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Center for Academic Development

The Center for Academic Development – Teaching Excellence serves as a central location for professional development and the collection and dissemination of information relevant to the promotion of excellence in teaching and learning at Liberty University. We offer a robust number of services for online and residential faculty.

Here’s What’s Happening:

Fall 2021 Faculty Professional Development Guide

Download the Fall 2021 Faculty Professional Development Guide

CTE Faculty Fellow Program

As part of its commitment to best practices, the Center for Teaching Excellence seeks Faculty Fellows to draw upon their talents. The CTE Faculty Fellow role is an exclusive opportunity for past President Award for Excellence in Teaching winners to become featured speakers at CTE’s January Conference and during semester workshops. Additionally, Faculty Fellows are recognized at various events throughout the academic year. This program involves a competitive application process.

Meet our 2021-22 Faculty Fellows:

Dr. Stephen Bell
Professor of English
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Stephen Bell served as an officer in the Army for four years after college and taught literature at Azusa Pacific University for five years before coming to Liberty, where he is a full professor in the English department. His research and teaching interests include World Literature, Theory (particularly Postcolonial and Postmodern), Film Studies, and Classics of the Western canon. His dissertation, “‘The Past is a Country from which we have all Emigrated’: Salman Rushdie’s Postcolonial and Postmodern Embrace of Memory,” a study of the ways that memory and identity intersect in the works of the contemporary novelist, won the 2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2015, Stephen was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. His recent book, Global Migrancy and Diasporic Memory in the work of Salman Rushdie, was published by Lexington Books in August 2020.

Stephen, his wife, and his two daughters are members of Mercy Presbyterian Church. Bell enjoys reading, mowing the lawn, playing with his girls, watching shows/movies with his wife, and connecting with friends.

Dr. Yan Xie
Associate Professor of Chinese
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Modern Languages

Dr. Yan Xie was born in China and is a native speaker of Mandarin. She came to the United States in 2001.

She utilizes a student-centered approach to build up communicative competence and improve proficiency levels. She creates an immersive classroom environment to realize authentic learning.

She serves as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) certified tester in Mandarin Chinese. She integrates the World-Readiness Standards of ACTFL into instruction.

Yan is a recipient of the President Award for Excellence in Teaching (2019-2020) and Provost Award for Excellence in Research Mentorship (2019-2020).

Yan loves to read, walk and swim. In the summer, she often travels with her husband and daughter. She is a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Lynchburg Chinese Christian Church. She teaches adult Bible study and children’s Sunday school. In her spare time, she teaches herself piano.

Dr. Cindy Goodrich
Professor of Nursing
School of Nursing

Dr. Goodrich has been a registered nurse for over 40 years. She initially graduated from a diploma program in Poughkeepsie, New York. She later completed a BSN at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, earned an MSN at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, a certificate in gerontology (post-masters) at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, and a doctorate in education from the University of Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida. She has worked in various nursing roles including staff nurse, nurse manager, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, Magnet™ Program Director, and Research Coordinator. Dr. Goodrich has been a full-time faculty member at Liberty University since 1996. She has taught med-surg, pharmacology, community health, undergraduate research, and one of her favorites, pain management. Dr. Goodrich is currently certified as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) through the National League for Nurses. Her areas of research interest include pain management, leadership, and education topics. In 2016, Cynthia was a 2016 recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Goodrich was saved at the age of 23 and is a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church, which was started by Dr. Jerry Falwell. She feels blessed to be able to attend such a wonderful church. She enjoys exercising (especially aqua aerobics) and cooking.

President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

About the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: This award is celebrated as the university’s most prestigious annual academic award. Its purpose is to recognize teachers who have promoted significant student learning- evidenced by creative and innovative approaches to teaching, the effective use of instructional technology, and exceptional pedagogical skill. Additionally, the recipient’s impact on student faith, thought, and character fully realizes Dr. Falwell’s vision of training Champions for Christ. The award process involves a formal peer nomination, dean support, faculty input, and student contribution. The Center for Teaching Excellence oversees the adjudication and process. Winners from each category are recommended by separate confidential Provost Selection Committees, comprised of select faculty, academic leadership, and past winners, and are affirmed by the Offices of the Provosts. The nomination deadline was February 21st, 2021.

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Winners!

Liberty University Resident Undergraduate

  • Jared Barber, Department of Modern Languages, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Travis V. Holt, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences

Liberty University Resident Graduate

  • Linda Mintle, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Liberty University Online Undergraduate

  • Cara L.T. Murphy, Rawlings School of Divinity

Liberty University Online Graduate

  • Samuel J. Smith, School of Education


CTE Director’s Award for Excellence in New Faculty Mentoring 

This award recognizes seasoned faculty mentors’ extraordinary dedication to supporting new colleagues in the Koinonia Mentoring Program. Mentors meet monthly with their mentees, offering advice, support, and encouragement to new faculty members. Award recipients are selected based on mentee nominations and determined by a scoring committee.

Center for Academic Development News

Visit the Faculty Workshops page for:

  • Workshop Calendar
  • Faith Integration Workshops
  • Faculty Book Studies

Helpful Links

How Can We Help?

Have questions about who we are or the services we provide? Contact us at CTE@liberty.edu.