Finalists named for BVUís 2020 George Wythe award

Friday, May 1, 2020
Dr. Bradley Best

The following four faculty members have been named as finalists for the 2020 George Wythe Award for Excellence in Teaching atBuena Vista University:

Dr. Bradley Best, Professor of Political Science;

Dr. Lisa Mellmann, Associate Professor of Chemistry;

Dr. Lisa Mellmann

Dr. Richard Riner, Assistant Professor of Criminology/Criminal Justice; and

Dr. Shawn Stone, Professor of Physics and Computer Science.

Best, who has 18 years of experience at BVU, directs the Universityís involvement in The Washington Center for Internships & Academic Seminars. Perhaps best known on campus for expertise in politics, Best remains a source for reporters across Iowa, the U.S., and the globe as they cover the Iowa Caucuses and more. His commentary is rooted in theory and in the history of empirical work in the field.

Dr. Richard Riner

Mellmann, who has been at BVU for 11 years, serves as principal investigator on a prestigious National Science Foundation S-STEM grant that has helped attract low-income, high-achieving students into STEM while preparing them to flourish in related fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The groupís initial Interim experience involved a career exploration trek that covered parts of five Midwest states in a one-month period.

Riner, a three-year BVU professional, directs the Universityís new Center for Criminal Justice Studies, the brainchild of Riner and Dr. Stephanie Hays-Angstrom, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The new center helps bridge the gap between what Riner, a former police officer, and his colleagues cover in the classroom and the skills students will need as they begin careers in any number of law enforcement settings.

Stone, now in his 21st year at BVU, is currently working toward a micro masterís degree in artificial intelligence as a means to enhance his computer science instruction. Stone is also finishing work with students on the tempest prototype for the Lake Energy Extraction Project (LEEP), which will be deployed on Storm Lake in May as a means to begin harvesting vertical wave energy to provide electrical power locally.

Dr. Shawn Stone

Dr. Jason Shepherd, Professor of Computer Science and Chair of the 2020 Wythe Award Selection Committee, extended his gratitude to the BVU community for large number of excellent nominations. The recipient of this award, which was endowed by the late Paul and Vivian McCorkle, will receive a sabbatical and a $30,000 stipend for faculty development. The recipient will be announced at the Faculty and Staff Recognition Celebration via video format in May.

Shepherd is joined on the committee by the following: Dr. John Bedward, Associate Professor of Education; Beth Blankers, Professor of Accounting; Jamii Claiborne, Professor of Digital Media; Dr. William Feis, Professor of History; Dr. Bryan Kampbell, Associate Professor of Communication Studies; and Michelle Metzger, Assistant Professor of Education, STEM & Mathematics.