New awards given to long-serving faculty

On Sept. 19, 59 past and current faculty members were recognized for their contribution to the Guilford College community in the first annual Exemplary Educator Awards. The awards went to professors who have contributed more than a quarter decade teaching.

“Guilford College faculty (have) shaped our lives,” said Alumni Board member Esther Hall ‘74. “I just felt for a long time that, as alumni, we never said thank you.”

To receive an Exemplary Educator Award the educator must demonstrate Guilford’s core Quaker values, such as equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship.

The recipients must also show dedication to academia and the ability to help students develop their intellectual passions while taking into account students’ different learning styles.

To have a grand total of 59 Guilford faculty members awarded says two things about Guilford College. One, Guilford has a lot of good teachers that stand for what Guilford strives to be. Two, Guilford has a well-experienced teaching staff that has been able to better the lives of their past and present students.

The Alumni Association was very clear in recognizing the importance that Guilford professors have had in the lives of Guilford students.

“I have such immense respect for the alumni of Guilford and what they have accomplished,” said Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies and Exemplary Educator Award recipient Max Carter. “I have always judged myself by the plumb line of the other faculty, but they’re so outstanding that I never feel like I measured up.”

Carter has only been here for 25 years, a short time compared to teachers like accounting professor Bill Grubbs, who has been a Guilford faculty member for 48 years.

“Look at how many people are here and how long they have been here,” said former Professor of Mathematics Elwood Parker (47 years). “That tells you something about the college because people don’t stay at a place they don’t want to be at.”

The ceremony not only provided the teachers with awards, but also announced the new Teaching, Learning and Research Collaboratory that the College is installing on the second floor of Hege Library.

“We see this as a way to enjoy breaking the boundaries of our disciplines and of our own styles of teaching and sharing with each other and learning from each other,” said Associate Professor of Religious Studies Eric Mortenson.

The Collaboratory’s goals are to encourage communication between the students and faculty and foster a space for innovation and creativity.

“Things change,” said Associate Professor of Biology Melanie Lee-Brown. “Teaching methods have changed. Technology has changed. We have to make sure we stay current with what is going on to make sure we reach the youth of today and continue to carry them forward.”

The goal of the new Collaboratory pairs with the intentions and symbolism of the awards that were given out.

They both show that the College and its faculty are avidly committed to giving students a rich and fulfilling education.