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Lycoming faculty recognized for excellence in teaching

Lycoming College’s President Kent Trachte presented two faculty members with teaching awards at a faculty meeting in October. The Junior Teaching Award and the Senior Teaching Award, the latter called the Constance Cupp Plankenhorn Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence, are bestowed upon faculty members who exhibit mastery of their field, highly effective organization and communication of material, a spirit of enthusiasm, and an ability to inspire students. The awards are typically presented during Honors Convocation every spring, but the presentation of both awards was delayed this year due to the pandemic.

The Junior Teaching Award is given to a full-time member of the teaching faculty with ten or fewer years of teaching in higher education, who has completed at least one full year at Lycoming College, who has not already won this award, and who is not a full professor. This year’s Junior Teaching Award was bestowed upon David Andrew, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology. Andrew joined the faculty of Lycoming in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a doctorate from the University of Arizona. His research examines genetic influences on nervous system development and function and seeks to advance our understanding of how genetic diseases can disrupt appropriate developmental pathways and thereby alter normal nervous system function.

Trachte said, “David is an inspiring, engaging, and caring teacher and mentor. [He] is an enthusiastic and accomplished teacher-scholar and exceptional mentor. He is a most deserving recipient of the Junior Teaching Award.”

The Plankenhorn Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence is given to a full-time tenured member of the teaching faculty who has not already won this award and who has completed more than 10 years of teaching in higher education, at least five of which are at Lycoming. This year’s award went to Steven Johnson, Ph.D., professor of religion and chair of the department. Johnson joined the Lycoming College Faculty in 1999 with a B.A. in psychology from California State University, Fullerton; an M.Div. from the San Francisco Theological Seminary; an M.A. in religion from Miami University of Ohio; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in religion from Claremont Graduate University. Johnson’s research interests include the study of interaction between early Jesus movement communities, gospel studies, and the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas and the Sayings Gospel Q. A colleague states that Johnson’s ongoing scholarship and publication on the International Q Project places him on the cutting edge of what is currently the most important scholarly endeavor in the field of New Testament Studies.

“Dr. Steve Johnson has contributed much to the academic life of Lycoming College during his career, and it is a pleasure to honor him with the Constance Plankenhorn Award for outstanding teaching. Congrats, Steve,” said Trachte.

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