Bethany College President Announces Excellence in Performance Awards


BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College President Scott D. Miller presented the first President’s Awards for Excellence in Performance to members of the Bethany faculty and staff during the College’s Honors Day Convocation on April 16. Dr. John Burns, Professor of Biology, and Christina Sampson, Director of the McCann Learning Center, were this year’s award recipients.

“I am delighted to recognize the exemplary contributions Bethany staff and faculty regularly make to their fields and to advance the mission of this historic institution,” Miller stated. “In particular, it is an honor to thank Dr. Burns and Chris Sampson for their outstanding performance and invaluable service to Bethany College. We are indeed fortunate to have them in our midst.”


An internationally renowned researcher, Burns is considered one of the foremost authorities in the field of biological rhythms. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant from the United States State Department and spent the first half of 2008 teaching, lecturing and conducting research at several universities in Russia. He was the recipient of the 2007 Allison Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Bethany College Alumni Association. More recently, the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia selected him as a finalist for the 2008 Professor of the Year Award in recognition of the creativity and innovation he brings to his work. Burns has been an inspiration and role model to Bethany students for the past 24 years.


Sampson serves as Director of the McCann Learning Center, established in 2006. Its mission is to advance the learning skills of all students, to transform the learning experiences of students with learning and related disabilities and to support the heightened performance of faculty and staff. Noting the Center’s well-documented success, Miller credited Sampson’s dynamic leadership and tireless support of students and faculty. Sampson is known for her development of new and more effective teaching techniques, her attention to acquiring the latest technological hardware to best facilitate academic success and her unwavering commitment to giving each student the personal attention they need to thrive.

Burns and Sampson, chosen for the award through a nomination and selection process, each received a cash stipend and will have their names displayed on a permanent plaque.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.