Professors recognized for excellence with top BW awards

At Baldwin Wallace, there are a few major faculty awards given out to professors who stand out among the rest, in the eyes of their colleagues. The awards are: the Strosacker Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Bechberger Award for Human Development, the Gigax Faculty Scholarship Award, and the Excellence in Community Engagement Award.

The Strosacker Award was given to Dr. Thomas Sutton, professor of Political Science and director of the Community Research Institute.

Sutton was happy to have won, he said, but winning awards is not why he teaches.

“I’m very happy with what I do,” he said. “The award is just an extra bonus.”

He was appreciative of his colleagues, he said, who nominated him for the award.

The Bechberger award was received by Dr. Les Hunter, associate professor of English.

Hunter has been working with local companies to help students get experience working in real, out-of-school environments.

He said it was nice to see the people around him recognize his hard work.

“[It was a] wonderful validation from my colleagues and students who recommended me.”

Dr. Brian Krupp, assistant professor of Computer Science, was the recipient of the Excellence in Community Engagement Award for his work with students in less-fortunate school systems who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to work with computers.

Krupp said that the award was not why he got involved in these programs.

“The intention isn’t to get this award. We do this work because it’s important,” said Krupp.

He also recognized the students who put in many hours in helping with the program.

In addition to this program, Krupp brought to light on-campus projects his students were helping with, like a food recovery app made in collaboration with the campus kitchen.

The Gigax Faculty Scholarship Award was given to both Dr. Robert Montgomery, professor of History, and Dr. Clare Mathes, associate professor of Neuroscience, for the work in their fields.

Montgomery has been working on uncovering more about the Buryats, a twentieth-century people who resided in Siberia.

While the award was a nice surprise, he said, “it’s not something you do to be awarded, it’s something you do because you can’t not do.”

Montgomery also acknowledged many other professors deserved the award for their efforts.

Mathes won the Gigax for her contributions to the neurochemistry of taste-guided behavior.

Mathes said she’s happy to be in a place where she can practice scholarship and teach, which are two of her favorite things.

She thanked those who helped her along the way, mainly her students.

She said her students were “number one. The research would not have happened without them.”