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Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards presented to Hepburn, Tanda, Wise

Each recipient received a commemorative plaque and a $1,200 award

Matthew Stultz Mar 20, 2018

Three Waynesburg University faculty members received the 2018 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards during the University’s Charter Day celebration Tuesday, March 20.

The Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards are presented annually and include three awards. One recognizes a faculty member with a history of teaching excellence, a second recognizes a faculty member with teaching excellence in introductory subjects and the third honors a part-time faculty member at any Waynesburg University site.

“It is always a privilege to recognize our outstanding faculty members for their accomplishments in the classroom,” said Waynesburg University Provost Dr. Dana Cook Baer. “This award is a unique honor, as it allows students and colleagues to recognize the exceptional work of each honoree.”

James Tanda, instructor of criminal justice and director of security operations and emergency management, received the 2018 Lucas-Hathaway Excellence Award for a faculty member with a teaching excellence in introductory subjects.

“This faculty member models the Christian values of Waynesburg University and encourages his students to embrace ethics and morals in everything they do,” said Baer.

One student stated, “he is a true professional and treats everyone with fairness and respect. He inspires and motivates me to do my best academically and professionally. I am a better person because of this teacher.”

Tanda joined Waynesburg University in 2013. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in criminal investigation from Waynesburg University.

Dr. James Hepburn, professor of psychology and director of graduate programs in counseling, received the 2018 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with a history of teaching excellence.

"Students appreciate this professor’s vast knowledge, experience and humor, and they know him as a kind, genuine, caring and compassionate teacher,” said Baer.

A student nomination noted, “he did an excellent job in helping me understand that language is a friend of a counselor and that counseling is a gift.”

Dr. Hepburn has been with the University since 1993. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Carroll College and a master’s degree in psychology, along with a doctorate in clinical psychology, from Duquesne University.

Rev. Christy Wise, lecturer of biblical ministry studies and communication, received the 2018 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a non-full-time faculty member.

“This teacher is dedicated to her work. I feel like she really cares about my well-being,” a student nomination stated.

A colleague described her as one who “teaches with integrity and enthusiasm, and really cares that students understand the content. It’s a joy to be confident in the way in which she teaches the Bible.”

Rev. Wise joined Waynesburg as a part-time instructor in 2007. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Waynesburg University and a master’s degree in early childhood education from California University of Pennsylvania.

She holds a permanent license as a minister from the American Baptist Church Leadership Institute of Western Pennsylvania and was ordained by the American Baptist Church.

The Lucas-Hathaway Charitable Trust has established an endowed fund that provides two annual teaching excellence awards for full-time faculty members and one award for a part-time faculty member. Faculty members were nominated by students, faculty or alumni. Each recipient received a commemorative plaque and a $1,200 award. The Trust is funded by J. Richard Lucas and C. Joan Hathaway Lucas, members of the class of 1950.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is one of only 22 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.