APU Honors Faculty at Annual Luncheon

by Abigail E. Peck

The Office of the Provost and Academic Cabinet recognized several Azusa Pacific University faculty members with awards for teaching excellence at the 2017 Annual Faculty Luncheon.

The Alice V. Watkins Imago Dei Ethos Award: Alexander Jun, Ph.D.

Jun, professor in the Department of Higher Education, teaches courses on diversity and social justice in higher education, comparative higher education, and qualitative research methods. He joined APU after 15 years as a faculty member and administrator at USC. The Alice V. Watkins Imago Dei Ethos Award, named for Alice V. Watkins, Ph.D., former dean of the School of Education and Behavioral Studies, recognizes full-time faculty who play a substantial role in advancing diversity efforts at APU.

The Service-Learning Cornerstones Award: Skyla Herod, Ph.D.

Herod, associate professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, examines the role of early-life stress exposure and availability of various neurotransmitter systems in determining susceptibility to stress-induced disorders in adulthood. Herod launched APU's Brain Fair in 2012, coinciding with international Brain Awareness Week, a program spanning more than 80 countries that encourages community outreach to teach K-12 students about brain health and safety. Since its inception, APU’s Brain Fair has educated more than 3,500 students, including 1,000 students this year, between the four middle schools in the Azusa Unified School District.The Service-Learning Cornerstone Award is given to a faculty member who has clearly integrated Christ, scholarship, community, and service.

The University Leadership Award: Ryan Hartwig, Ph.D.

Hartwig, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, teaches small-group, organizational, and leadership communication, as well as research methods and senior seminar courses. The University Leadership Award is given to individuals who have served the university by advancing the vision of the university.

The Undergraduate Scholarly Achievement Award: Robert Mullins, Ph.D.

Mullins, chair and professor in the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies, comes to APU after spending a number of years in Israel. His interests encompass the fields of archaeology, history, geography, and biblical studies in an effort to better understand the world of the Ancient Near East. He is the lead archaeologist at Abel Beth Maacah, an excavation site of biblical significance in Israel.The award for scholarly achievement is given to a faculty member who has a primary assignment teaching undergraduate courses and who values and promotes scholarship through discovery, integration, or application, and actively supports dissemination of that work through presentations and publications.

The Rose Liegler Graduate Scholarly Achievement Award: Karen Longman, Ph.D.

Longman, professor in the Department of Higher Education, joined the APU faculty in 2006. She served as an editorial board member and reviewer for Research on Christian Higher Education and has been a Staley Distinguished Lecturer at numerous colleges and universities. She continues to serve as a Senior Fellow with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and has coordinated Leadership Development Institutes for emerging leaders within the CCCU since 1998. The award for scholarly achievement is given to a faculty member who has a primary assignment teaching graduate courses and who values and promotes scholarship through discovery, integration, or application, and actively supports dissemination of that work through presentations and publications.

Each year, Azusa Pacific University presents an award to two worthy faculty members, The Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Faculty Award and The Teaching Excellence Award. Each award is accompanied by a memento and an honorarium of $2,000.

The Teaching Excellence Award: Abbylin H. Sellers, Ph.D.

Sellers, associate professor of political science specializes in American politics and public policy, specifically American government, U.S. political institutions, state and local politics, welfare policy, and 20th century Communism. Sellers’ research on welfare reform examines the effects of the caseload reduction credit on federal and state level welfare work requirements, unintended consequences in policy making, and policy implementation and evaluation.

The Chase Sawtell Inspirational Award: Ken Otto, MLIS, MS.

Otto serves as a professor, and as the University Libraries Special Collections librarian, and university archivist. The Chase Sawtell award recipient models significant faculty involvement in the lives of students; has a strong Christian influence in the lives of students, peers, alumni, and administrative staff; and be seen as living a life of service to others, affirming the worth of each person as a unique individual created by God.

  • Abigail E. Peck '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a public relations major and leadership minor.

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