NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Bethel College honored John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, with the Ralph P. Schrag Distinguished Teaching Award at Commencement ceremonies May 25. The award is given to a faculty member judged to have made an outstanding contribution to teaching. He has taught at Bethel College since 1986. McCabe-Juhnke graduated from Moundridge High School, earned his bachelor's degree at Bethel College in 1978 and completed his master's degree at the University of Illinois and his doctorate at Louisiana State University.
"At the foundation of John's success as a teacher is his ethos, the character he brings to his work, to his relationships, to his subject," said Academic Dean John Sheriff, who presented the award.
McCabe-Juhnke has directed 40 stage plays, musicals and operas in the last 15 years. His forensics teams have earned trips to nationals every year since he joined the faculty in 1986, making him one of the most successful forensics coaches in the nation, according to Sheriff.
Sheriff described McCabe-Juhnke as "always cheerful, good humored, energetic and welcoming to others, an accomplished storyteller, performer, director, forensics coach and stimulating conversationalist," explaining that these are separate roles, but they all "come together in John's teaching to make his classroom a place where students love to learn."
McCabe-Juhnke has presented one-person shows and played many roles in other productions.
"Any text or narrative comes alive when John delivers it," Sheriff said.
McCabe-Juhnke has also directed inmates in plays for the Prison Arts Project at Hutchinson Correctional Facility and the Arts in Prison program at Lansing Correctional Facility.