Jun. 13, 2014
Buena Vista University held its annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Dinner on May 23 to recognize and award achievements for employees of the university.
The fourteenth annual Education for Service Award was presented to Deb Sefcik. Sefcik began her career at BVU in 2002 as a mail and printing clerk and is currently the custodian in the Social Sciences & Art Hall and Center for Sculpture and Ceramics. "It was a complete shock to me that I won the award," said Sefcik. "I am honored that I won, and so grateful to think that someone thought so much of me. I love my job and the people I work with."
The award was established in 1998 by John and Connie Klockentager to honor a faculty or staff member who demonstrates an outstanding work ethic and is valued as a role model within the BVU community. John Klockentager is a former vice president for enrollment services at Buena Vista.
In announcing the award to Sefcik at the dinner, Liz Merten, vice president for business services, said, "Working in several departments has enabled her to work closely with faculty and staff. It has also given her the opportunity to get to know and mentor several students. She is a fine role model and a helping hand to any student in need."
Caitlin Hoffman, a May graduate and former president of the Student Senate, announced the winners of two awards selected through voting by students. Dr. Wind Goodfriend, associate professor of experimental psychology, was selected as Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year, and Becka Neary-DeLaPorte, director of student activities and leadership, was selected as Student Senate Staff Member of the Year.
The New Century Faculty Development Award for Research was awarded to Dr. Lei Wen, associate professor of finance. He published three noteworthy papers in highly-regarded peer-reviewed journals, all of which earned awards. His paper "Consumer Investment Preferences and the Chinese Real Estate Market" in The International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis was described by the journal's editorial team as one of the most impressive pieces they saw this year and designated it a Highly Commended Paper of 2013.
The New Century Faculty Development Advising Awards were presented to Dr. Annamaria Formichella-Elsden, professor of English, and Dr. Lisa Mellman, assistant professor of physical science.
One retiring faculty member, Dr. Richard Lampe, was honored with emeritus status and the title of professor emeritus of biology, and he was also inducted into the Order of Cumberland and Tollefson. Both honors are reserved for retiring faculty members who have given exceptional service to the university.
The following faculty members received promotions, as noted, which are effective starting the 2014-15 academic year: Dr. Swasti Battacharyya, professor of philosophy and religion; Rebecca Frates, associate professor of graphic design; Dr. Melanie Hauser, associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Bryan Kampbell, associate professor of communication studies; and Dr. Kathryn McKinley, associate professor of social work. Frates, Hauser and Kampbell were also granted tenure.
Faculty Member of the Year Awards for BVU's Graduate & Professional Studies program were also announced at the event: George Condie in Carroll; Michael Watkins in Council Bluffs; Jill Tussey in Creston; Cinnamon Wulf in Denison; Stephen Hoesel in Fort Dodge; Greg Hodak in Iowa Falls; Jamin Trautman in the Estherville, Emmetsburg, Spencer and Spirit Lake locations; Andrea Loutsch in Le Mars; Dr. Barbara Perry in Marshalltown; Nola Aigner in Mason City; Dr. Doug Frazer in Newton; Victor Streeby in Ottumwa; and Dr. Samantha Duhn for the online program.