John McVay, Ph.D., associate professor of religion and department chair at Pacific Union College, was named the 1996 Educator of the Year. McVay received $1,500 and a plaque of recognition for his devotion to the advancement of higher education.
The Educator of the Year award, established in 1984, is designed to give special recognition to teachers who exhibit a number of important qualities. Selection for the Educator of the Year is a joint effort between the students and faculty. Three names are nominated by the student senate and reviewed by the Research and Honors Committee, who base their choice heavily on annual student evaluations.
McVay was selected based on qualities such as his fine classroom performance and strong relationships with students, his encouragement of critical thinking and of an open mind, his concern about student growth - intellectually, spiritually, physically and socially, and his campus leadership and creative qualities. Linda Thorman, chair of this year's Research and Honors Committee, said, "The committee as a whole felt very comfortable with Dr. McVay in all the areas of qualification."
Student association president, Shelton Hsu, gave a tribute at the ceremony saying, "[McVay] is real; he's a friend; he cares about his students; he1s concerned; and he remembers your name. He reminds me of Jesus." Tributes were also given by friends Greg King, associate professor of religion, and Jeff Veness, acting vice president for advancement.
McVay feels honored to have been chosen for the award. "I feel called to proclaim the good news, and teaching is one way of accomplishing this calling," said McVay. "My goals are to provide spiritual enlightenment and to encourage intellectual growth."
McVay is to address the faculty in a college assembly on January 14, 1997.