BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College President Scott D. Miller presented one faculty member and one staff member with the President’s Awards for Excellence in Performance during the College’s Honors Day Convocation April 17. The awards, which are given to those who go “beyond the ordinary in their everyday positions,” were given to Heather Taylor, Coordinator of the Writing Center and Learning Specialist, and Dr. Harald Menz, Professor of World Languages and Cultures, Co-Chair of the Department of Humanities, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of International Studies, Miller announced.
Taylor’s busy schedule includes teaching a freshman seminar course while keeping extensive hours in the Writing Center. The Center is an area where students receive assistance with the writing process, from generating ideas through publishing products.
She actively seeks new and innovative ways to support students in their academic success by training writing tutors, developing a master calendar for semester assignments and attending writing center conventions to gain best practices. The implementation of a Facebook page and new software to simplify the scheduling of writing tutor sessions are just two examples of her efforts to provide students the tools they need to succeed.
“Her Bethany pride is always on display, whether she is attending and tweeting about Bison sporting events, poetry readings or Kalon Scholarship Day,” Dr. Miller said.
Taylor co-advises the Writers Club and regularly volunteers her time for student and campus events. She serves as the Academic Liaison to the soccer, women's basketball and baseball programs, which includes checking in with teams, attending games and monitoring study sessions.
“The most amazing part of all her hard work and extra effort is that she has gone over and above for students, staff and Bethany College while completing her master’s degree in creative writing in June 2013, which entailed completing a novel,” Dr. Miller said. “She is currently working toward her terminal degree, a Master of Fine Arts in publishing, from Wilkes University. For all the work, support and effort she has given selflessly to our College, Heather Taylor is the ideal ‘superwoman’ for this year’s staff award.”
Dr. Menz, who has served on the Bethany College faculty since 1994, has received a number of recent accolades. Last semester, Menz received the International Association of College and University Presidents International Education Faculty Achievement Award. He was also recognized by Bethany College with the John R. Taylor Memorial Award in the Liberal Arts.
Menz holds a Bachelor of Arts from Padagogische Hochschule in Heidleberg, West Germany, and a Master of Arts and doctorate from West Virginia University.
He has taken countless student groups abroad and instilled in them a desire to travel and learn from other cultures. His travels include those to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Chile.
“Literally, the world is his classroom,” Dr. Miller said. “He actively embraces the mission and philosophy of a residential liberal arts campus. He adheres to the idea that learning occurs in many forms inside and outside of the classroom.”
Every year he coordinates students who come to Bethany from Heidelberg to spend a semester at the College. In addition to advising the German Club, he has become the faculty advisor to the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
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.