Barbara Martinez, Ph.D., professor of Spanish language and education, Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois.
Barbara Martinez spends a few weeknights with students outside the classroom, teaching ESL classes alongside them at two churches, having them translate mortgage applications, and in courtrooms. On Sundays, she and some of her students translate sermons and worship songs at a local church. Also, a conference held each summer allows Martinez's students to translate for international attendees. "Through these out-of-classroom experiences, students are learning an others-[oriented] mentality," says Martinez. "They get to see how they make a difference here at ONU and in the surrounding community, and they continue to do that professionally."
Ron Mazellan, associate professor of art, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana.
Ron Mazellan believes every student has the potential to become great. He spends hours coaching his drawing students in their skills and mentoring them for life. In 2007, he worked with an African American student who was struggling with the transition from inner-city Indianapolis to a white, middleclass campus. Mazellan made every effort to help the student retain his cultural heritage through artwork. One student evaluated Mazellan's class by saying, "He is the best teacher anyone could ask for. Professor Mazellan not only taught me how to bring out excellence in my craft, but also helped shape my life. I will be forever indebted to his influence."
Elaine Phillips, Ph.D., professor of biblical and theological studies, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts.
Based on the recommendations of faculty and senior class members, Elaine Phillips received the 2006 distinguished faculty award for her teaching abilities, scholarship, and relationships with students. Provost Mark Sargent said, "Phillips cherishes many connections within the Gordon community, connections that are apparent in the students who value her as a mentor, in the teams that travel with her to Jerusalem University College [in Israel], and in the ways her students are drawn to more earnest study of biblical literature." In 2006, Phillips led students to Sri Lanka to minister among people still profoundly affected by the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. Phillips also leads a weekly Bible study with six of her seminar students.
David Donelson, Ed.D., chair of the music department, director of choral activities, Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota.
Walking into Crown College's music office may make you think you're stepping into a living room: students comfortably seated on leather couches eagerly talk about the latest choir rehearsal or discuss their music-theory homework. "We've created a climate where students feel free to just come," David Donelson says. Students who take part in choir tours, private lessons, and group rehearsals get plenty of one-on-one time with Donelson. As departmental chair, Donelson is chiefly responsible for the atmosphere of the music office. He attributes the high retention rate of students in the music program to that friendly climate as well as how faculty members listen to students' suggestions and desires. "A lot of our ideas originate from students," says Donelson.
Teachers Lead Students to Reach Higher
These educators display what it means to live in the world but not be of it, and they encourage students to attempt great things for God.
Ndunge Kiiti, Ph.D., professor of intercultural studies, Houghton College, Houghton, New York.