Teachers honored for excellence during Convocation
During Convocation on Friday, Liberty University announced the 2016 winners of the President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The winners — Dr. Cynthia Goodrich, Dr. Matthew Towles, and Hannah Schultz — were presented with their awards, as well as monetary gifts, by Liberty’s Provost Dr. Ronald Hawkins.
These prestigious awards recognize faculty who are committed to outstanding teaching in both the residential and online classrooms. Several areas of teaching are considered, including the use of instructional technology, the integration of faith into learning, innovation, pedagogy, student support and involvement, student assessment, and a commitment to the personal growth of each student. Winners are selected based on peer recommendations, deans’ endorsements, nominee responses to specific prompts, and student letters.
2015-16 President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching
Cynthia A. Goodrich, Ed.D., M.S.N., B.S.N., a professor in the School of Nursing, teaches nursing research at the undergraduate and doctoral levels as well as community health and pain management for undergraduate students. She has taught at Liberty for 20 years. Goodrich holds an Ed.D. from the University of Sarasota, an M.S.N. from the University of Virginia, a B.S.N. from Russell Sage College, and a Diploma in Nursing from Hudson River Psychiatric Center. She has been named among the Who’s Who in Nursing and received the Daisy Foundation Faculty Award and has been published in a number of health journals. Goodrich frequently works with new faculty to strengthen their teaching skills and has implemented mini-workshops to help students succeed in research projects.
Matthew D. Towles, Ph.D., M.A., an associate professor in the Department of English, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Liberty before earning an M.A. in the subject at Longwood College and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. He has taught for 17 years, nine of which at Liberty. He engages students, encouraging them to think critically on how to incorporate their knowledge of language and literature into their lives and culture. Towles is a leader in incorporating technology-related assignments into courses and has worked with award-winning author Karen Kingsbury to develop an online course in inspirational writing. He and his wife, Sunday, have two children.
Hannah Lorraine Schultz, J.D., M.A., M.B.A., M.A.R., an adjunct instructor and subject matter expert in the College of Arts and Sciences, has taught history for four years at Liberty. Schultz holds a J.D. from Liberty University School of Law, an M.B.A. from Liberty’s School of Business, and an M.A.R. in Church History from the School of Divinity, in addition to an M.A. in Global History and International Relations from Central Michigan University and a B.A. from Virginia Intermont College. She is a subject matter expert for two online history courses and is quick to implement innovative techniques. Schultz frequently incorporates technology to deliver material in engaging ways.