Two members of the Mars Hill College faculty have been recognized by their peers for excellence in teaching and for making a difference in the lives of students.
Dr. Lucia Carter, professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Religion and Philosophy, has received the 2011 Gibbs Outstanding Teacher Award. Dr. Elizabeth Vogler, professor of social work, has received the 2011 Snow Caring Award.
The Gibbs Awards was established in 1970 in memory of Robert S. Gibbs, Sr., who served on the Board of Trustees at Mars Hill College from 1903-1943. The purpose of this award is to encourage and reward a member of the faculty who has exhibited: outstanding performance as a classroom teacher, outstanding development of teaching methods and materials, and a positive influence on students and other teachers.
Executive Vice President John Wells praised Carter’s “collaborative spirit in teaching,” and her genuine openness to colleagues and students as factors in her effectiveness as a teacher. “Lucia collaborates with her colleagues, engaging them in sharing and discussing ideas on teaching, and she’s genuinely open to dialogue about how to make the learning experience better for students,” Wells said. “But she’s also known as a professor who dialogues with her students. In so many ways that’s what makes her an example of the kind of professor we want here at Mars Hill.”
Past recipients of the Gibbs award include: Rick Cary, Phyllis Smith, Cathy Adkins, Joe Blair, Carol Boggess, Virginia Bower, Jo Ann Croom, Julie Fortney, Harry Hughes, Noel Kinnamon, Kathy Meacham, Scott Pearson, Don Russell and Alan Smith.
The Snow Caring Award was established in 1999 by A.C. and Nancy Snow in memory of their daughter Melinda Jean Snow, a 1988 graduate of Mars Hill College. Also chosen by the Mars Hill faculty, its focus is the personal concern and mentorship shown by the recipient, both in and out of the classroom.
The Snow Award is given by the faculty division chairs to a faculty member whose life and teaching style reflect the personal concern for students Melinda Snow treasured during her years at MHC.
Wells described Vogler as a professor who provides a positive example for students, and who models a life of caring for others through her professional discipline of social work. “She is definitely one of those people who lights a candle instead of cursing the darkness,” he said. “The ethic of addressing real-world problems that is at the heart of her discipline has become a defining factor in her own life.”
Past recipients of the Snow Caring Award include: Noel Kinnamon, Virginia Bower, Julie Fortney, Teresa Stern, Allen Shelley, Laurie Pedersen, Jane Renfroe, Brenda Russell, Gail Sawyer and Tom Plaut.