Congratulations to Kumar Sinniah (chemistry and biochemistry), the recipient of the 2021 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching. Read more about how Sinniah is innovating, serving, and equipping students for success.
The award is funded from an endowment established in memory of George B. and Margaret K. Tinholt. The cash gift is to be used for educational opportunities and experiences that will enrich the recipient’s career through professional and personal development. The recipient will be announced at the faculty award dinner in May.
Purpose of the Award
The Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching is testimony to the fact that the heart of a Christian liberal arts university is the teaching by its faculty, who embody the goals of forming the Christian mind and shaping students’ lives. This award recognizes exemplary teachers and advances outstanding teaching at Calvin University.
Every regular faculty member who has been awarded tenure or a five-year renewable-term appointment is eligible for this award. Previous recipients may be nominated again for this award after four years.
Award recipients not only have exceptional teaching skills; they also consistently influence the lives and careers of Calvin University students in lifelong Christian ways. Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Evidence of a long-term commitment to effective undergraduate teaching.
- Demonstrated exceptional teaching skills which are evidenced in the testimony and lives of both current and former students.
- Diverse interests and abilities.
- Recognition as a competent scholar.
- Service to the university, the church, the profession, or the community.
- Above all, service to students as counselor, mentor, and role model, expressing interest in and making lasting impacts on students’ Christian faith, thought, and character.
Each fall semester, the deans present initial nominations to the provost. Together the deans and provost determine which nominations to move forward. The deans then work with only the nominees’ department chairs and Provost’s Office staff to build confidential nomination dossiers.
In the early spring semester, the dossiers are presented to the Professional Status Committee, which makes a recommendation to the president, who selects the award recipient. The dean and chair solicit comments from colleagues, alumni, and current students to supplement the above materials and to be used for the award presentation process.
In May, the award is announced at the spring faculty tributes and awards dinner.
- 2020 - Robert Keeley, Education (read more)
- 2019 - Deanna Van Dijk, Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies (read more)
- 2018 - Lew Klatt, English (read more)
- 2017 - Matthew Lundberg, Religion (read more)
- 2016 - Crystal Bruxvoort, Chemistry and Biochemistry (read more)
- 2015 - Jo-Ann van Reeuwyk, Art and Art History (read more)
- 2014 - Julie Walton, Kinesiology (read more)
- 2013 - Jim Bratt, History (read more) (Spark article)
- 2012 - Larry Louters, Chemistry (read more)
- 2011 - Larry Herzberg, Asian Studies (read more)
- 2010 - James Vanden Bosch, English (read more)
- 2009 - Dave Warners, Biology (read more)
- 2008 - Judith Vander Woude, Communication Arts & Sciences (read more)
- 2007 - Lee Hardy, Philosophy (read more)
- 2006 - Kenneth Bratt, Classics (read more)
- 2005 - Jim Jadrich, Physics and Astronomy (read more)
- 2004 - Barbara Carvill, Germanic Languages (read more)
- 2003 - Peter De Jong, Sociology (read more)
- 2002 - Larry Nyhoff, Computer Science (read more)
- 2001 - Tom Hoeksema, Education (read more)
- 2000 - Quentin J. Schultze, Communication Arts & Sciences (read more)
- 1999 - Mary Ann Walters, English
- 1998 - Bert deVries, History
- 1997 - Martin Bolt, Psychology (read more)
- 1996 - Ronald L. Blankespoor, Chemistry (read more)
- 1995 - Paul J. Zwier, Mathematics
- 1994 - Wallace H. Bratt, Germanic Languages
- 1993 - Kenneth W. Kuiper, English (read more)