A Nebraska Wesleyan University history professor has been named the 2010-2011 Exemplary Teacher by the United Methodist Church Division of Higher Education.
Meghan Winchell was honored on October 5. The award recognizes faculty who display excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the institution, community, or church. Faculty members were invited to nominate their colleagues and the final selection was made by President Fred Ohles upon recommendation from the Faculty Development Committee.
Winchell was recognized for her commitment to students and her ability to help them succeed.
“She is a bright, energetic, accomplished teacher and highly valued member of our faculty,” wrote one nominator. “Dr. Winchell provides them (students) with the support and feedback needed for them to excel at the highest levels.”
Nominators cited her support last year that helped one of her students win a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to the Czech Republic.
In addition, Winchell was recognized for her commitment to the Liberal Arts Seminar (LAS) Program for first-year students. Her popular LAS “Decoding Buffy the Vampire Slayer” helps first-year students decipher the meaning of Buffy by pairing several episodes with historical events, such as the Salem witchcraft trials of 1691 and with great works of literature like Frankenstein. For the first time, the class is being taught this fall in Centennial Hall where her LAS students live.
Winchell served four years on the Faculty Council as archivist/secretary, and her role as coordinator for the state’s History Day Contest provides her an avenue to promote Nebraska Wesleyan to high schools in Nebraska.
She is an active member of First Plymouth Church and serves on the Board of Children, Youth and Family Ministries. Winchell also co-leads a 4-H club for fifth graders at Sheridan Elementary School, and is an advocate for issues of oppression and equality within the community. She has taught at NWU since 2004.
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Nebraska Wesleyan University provides equal educational opportunities to all qualified persons in all areas of university operation, including education and decisions regarding faculty appointment, promotion or tenure, without regard to race, religion, age, sex, creed, color, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin or sexual orientation.