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Biology Professor Honored With University's Teaching Award

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Angie McKinney works with student Zee Jurado in the new Phage Biology class, which McKinney helped start at NWU.
In nominating McKinney, students noted her warm smile, caring personality and her willingness to go above and beyond for her students.

Angie McKinney begins every biology class with a warm hello and a smile.

“No matter what,” says her students. “Her passion for teaching is undeniable.”

McKinney, who has taught biology at Nebraska Wesleyan for 16 years, is this year’s Prouty Teaching Award winner.

The Prouty Award, which was established by Margaret J. Prouty (’32), recognizes and rewards faculty for the pursuit of excellence in teaching and honors a professor who has made a distinct difference in the lives of students. Students, faculty and staff submit nominations each spring.

In nominating her for the award, McKinney’s students recognized her for her warm personality.

“She celebrates our successes and gives guidance when an experiment does not go as planned.”

In addition to teaching, McKinney served as chair of the biology department from 2006-2013. In 2013 she brought the SEA-Phage program to Nebraska Wesleyan’s introductory biology classes. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance selected NWU to participate in the national science experiment, which gave first-year students the opportunity to conduct research on real viruses. The teaching format used to conduct the experiment — more hands-on laboratory experiences and fewer lectures — continues today.

“Instead of having students read about science, we want them to have a hands-on, investigative approach to learning about how science is really done,” McKinney said.

McKinney also advises the university’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program, which supports minority students who are studying STEM fields.

“Dr. McKinney cares about her students and is willing to go above and beyond to help her students in any way that she can,” said one student nominator.

Others nominated for this year’s award include Molly Fitzke (nursing), Steve Hegemann (business administration/economics/accounting), Karla Jensen (communication studies), Tamra Llewellyn (health & human performance) and John Spilker (music).

Previous winners include:

  • David Gracie, art, 2013-2014
  • Garry Duncan, biology, 2012-2013
  • Patty Hawk, communication studies, 2011-2012
  • Rita Lester, religion, 2010-2011
  • Frank Ferraro, psychology, 2009-2010