Charleston, WV - Each year the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia honors an outstanding faculty member at a West Virginia college or university. Five finalists for the 2008 Professor of the Year honor have been chosen. The finalists are John T. Burns, Ph.D., biology professor, Bethany College; Ruth Kershner, Ed.D., associate professor, Community Medicine Clinical Track, West Virginia University; Andrea Nazar, D.O., professor, Clinical Science Division, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; Robert O. Rupp, Ph.D., history and political science professor, West Virginia Wesleyan College; Mary J. Wimmer, Ph.D., biochemistry professor, West Virginia University, School of Medicine.
An internationally-renowned researcher, Dr. 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 and has been an inspiration and role model to students at Bethany College for the past 24 years.
Interviews with the five candidates were held on January 13, 2009. The finalists will be honored at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday, March 17. The reception will be followed by a dinner at the Cultural Center in Charleston, where the 2008 Professor of the Year will be announced.
The Faculty Merit Foundation was created in 1984 to provide a means to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculties of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. Through the Professor of the Year program, the outstanding achievements of those individuals are brought to the attention of the general public. A $10,000 cash award is given to the candidate selected as Professor of the Year, with smaller awards to the other finalists.
The Professor of the Year award is presented with financial support from United Bank.