Trine faculty recognized as top educators

It was the perfect way to kick off Homecoming week, according to Trine University President Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D.

Five Trine University faculty members were recognized with 2018 Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly Education Awards, including its two top awards, at a ceremony in Fabiani Theatre on Oct. 2.

“The excellence that we enjoy, the pride that we enjoy, and what takes place at our institution is a result of all of you in this room, and many who were not able to join us this afternoon,” Brooks told the faculty and staff in attendance. “People make our institution, and we are pleased this afternoon to recognize some of our finest.”

Randy Mitchell, CEO of KPC Media Group, which publishes Business Weekly, said the annual awards give the company the opportunity to show appreciation to those who are making a difference in the lives of youth throughout northeast Indiana.

KPC received a record number of nominations received this year, and Trine faculty won five of the 16 awards available. Trine faculty have been recognized with nine Education Awards over the past two years.

Michael Blaz, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Sciences, was honored as Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Blaz’s nomination acknowledged his more than 40 years of service at Tri-State and Trine universities, Mitchell said, and stated Blaz is “known for being knowledgeable, passionate, friendly and thorough. His nomination also stated that he is a dedicated teacher who is always excited about trying new things.”

Catherine Benson, director of golf management, was honored for Teaching Excellence in Sports. “Students say Prof. Benson provides hands-on, real-world experience and that her classroom is positive, interactive and always fun,” Mitchell said. “Her nomination also pointed out that she is the ultimate professional, and that she is a model for others to follow.”

Jeanette Goddard, Ph.D., chair and assistant professor in the Department of Humanities, was honored as Language Arts Teacher of the Year. Mitchell said Goddard’s nomination states she is “great at keeping the class engaged while maintaining a positive and encouraging atmosphere for everybody. She is dedicated to her teaching and her students, and always challenging them to push themselves to further examine topics from other perspectives.”

Tony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of Education, was honored as Teacher of the Year, recognizing an outstanding educator in any field. Mitchell noted that Kline created a website connecting former students with respected educators from across the country to share their best teaching practices.

“One alumni had the following to say about Dr. Kline: ‘When I think about the educator and leader that I want to be like some day, I think of Dr. Kline,’ ” Mitchell said.

Tim Tyler, Ph.D., professor in the Reiners Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award, given to those who have been teaching for more than 20 years.

“Dr. Tyler’s efforts have not only made an impact here, but he has also led a group of Trine students in Ecuador to help develop designs for new water systems that will allow a town there access to clean water,” said Mitchell. “Students describe him as knowledgeable, confident, helpful and respectful, and fellow educators describe him as the most beloved educator in the Allen School of Engineering and Technology.”

Mitchell closed by saying the honors were a recognition of all who teach, not just those who received awards.

“We applaud you all for your efforts and dedication, and appreciate you all,” he said.

Photo: From left, Michael Blaz, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Sciences, Social Studies Teacher of the Year; Tony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of Education, Teacher of the Year; Randy Mitchell, CEO, KPC Media Group; Jeanette Goddard, Ph.D., chair and assistant professor in the Department of Humanities, Language Arts Teacher of the Year; Catherine Benson, director of golf management, honored for Teaching Excellence in Sports; and Tim Tyler, Ph.D., professor in the Reiners Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)