Faculty Merit Foundation Names Bethany’s Buckelew Finalist for West Virginia Professor of the Year

BETHANY, W.Va. — The Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia announced that Bethany College Professor of Biology Albert “Jay” R. Buckelew has been selected as one of five finalists for its 2010 Professor of the Year. This is the second time in three years that a Bethany professor has been chosen for the honor. John Burns, also a professor of biology, was a contender for the 2008 award.
Buckelew joined the Bethany faculty in 1969 and is well-known nationally and internationally for his work in microbiology and ornithology. He has authored two books, more than 50 articles and abstracts and numerous book reviews. Buckelew serves as a section editor for the Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Sciences and is also editor of The Redstart journal of the Brooks Bird Club, headquartered in Wheeling, W.Va.  
He received his bachelor of science degree in biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and his doctorate in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, where he has also studied biochemistry. Buckelew served as Chair of the Bethany College Department of Biology from 1977-1978 and 1981-2010. He has taught courses such as cell biology, field botany, photography, environmental science, invertebrate zoology and ecology. He has also maintained a long-term study of breeding birds in Bethany’s Parkinson Forest, for which he involves Bethany students annually.   
He has accumulated numerous honors, including the West Virginia Wildlife Federation’s Conservationist of the Year award in 1996.
Darin Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, said, “For more than four decades, Dr. Buckelew has consistently dedicated himself to preparing students for careers in science and medicine. His passion for his subject matter is infectious and has had a profound and lifetime influence on his students.” Fields continued, “I have found him to be one of the most remarkable, talented and committed teachers I have known.”
“An accomplished scientist and dedicated teacher, for 42 years Dr. Buckelew has brought his knowledge, passion, and expertise to the classrooms of Bethany College,” stated Bethany College President Scott D. Miller. “Generations of students have passed through his classroom, and scores of students remember him as a wonderfully talented, compassionate teacher and lifelong learner who motivated them to pursue lives of scientific discovery. He has dedicated his entire academic life to student learning in the liberal arts tradition so integral to Bethany College.”
Buckelew will attend an interview with the Professor of the Year selection committee in January. A banquet honoring the finalists and featuring an announcement of the winner is slated for early 2011 in Charleston. The Professor of the Year will receive a $10,000 tax-free award sponsored by United Bank and a specially designed trophy. The runner-up will receive $1,000, and each of the remaining three finalists will receive $500.
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.
The primary step in the selection process is the request for nominations, which must include comprehensive and specific information about each nominee. The Foundation board selects Professor of the Year finalists based on the written information presented and on interviews with candidates.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.