Tag Archives: Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award

Tom Dasher and Mary Niedrach

Tom Dasher and Mary Niedrach, the 2018 winners of Berry’s Martindale Awards.

Mary Finley Niedrach (75A, 97G) and Dr. Tom Dasher are renowned by students and respected by colleagues, so it was fitting to see them recognized with Berry’s 2018 Martindale Awards of Distinction. These honors are presented annually to those who promote continuous improvement, implement innovative approaches to problem-solving and inspire others to extraordinary achievement. Both 2018 recipients are retiring this year, Niedrach after 25 years as a kindergarten teacher at Berry Elementary and Middle School, Dasher after 18 years as college provost and later department chair of English, rhetoric and writing. Read more.

Other faculty and staff members honored for excellence this spring include:

  • Dr. Ron Taylor, professor of mathematics, Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award
  • Dr. Casey Dexter, assistant professor of psychology, Dave and Lu Garrett Award for Meritorious Teaching
  • Dr. Lauren Heller, associate professor of economics, Mary S. and Samuel Poe Carden Award for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service to students and the college community
  • Dr. Tamie Jovanelly, associate professor of geology, Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring
  • Dr. Belinda Lady, lecturer in chemistry, SGA Faculty Member of the Year
  • Anna Sharpe, director of academic services, SGA Staff Member of the Year
  • Tom Harris, superintendent of beef operations, Rollins Center, John R. Bertrand Superior Student-Work Supervisor Award
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Kirsten Taylor, left, and Ginger Swann

Kirsten Taylor, left, and Ginger Swann

A respected leader among the faculty and a comforting presence for Berry’s student-athletes earned well-deserved recognition as the 2016 recipients of the Martindale Awards of Distinction. Associate Professor and Department Chair of Government and International Studies Kirsten Taylor won praise as the faculty Martindale recipient for her efforts to help foster consensus among colleagues on such controversial topics as general education reform. Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine Ginger Swann (93C) was lauded as the staff winner for her impressive ability to maximize resources and maintain high standards while providing innovative and personal care to more than 400 student-athletes each year.

Other faculty/staff award recipients included:

  • Dr. Martin Goldberg, retiring senior lecturer of animal science and college veterinarian, Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award
  • Dr. Nancy Edwards, assistant professor of teacher education, Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising
  • Dr. Kevin Hoke, associate professor of chemistry, Mary S. and Samuel Poe Carden Award
  • Dr. Michael Bailey, associate professor of government and international studies, Dave and Lu Garrett Award in Teaching
  • Alan Storey, retiring director of photographic services and community relations, SGA Staff Member of the Year
  • Dr. Randy Richardson, communication lecturer and forensics director, SGA Faculty Member of the Year
  • Kevin Ellis, barn manager for Gunby Equine Center, John R. Bertrand Superior Student Work Supervisor Award
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Christy Snider

Dr. Christy Snider

Zach Sherwin

Zach Sherwin

A longtime member of Berry’s history faculty and an innovative young alumnus found themselves in the spotlight this spring as recipients of the 2015 Martindale Awards of Distinction. These special awards were endowed by Susan Byrd Martindale (73C) and her husband, Larry, to reward faculty/staff members who promote continuous improvement, implement innovative approaches to problem solving and inspire others to extraordinary achievement.

In winning the Martindale Award for faculty, Associate Professor of History Christy Snider was praised for leading by example, encouraging students and bringing about positive changes to Berry’s history curriculum. Staff Martindale recipient Zach Sherwin (10C) was lauded as a behind-the-scenes innovator with an “unsurpassed sense of logic” who excels as assistant director of enterprise systems.

Other spring honorees included:

  • Dr. Christopher Diller, professor of English, rhetoric and writing, Vulcan Teach Excellence Award
  • Dr. Bob Frank, associate professor of communication, Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring
  • Dr. Sandy Meek, Dana professor of English, rhetoric and writing, Mary S. and Samuel Poe Carden Award
  • Dr. Chris Hall, associate professor of biology, Dave and Lu Garrett Award for Meritorious Teaching
  • Julie Bumpus, associate dean of students, Outstanding Staff Member (as selected by SGA)
  • Dr. Peter Yoder, visiting assistant professor of Christian studies, Outstanding Faculty Member (as selected by SGA)
  • Starr Boylan (93C), senior admissions counselor, John R. Bertrand Superior Student Work Supervisor Award

Additionally, Frank and Bumpus joined fellow retirees Jere Lykins and Harry Musselwhite in being granted emeritus recognition by the Berry College Board of Trustees.

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Another academic year is drawing to a close, providing the perfect opportunity to highlight excellence among faculty and staff. Dr. Janna Johnson (81C), at left in photo, and Dr. Christy Snider earned high praise at the recent Honors Night Convocation, taking home two of Berry’s most prestigious faculty awards. Johnson, a lecturer in mathematics and computer science and associate director of athletics, received the Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring. Snider, associate professor and department chair of history, claimed the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award.

Berry’s top faculty and staff members, as selected by the Student Government Association, both have ties to the Berry Alumni Association. Dr. David Slade (97C), associate professor of Spanish, director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and incoming historian of the Berry Alumni Association, was named Faculty Member of the Year. Interim Chaplain Jonathan R. Huggins, an associate alumnus (wife Lisa Hoffman Huggins is a 2000 graduate) claimed the same award for staff. Look for more winners in next month’s issue!

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