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Communications professor receives teaching award from colleagues

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Christine Crouse-Dick, assistant professor of communication arts at Bethel College, received the Ralph P. Schrag Distinguished Teaching Award at this year’s Bethel College Commencement May 25.

The award is given by faculty to one of their colleagues to recognize an outstanding contribution to teaching and is presented periodically at Commencement in order to “symbolically affirm the importance that Bethel College places on excellent teaching by our faculty and excellent learning by our students,” said Brad Born, vice president for academic affairs.

Presenting the award to Crouse-Dick, Born said, “Since joining the Bethel faculty in 2002, Christine has consistently modeled excellent instruction in a variety of academic courses, ranging from introductory general education classes in freshman writing and public speaking, to courses in the communications arts major, such as Strategic Communication in Organizations, and Gender, Race, Class and Media. During her six years on the Bethel faculty, Christine has taught 19 different courses, including practicum classes for both radio and print journalism.

“Across this range of general education and advanced major courses, Christine has earned students’ high regard as a conscientious and committed teacher, ever interested in becoming even better at her craft,” Born continued. “Students consistently commend her for her excellent communication, for engaging them actively in their own education and for organizing content and procedure in ways that enhance their learning. In the words of one student’s evaluation: ‘[Christine] is truly a great instructor. Informed, articulate, personable, caring, and wonderfully intelligent. Easily one of the best I’ve had in my short tenure as a Bethel College student. It is due to hard work, dedication and genuine love of the subject matter.’

“Faculty colleagues are unanimous and effusive in their praise for Christine’s collaborative and skillful work on faculty committees and in other service to the College,” he concluded. “One colleague wrote: ‘On all issues, Christine is relentlessly thoughtful, ever considerate [and] constantly hospitable and welcoming.’ Another colleague stated: ‘She is a leader . . . [and] at the same time she is a wonderful team player.’”

“I am extremely humbled to receive this award,” Crouse-Dick said. “It is a true honor to teach at a place like Bethel, where one has the opportunity to guide and direct creative, eager, quality students in a small, liberal arts atmosphere.

“I know, too, that my success as a teacher is a direct reflection of my relationships with colleagues who challenge and shape me daily. To teach at a place where I am able to expand my own horizons and to grow intellectually alongside my students – what a dream!”

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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