OC recognizes students and faculty for excellence

May 07, 2018

One of OC's most-celebrated traditions during spring commencement is recognizing excellence among students and faculty. This year, faculty members Dr. Brian Simmons and Christy Hallock received the Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching and Faculty Leadership Award, respectively. OC gave the President's Medal to 17 students graduating with a 4.0 grade-point average. In addition, the Bible faculty recognized four students: outstanding female and male Bible students who are not Bible majors, the McCord Bible Award to a Bible major who shows the most promise in Christian ministry and the Kelcy Leadership Award recognizing outstanding Christian leadership among a Bible major. 

The Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching recognizes excellence among OC’s faculty and comes with a $2,000 check. The criteria for this award include creativity, innovation and effectiveness working with students in and out of the classroom. Dr. Simmons is unwavering in his commitment to educating and mentoring students. Whether he is lecturing in the Communication Department, team-teaching in the Honors Program, speaking in a chapel service or counseling students in his office, Dr. Simmons consistently models the best of what an OC faculty member should be.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Scott LaMascus praised Dr. Simmons for his talents and spirit.

"He masterfully distills course content, engages students with difficult ideas and shares his deep faith in inspiring ways," LaMascus said. "All this he does with wit and wisdom, which makes students adore him and colleagues respect him."

The Faculty Leadership Award, which also comes with a $2,000 check, recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions through activities with students and other faculty. Recipients must be exceptional in their work and must demonstrate through their lives and professional achievements a positive influence on OC.

Nursing professor Christy Hallock joined OC’s faculty in 2013, and she has been an exceptional teacher who stimulates student engagement in the classroom. Hallock serves as the faculty advisor for the student nursing organization, and she was the lead for the program’s accreditation self-study and visit. At this year’s homecoming, she hosted alumni and established a goal to have 100 OC nursing alumni to go on a medical mission trip before next year’s homecoming. She has modeled this behavior by going on a surgical brigade to Guatemala. In addition, Hallock served on OC’s Faculty Association to help develop a new parental leave policy that goes into effect this summer.

The outstanding Bible student who is not a Bible major award went to finance major Alan Garner and nursing major Olivia Charles.

Preaching ministry major Spencer Shaw received the McCord Bible Award, and biblical studies major Jake Doberenz received the Kelcy Leadership Award. The awards are named from two giants from OC’s past. Dr. Hugo McCord was a professor of Bible and the first chair of the Bible Department. He is widely known for his own translation of the New Testament from the original Greek. Dr. Raymond Kelcy was a longtime chair in the Bible Department, and he was well known for effective preaching for area churches.

The President’s Medal recipients were Laine Weatherford, Cody Milner, Lydia Harlow, Elizabeth Johnson, Hannah Johnson, Caleb Stewart, Emmy Oehlert, Cora Russell, David Payne, Spencer Robinson, Seanhenry Van Dyke, Dallas Hamlin, Parker LaMascus, Austin Wondra, Jenna Grace McCoy and Acelynn Neff.