BVU Honors Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff were the recipients of several awards, including Education for Service, Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year, and Student Senate Staff Member of the Year, among others.

Buena Vista University held an Employee Recognition Celebration on May 25 to recognize and award achievements for faculty and staff of the University. 

The annual Education for Service Award was presented to Scott Wunschel. Wunschel began his career at BVU as a technical support specialist in 2002. Throughout his time at BVU, Wunschel’s roles have evolved, and he currently serves as the director of infrastructure and operations for information services. 

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 BVU. 

“I’m extremely honored to receive the Education for Service Award and thankful to my colleagues for selecting me,” said Wunschel. “BVU is filled with hard-working, dedicated, and talented employees. To be selected out of such a great group of people is very humbling and I appreciate the opportunity to work with them to help students achieve their goals.” 

Rosie Russell, a May graduate and former president of the Student Senate, announced the winners of two awards selected through voting by students. Dr. Thomas Bonagura, associate professor of biology, was selected as Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year, and Ryder Weischedel, director of athletic performance, was selected as Student Senate Staff Member of the Year.

The Faculty Development Award for Research and Creative Work was awarded to Dr. Bill Feis, professor of history. Feis was nominated for his publication, “Essentially American: General Grenville M. Dodge and Family.” The biography provides a comprehensive overview of the life of Civil War general and Council Bluffs native, Grenville M. Dodge.

The second Faculty Development Award for Research and Creative Work was awarded to Dr. Shawn Stone, professor of physics/computer science and interim dean of the School of Science. Stone was nominated for his recent contributions to the NASA PDART (Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools) program. The project is international in scope; scientists from across the globe will use the data provided by Stone.

The Faculty Development Advising Awards were presented to Dr. Scott Anderson, associate professor of marketing, and Dr. Brittany Garling, assistant professor of education. 

Three retiring faculty and staff members were honored. The retirees and their years of service include Dr. James McFadden, associate professor of English (22 years); Tom Seieroe, instructor of mathematics (14 years); and Lynette Halder, office manager for facilities management (36 years).  

Faculty Member of the Year Awards for BVU's Online, Site and Graduate (OSG) Programs were also announced at the event. Recipients include Diana Davis (Region 1), Heather Cary (Region 2), Melia Slinger (Region 3), David McSpadden (Region 4), Patricia Manwarren (Region 5), Rebecca Ferrer (online programs), and Dr. Shannon Sanders (graduate programs). 

This year, a new Diversity and Inclusion Award was introduced and awarded to one BVU faculty member and one staff member. Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, assistant dean of student life & director of civic engagement, was selected as this year’s staff honoree. Dr. James Hampton, professor of biology, was selected as this year’s faculty recipient. 

Two new president’s awards were also introduced at the event; the Better BV Award and the Beaver Award. The Better BV Award is given annually to one faculty member and one staff member who contribute to the enhancement of creating an environment of outstanding service and experience at BVU. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Brad Best, professor of political science; and Jean Bral, director of operations and graduate enrollment for OSG programs. 

The Beaver Award recognizes individuals and/or teams who typify exemplary work ethic, tenacity, and humbleness. This year’s award winner was Amy Maier, assistant athletic director at BVU.