of faculty endeavors. Faculty from each school nominate and choose their individual candidates. This year’s recipients were: Gary Burdick, associate dean of research, School of Graduate Studies & Research; Pedro Navia, professor of Spanish, College of Arts & Sciences; Shelly Perry, associate professor of social work, College of Arts & Sciences; Tom Michaud, instructor of digital media, School of Architecture, Art & Design; Ben Maguad, professor of management, School of Business Administration; Nancy Carbonell, associate professor of counselor education and counseling psychology, School of Education; Richard Show, associate professor of medical laboratory science; and Darius Jankiewicz, associate professor of theology, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.

Faith Development Leadership Award
This honor is awarded to any employee, faculty or staff, who has made a significant contribution to the spiritual life of campus. Formerly known as the Spiritual Life Award, instituted in 2005, the name was changed this year. This year’s honoree was Paul Elder, manager of Plant Service. His humbleness is one of the first attributes folks notice about him. Elder leads worship for all his staff every Monday and encourages an open searching heart for Jesus. He believes doing a good job is also leaving a good impression that Jesus makes the difference in your life. He is also an avid supporter of student missionaries and served on the Student Missions Advisory at Andrews University. Elder knows the names of all his staff and students. The students who work in his area said, “He always says hello to us no matter where we are on campus.” He is also engaged in his local church as an elder and Sabbath School teacher and leads out in the mid-week prayer meeting.

35 Years of Service Awards
Daniel Bidwell, senior systems administrator, Information Technology Services
Dan Bidwell started full-time work as a systems administrator at Andrews University in August 1977. He began teaching computer science in 1980 and was a member of the first graduating class in computer science in 1981, receiving a Master of Science. Andrews is grateful for the many contributions Dan has made to so many campus firsts: the first Internet connection, the first fiber optic data cable, and the first WEB server at Andrews, to name a few. Dan was also the first Seventh-day Adventist to receive a doctorate in computer science in 1986.

Gregory Offenback, heavy equipment operator, Transportation
Since 1978, Gregory Offenback has been doing all kinds of heavy lifting, so to speak, at Andrews. From his years of fixing equipment to planting and harvesting crops at the Andrews Farm and Dairy, to his current role as a “jack-of-all-trades” at Transportation, Greg certainly is one of Andrews’ most dedicated caretakers. The next time you enjoy a snow-free parking lot or a recently filled-in pothole, you have Greg to thank!

30 Years of Service Awards
Daniel Cress, director of servers & networks, Information Technology Services
Daniel Cress and his work can be characterized by the words quality, vision, innovation, research, planning and service. His vision, research and innovation have significantly impacted Andrews University: from planning and developing the campus network beginning 20 years ago, to finding technology to connect outlying buildings, designing and engineering the Seminary classrooms, and so much more.

Meredith Jones-Gray, professor of English, Department of English
Andrews University is a place of significance for Meredith Jones Gray—both professionally and personally. She joined the Department of English faculty 30 years ago; authored a history volume of the University, As We Set Forth, and is working on a second volume; earned three degrees from Andrews, and attended Andrews Academy and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School. And before that, it was the Sutherland House where her parents brought her home from the hospital when she was born.

Barry Wilson, master electrician, Plant Service
Barry Wilson has served Andrews University for 30 years, much of that as a master electrician for Plant Service. His greatest gift is his willingness to respond to any emergency, during his regular hours or in the middle of the night. Barry also represents Andrews in the community as a volunteer fireman. At any time he might be called to help save one of our neighbor’s lives or property.

25 Years of Service Awards
Elynda Bedney, director, Office of Student Financial Services
When you get information from Elynda Bedney, director of Student Financial Services, you know it will be done accurately. Just take a look at the Compliance Reviews from our Federal and State Agencies: the outcome is always the same…an excellent report! Bedney has given 25 years of excellent service to Andrews. Not bound by a time clock, she is there to ensure the enrollment process for financial clearance is handled accurately and timely.

Winston Craig, professor of nutrition and chair, Department of Nutrition & Wellness
Winston Craig has served as a leader in the Department of Nutrition & Wellness for the past 25 years. During his term as chair, he has guided the department through several transitions and been instrumental in developing academic programs. Colleagues and students alike appreciate his great storytelling ability and Christian example. Student comments on course evaluations testify to his excellent teaching and commitment to Christian education.

JoAnn Davidson, professor of theology, Department of Theology & Christian Philosophy
When JoAnn Davidson joined the Department of Theology & Christian Philosophy, it was at a time when women usually taught part-time, lecturing mostly in biblical languages. JoAnn’s assignment in the seminary consisted of teaching theology, that is, an academic area of study, where she had to research her own lectures on various doctrines and deliver them to masters and doctoral students. While students were used to tenors and basses, when this soprano joined, the department rallied behind her and she became what she is now—one of the top professors in the Seminary.

Kathleen Demsky, director, Architecture Resource Center, James White Library
As director of the Architecture Resource Center since 1990, Kathleen Demsky has made it the living room of the School of Architecture, Art & Design, and one of the most inviting and comfortable places to study on campus. She’s also been a leading force in establishing a European study program and the Waldensian Study Tour. As sponsor of the American Institute of Architecture Students and sponsor for Friday evening vespers, she serves students with warmth and Christian character as both a mentor and friend.

Steven Hansen, professor of art, Department of Visual Art & Design
Steven Hansen has been a faculty member at Andrews since 1987—exhibiting a wide variety of artistic interests over the years, beginning with painting then moving on to sculpture, working primarily in clay for the last couple of decades. Most recently he added a renewed interest in art history, beginning research on a manuscript that he hopes will be published in the near future. Held in high regard by colleagues and students alike, one of the key lessons Hansen instills in all he encounters is how “there can be no specific tag placed on what qualifies as ‘art’ in general.”

Herbert Helm, professor of psychology, Department of Behavioral Sciences
For 25 years Herbert Helm has defined the core of our psychology major at Andrews University. Herb’s understanding of the need for research in undergraduate education, his teaching skill, his high standards and the time he spends with students outside of the classroom have resulted in a very high level of student-led research/scholarship in the Department of Behavioral Sciences.

Mildred McGrath, patron services manager, James White Library
Mildred McGrath graciously shares her welcoming smile with patrons of the James White Library, while serving as the “front door” for those seeking library services. She takes a special interest in her student workers and is known for creating a family atmosphere at work, a deep care for her students’ wellbeing, and being dedicated to helping them succeed.

Alan Mitchell, assistant professor of music, Department of Music
“Organized” was a consistent theme for those who reflected on Alan Mitchell’s service to Andrews. It’s an attribute that has endeared him to colleagues and students alike. From coordinating music study and performance tours both domestically and internationally, to conducting the Andrews University Wind Symphony, to teaching countless students pursuing degrees in music education, Alan is greatly respected.

John Reichert, physical education instructor, Andrews Academy
Weeklong backpacking and mountain biking excursions in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina are just some of the ways John Reichert’s emphasis on health and exercise extend beyond the gymnasium. Since 1987, he has been faculty for Andrews Academy’s physical education department. Always looking for ways to improve physical education at Andrews Academy, John has been instrumental in overseeing the renovations of the Academy fitness center, to the benefit of both students and staff.

Dorothy Show, administrative assistant, Department of Old Testament
Over the past 25 years, Dorothy Show has been an amazing, yes, awesome administrative assistant for the Department of Old Testament. Her encyclopedic knowledge and expertise in the various facets of Seminary life are legendary. Professors in the department unfailingly know that when Dorothy is given a job to do, it will be done thoroughly, completely and accurately. No one is unimportant to her—even the little children who come to the office and get one of her famous “stickers!”

Richard Show, assistant professor of medical laboratory sciences, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences
Richard Show, or Dick as he is fondly known, is a consummate educator who brings a vast amount of clinical experience, practical insight and knowledge to his students. In addition to his teaching, Dick’s gift for instrument troubleshooting and repair has saved the University thousands of dollars over the years by cheerfully repairing donated instruments or fixing instruments that suffered under a little too much enthusiastic student use.

Additionally, the evening offered recognition for employees with 35, 30, 25, 20,15, 10 and 5 Years of Service. 

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