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Faculty Honored with Awards for Excellence

Susan Brooks, Christian Collins Winn, and Patricia Paulson received special honors from their colleagues for their accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service, respectively.

Since 1987, the College of Arts & Sciences has been honoring faculty whose excellence as teachers, scholars, and individuals make them role models in the Bethel community. Nominated and chosen by their peers, these awards are presented each fall at the faculty retreat. Congratulations to the following three faculty members, for recognition of their dedication to their work, their students, and to Bethel.

Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching: Susan Brooks, professor of English

Susan Brooks, professor of English and director of the K-12 and 5-12 education programs, received the award for excellence in teaching. Her colleagues describe her as a mentor and role model to those she teaches, and applaud her ability to adapt to the needs of students at every level. Since Brooks started at Bethel in 1998, she has aided the writing program, led semesters abroad, and served and supported the academic rigor and requirements of two disciplines, English and education. Brooks has also headed multiple faculty committees, and is acting as a department chair for the 2016-2017 school year. Known for her ability to embrace changing teaching technologies and recommending tools, Brooks has mastered the pairing of technology and teaching, becoming a go-to resource for her colleagues in their own teaching. “Her teaching comes from a deeply rooted faith,” says one longtime colleague. “She discusses how one emanates faith in public education settings with her students, and models her faith inside and outside of the classroom. She is a teacher of teachers and a role model to us all in excellence of character, humility, dedication, service, and scholarship.”

Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship: Christian Collins Winn, professor of biblical and theological studies

Christian Collins Winn, professor of biblical and theological studies, received the award for excellence in scholarship. Faculty praise Collins Winn for both for his professional accomplishments and for the impact he has made since joining the Bethel community in 2005. His many publications include four authored or co-edited volumes, and eight published articles or chapters, many of which have appeared in leading theological journals. He has given 19 academic presentations to a wide range of audiences around the world and was recently a principle member of a team working on a John Templeton Foundation grant, which focused on the relationship between science and the church. “His works highlight Bethel in the global sphere of theology,” says a peer. “He continues to encourage the core of Pietism at Bethel, particularly with his recent co-authored book Reclaiming Pietism: Retrieving an Evangelical Tradition. He is a gift to the department and Bethel, and a gift to the theological world.”

Faculty Excellence Award for Service: Patti Paulson, professor of science education

Patti Paulson, professor of science education, received the award for excellence in service. Paulson joined Bethel in 1999 following a career teaching in elementary through high schools. Her focus as a Bethel professor has been to develop a curriculum that prepares students to excel as teachers in the sciences, which includes the recent addition of the STEM minor for elementary education undergraduates and a STEM certificate in Bethel’s graduate school. She has also devoted much time and attention to helping teachers and schools increase their ability to teach sciences well. One colleague says that she turned to Paulson as a resource for her own childrens’ school. Not only was Paulson willing to help, but she gave time above and beyond what was anticipated, fueled by the mission of helping kids learn and love science. Paulson’s impact has been seen around the Twin Cities and around the country. Focused on reaching underrepresented groups, one of her stand-out projects has been Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS). The program brings elementary-aged girls on campus for a day of STEM activities led by female Bethel students and faculty.


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