McPherson College announces teaching awards

Special to the Sentinel
Dr. Stephen Hoyer

McPherson College announced Monday the recipients of the 2020-21 Teaching Awards. The awards are traditionally presented at the college’s annual Honors Convocation, which was not held this year. This year’s recipients are Dr. Stephen Hoyer and Dr. Becki Bowman.

A committee of three students and last year’s teaching award recipients reviewed more than 35 nominations from students and faculty colleagues to select one tenured faculty member and one non-tenured faculty member to receive the awards.

This year’s non-tenured award recipient, Dr. Hoyer, is an assistant professor of psychology. Students who nominated Dr. Hoyer emphasized his gentle, compassionate nature; his passion for his subject matter; and his knack for explaining complex theories in understandable terms.

His nomination included comments like “He is a very understanding person,” and he has “provided a certain level of leeway given the pandemic situation,” which students have “much appreciated.” Students also noted that Dr. Hoyer “gives great feedback,” and “answers any questions no matter how silly they are.”

Dr. Bowman, professor of communication and recipient of tenured faculty award, received nearly 25 percent of all the nominations in this category. In an interesting twist, she received as much acclaim for instructing her colleagues as she did for her work with students, who praised her not only for her effective, well-prepared class sessions but also for her ability to inspire and motivate them.

“Dr. Bowman inspired me to pick up a second major and has supported me every step of the way,” said one student nomination said. The committee especially noted that Dr. Bowman does an exception job provoking students to think through issues on their own. As one student says, “She not only teaches, but she inspired students to ask questions and to look deeper.”

As the current faculty chair, Dr. Bowman devoted her summer to preparing her colleagues for teaching in socially distanced classrooms using blended course design. Her colleagues praised her for the effectiveness of her work, her commitment to helping them be the best they could be in the face of a pandemic, and her unflagging positive attitude.

Dr. Becki Bowman