News & Events

Mars Hill Faculty Receive Gibbs and Snow Awards for 2014

John Gripentrog And Lisa WachtmanTwo members of the Mars Hill University faculty have been recognized by their peers for excellence in teaching and for making a difference in the lives of students.

Dr. John Gripentrog, professor of history, has received the 2014 Gibbs Outstanding Teacher Award. Lisa Wachtman, Director of Student Persistence, has received the 2014 Snow Caring Award.

The Gibbs Award was established in 1970 in memory of Robert S. Gibbs, Sr., who served on the Board of Trustees at Mars Hill College from 1903-1943. The purpose of this award is to encourage and reward a member of the faculty who has exhibited: outstanding performance as a classroom teacher, outstanding development of teaching methods and materials, and a positive influence on students and other teachers.

Dr. John Wells, executive vice president of Mars Hill University, said: “John Gripentrog has a well-earned reputation as a professor capable of reaching any student willing to learn. His approach to combining lecture with in-class discussion has led to his courses being routinely over-subscribed. Mars Hill University is fortunate to have such an abundance of scholar-teachers and John Gripentrog represents that ideal so well.”

Past recipients of the Gibbs award include: Beth Vogler, Kathy Newfont, Lucia Carter, Rick Cary, Phyllis Smith, Cathy Adkins, Joe Blair, Carol Boggess, Virginia Bower, Jo Ann Croom, Julie Fortney, Harry Hughes, Noel Kinnamon, Kathy Meacham, Scott Pearson, Don Russell, and Alan Smith.

The Snow Caring Award was established in 1999 by A.C. and Nancy Snow in memory of their daughter Melinda Jean Snow, a 1988 graduate of Mars Hill College. Also chosen by the Mars Hill faculty, its focus is the personal concern and mentorship shown by the recipient, both in and out of the classroom.

The Snow Award is given by the faculty division chairs to a faculty member whose life and teaching style reflect the personal concern for students Melinda Snow treasured during her years at MHC.

Wells said, "Lisa Wachtman is tireless in her efforts to help students obtain a degree. Her determination to keep students on track to graduation is a testimony to the spirit of service so evident at Mars Hill University.”

Past recipients of the Snow Caring Award include: Joy Clifton, Ashby Walker, Beth Vogler, Noel Kinnamon, Virginia Bower, Julie Fortney, Teresa Stern, Allen Shelley, Laurie Pedersen, Jane Renfroe, Brenda Russell, Gail Sawyer, and Tom Plaut.

(posted 20140901)