Three Wittenberg faculty members receive excellence awards

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Strategic Higher Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) is honoring three Wittenberg University faculty members for demonstrating excellence in service, teaching and leadership. Those honored with the 2023-24 SOCHE Excellence Award are Elizabeth Howe, Amy McGuffy and Matt West.

Each school has the opportunity to select one Faculty Excellence Award winner based on their institution’s criteria, with special consideration for demonstrated excellence in teaching, service and/or scholarship. Similarly, the schools each chose one Staff Excellence Award winner based on their institution’s criteria, with special consideration of demonstrated excellence in student success, service, and/or assessment. Finally, each college or university selected a winner for the Campus Impact Award, which is based on institutional selection criteria, with special consideration for performance that made a positive impact on the school or campus, as a whole. This category is open to faculty, staff or administrators.

Howe, executive assistant and chief program officer of the provost’s office, received the Staff Excellence Award.

McGuffy, associate professor of education and department chair, received the Faculty Excellence Award.

West, director of student counseling in the Tiger Counseling Center, received the Campus Impact Award.

According to the SOCHE website, the honorees were recognized for the following reasons:

Howe models Wittenberg’s value of service, working daily to make the university a better place. She connects with a variety of members of the campus community, eliminating barriers for others by sharing, developing and utilizing resources. As leadership changed, she ensured a smooth transition, ensuring everyone had what they needed to do their jobs. She promotes a sense of community by treating others fairly, organizing events and bringing people together to celebrate.

McGuffy fully embodies the mission and spirit of Wittenberg University through her exceptional dedication to educating and inspiring future educators. She challenges her students to grow into compassionate, creative and responsible educators who discover their calling to serve others. Her courses and advising reflect the ethos of leading lives with integrity.

West demonstrates excellence in student success by providing a safe space for students to express their concerns, emotions and challenges. He considers students’ overall well-being, including emotional resilience and social connections. He collaborates with other campus departments to ensure students receive comprehensive support. His proactive approach includes preventive measures to promote mental health awareness. He genuinely cares about students, validates their feelings and helps them explore solutions. His compassionate approach fosters trust and healing.

With its origin in 1967, the Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education is an organization made up of 22 colleges and universities located throughout Ohio.