June 23, 2023
In the World

Meet the 2022-23 Excellence Awards Honorees

Wittenberg University Faculty and Staff Members Recognized by SOCHE

The Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) has honored three Wittenberg employees with 2022-23 Excellence Awards. The award recipients will be promoted by SOCHE throughout the 2023 calendar year.

Academic and human resources officers at each of SOCHE’s member institutions submitted names of a faculty, a staff, and a campus impact member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, service, scholarship, and assessment throughout 2022-23 academic school year. This year’s award winners include Matt Collier, professor of biological and environmental sciences, who earned the Faculty Excellence Award; Megan Hilliard, police coordinator, who won the Staff Excellence Award; and Dan McDermitt, director of facilities management, who is being recognized with the Campus Impact Excellence Award. More on each winner is below.

In total, SOCHE is honoring 41 Excellence Award recipients from across 15 member institutions. Four award winners will be promoted each month through April 2024 via SOCHE social media channels and on the SOCHE Excellence Awards webpage. The full list of this year's award winners and their supporting information is available here. - https://www.soche.org/soche-excellence-awards-2022-2023/

This year also saw the addition of a new award, the Campus Impact Award, which is based on institutional selection criteria, with special consideration for performance that made a positive impact on the school or campus, as a whole. This category was open to faculty, staff, or administrators.

Formed in 1967, SOCHE is the regional leader for higher education collaboration, engaging with colleges, universities, and the industry to transform the economy through the education and employment of nearly 200,000 students in Southwest Ohio. See more at www.soche.org

As per SOCHE’s website, here is what was said about Wittenberg’s award winners:

Matt Collier, professor of biological and environmental sciences, is the 2023 recipient of the Wittenberg Alumni Association’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the top faculty prize. In and outside of class, he continuously demonstrates his service and commitment, advocates for students, shows genuine care, and exemplifies excellence in all aspects of Wittenberg’s curriculum. He has grown not only students’ interest in his field, but also the value they place on a Wittenberg liberal arts education. According to one student, “Dr. Collier embodies everything that is Wittenberg. He eats, sleeps, and breathes Wittenberg and puts this school at his forefront. Dr. Collier’s light shines bright in everything he does and tends to kindle the light of everyone around him as well. He is kind, he is generous, he is empathetic, and he is an all-around phenomenal professor and human being. I look up to him and hope to make him proud in my present and future studies and career.”

Megan Hilliard, police coordinator for Wittenberg University, was nominated for her attitude and approach that enriches all those who come in contact with her. During the past several years, Hilliard not only has offered to take on additional work as needed, but she also has requested coaching opportunities to help manage her team in a way that is positive and leaves them with a sense of belonging, which in turn contributes to the success of the University. Her positivity goes a long way in contributing to Wittenberg’s welcoming campus culture. A team player who sacrifices her own needs to ensure the team succeeds, Hilliard works hard to address the many challenges involved with helping to ensure the safety and security of the Wittenberg campus.

Dan McDermitt, director of facilities management, positively impacts Wittenberg daily with his leadership of his team. Many students and employees have commented on the improved appearance of the campus grounds, and students in the residence halls have noticed and complimented the improvement in housekeeping services. McDermitt brings a practical, common-sense approach to managing facilities and grounds within a constrained budget, and he always prioritizes the needs of students above anything else. His servant leadership is impactful at Wittenberg.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

Back to top