Three Waynesburg University faculty members were honored with the 2019 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards Tuesday, March 19, during the University’s Charter Day celebration.
Presented annually, the awards recognize faculty in three categories: Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty, Excellence in Introductory Subjects and History of Teaching Excellence.
“We are grateful to the Lucas-Hathaway Charitable Trust for providing the opportunity for us to recognize outstanding faculty every year,” said Waynesburg University Provost Dana Cook Baer. “The three faculty members who were selected this year are talented, compassionate and dedicated individuals. They represent the many faculty and staff members at Waynesburg University who recognize that the gifts they have received are not theirs alone. Instead, they use their gifts for the purpose of serving Him and serving other people.”
Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty
Todd Hamel, Lecturer of Computer Science, received the 2019 Lucas-Hathaway Excellence in Teaching by Part-Time Faculty Award, which recognizes a non-full-time faculty member who teaches at any of the Waynesburg University sites or online.
“Every single class I gain a month’s worth of knowledge,” a student nomination stated. “He was by far the best reason for why I fell in love with computers.”
Another student shared that everything they were asked during various job interviews was learned in one of Hamel’s four classes. They added that “he knows what it takes to land successful occupations today and that is precisely what he is teaching us.”
Hamel has been with the University since 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Salem College and a Master of Education degree in technology from Waynesburg University.
Excellence in Introductory Subjects
Josh Sumpter, Instructor of Biblical and Ministry Studies and Assistant University Chaplain, received the 2019 Lucas-Hathaway Excellence in Introductory Subjects Award.
A colleague shared that Sumpter “teaches with a servant’s heart – he is always thinking about how he can better serve his students.”
“He uses creativity to engage every student, to meet every student where they are and to present Jesus to every student in a way they will understand,” stated another colleague.
“Professor Sumpter lives based on the understanding that everything matters: his investment in students matters, each student’s life matters, the way they walk through their residence hall matters and their attitude as they sit in the dining hall matters,” a student nomination said.
Sumpter joined Waynesburg University in 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary and a Master of Education degree from Waynesburg University.
History of Teaching Excellence
Dr. Heidi Fletcher, Associate Professor of Chemistry, received the 2019 Lucas-Hathaway History of Teaching Excellence Award.
“She embodies the spirit of this award in her teaching practice and continued work with students,” a colleague nomination stated.
Another colleague shared that “Heidi employs a wide variety of teaching methods in her classes. She utilizes approaches that she gleans from conferences and peer-reviewed journals, and she also innovates her own techniques.”
Fletcher is described as being a professor who “designs experiments to give students a full appreciation for and an understanding of those techniques that are vital for conducting biochemistry experimentation.”
She has been with the University since 2008. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Science from Frostburg State University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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.