June 5, 2024
In the World

Faculty and Staff Members Honored by SOCHE

Organization announces its 2023-24 Excellence Awards

The Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) has announced the Excellence Awards winners from across its 18-member institutions for the 2023-2024 school year. Of the 48 recipients, three Wittenberg employees have been honored:

  • Amy McGuffey, associate professor of education and department chair, earned the Faculty Excellence Award;
  • Elizabeth Howe, executive assistant and academic administrative coordinator, Provost Office, won the Staff Excellence Award; and
  • Matthew West, director of student counseling, Tiger Counseling Center, has been recognized with the Campus Impact Excellence Award.

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 the past academic year. Each school selected one Faculty Excellence Award winner based on their institution’s criteria, with special consideration of demonstrated excellence in teaching, service, and/or scholarship; one Staff Excellence Award winner based on their institution’s criteria, with special consideration of demonstrated excellence in student success, service, and/or assessment; and one 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 is open to faculty, staff, or administrators.

 With regard to Wittenberg’s awardees, SOCHE’s website notes the following:

Amy McGuffey “fully embodies the mission and spirit of Wittenberg University through her exceptional dedication to educating and inspiring future educators. She challenges her students to grow into compassionate, creative, and responsible educators who discover their calling to serve others. Her courses and advising reflect the ethos of leading lives with integrity. McGuffey recently named the 2024 Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching, the top faculty prize at Wittenberg. She also earned the Champion Award for Community Impact, which recognizes an individual’s commitment to service, the quality of that service, and its positive impact on the City of Springfield and Clark County.” 

Elizabeth Howe “models Wittenberg’s value of service, working daily to make the University a better place. She connects with a variety of members of the campus community, eliminating barriers for others by sharing, developing, and utilizing resources. As leadership changed, Howe ensured a smooth transition, ensuring everyone had what they needed to do their job. She promotes a sense of community by treating others fairly, organizing events, and bringing people together to celebrate. Howe was presented with the Torch Bearer Award on behalf of the Staff Advisory Council this past March.”

Matthew West “demonstrates excellence in student success by providing a safe space for students to express their concerns, emotions, and challenges. He considers students’ overall well-being, including emotional resilience and social connections. West collaborates with other campus departments to ensure students receive comprehensive support. His proactive approach includes preventive measures to promote mental health awareness. He genuinely cares about students, validates their feelings, and helps them explore solutions. His compassionate approach fosters trust and healing.”

SOCHE will honor four award winners each month from June 2024 through April 2025. Faculty and staff winners will be highlighted 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.

Formed in 1967, Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education is a consortium of 22 colleges and universities located throughout Ohio. SOCHE is the regional leader for higher collaboration, engaging with colleges, universities, and industry to transform the economy through the education and employment of nearly 200,000 students in southwest Ohio. See more at www.soche.org.

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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.

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