USAO Board of Regents honors professors for teaching, scholarship and service

Dr. Wetherbee, Dr. Sanders and Jordan Vinyard recognized for excellence
Dr. Wetherbee, Dr. Sanders and Jordan Vinyard recognized for excellence

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents recently recognized the accomplishments of three faculty members with awards for superior teaching, scholarly activity and public service.

“Each year, our Board of Regents presents these awards to honor the outstanding work of our faculty, both as academics and as servants to our community,” said President John Feaver. “Having professors of this caliber truly sets USAO apart. This university draws some of the most astute, most dedicated and most caring people to continue our history of excellence and ensure that the next generation has an education that rivals the most prestigious universities around the world.”

Dr. Ben Wetherbee, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies and English, received the Superior Teaching Award for his ability to make the content of his courses accessible and applicable to students from every academic discipline. He received many recommendations from his students, who provided lengthy and passionate arguments for why he deserved the award, while also noting his approachability, sense of humor and breadth of knowledge.

Dr. J.C. Sanders, associate professor of physics and chair of the division of science and physical education, received the Faculty Service Award for assuming significant leadership roles beyond his role as a professor and division chair. His well-rounded and accomplished contributions to USAO have included working with governance bodies, administrative support, equal opportunity and cultural diversity programs, as well as service to external stakeholders.

Jordan Vinyard, associate professor of art, received the Scholarly/Creative Activity Award for continuing successes at the state, national and international level. Incorporating technology, film, aesthetic philosophy and more, her work embodies USAO’s interdisciplinary mission. She transmits her creative and scholarly excellence to students through outstanding mentorship, and she has collaborated with a number of them on various art projects throughout Oklahoma.

Each year, recipients are chosen by a committee on campus. For the superior teaching award, both students and faculty nominate candidates. To qualify, a candidate must be a full-time faculty member, must have been employed by USAO for at least a year, and must not have received the award in the past year.

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