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United Methodist Faculty Recognized for Service: Cutting Edge Curriculum Award and Exemplary Teacher Award Recipients Named

May 30, 2018

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the leadership development agency for the denomination, announced the winners for two award programs for faculty. This year, 45 outstanding educators within our United Methodist-related colleges and universities have been selected as recipients of the Cutting-Edge Curriculum Award and Exemplary Teacher Award of the Year. 

“Supporting and resourcing United Methodist-related schools, colleges and universities is one of the cornerstones of our work at the GBHEM,” said Mark Hanshaw, Ph.D., J.D., associate general secretary, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM. “The faculty at these institutions are helping to provide the quality Methodist education that will build the next generation of leaders for our church. We are honored to be a partner and recognize the impactful work of these educators. I commend each of the recipients.” 

Cutting-Edge Curriculum Award

The Cutting-Edge Curriculum Award was created to recognize faculty at United Methodist-related colleges and universities who have developed unique and engaging courses designed to enhance the experience of students. The 2018 awards highlighted curriculum that introduced first-year students to supportive instruction aimed at helping them flourish as they begin their academic careers. The 2019 awards topic will be announced later this summer. 

In its inaugural year, the Cutting-Edge Curriculum Award received dozens of applications from colleges and universities across the United Methodist Connection. While only 10 applications are selected as finalists for the awards program, all of this year’s applicants exhibited the dedication and passion for finding creative ways to build a foundation on which new students can achieve success in higher education. 

The winners of the Cutting-Edge Curriculum Award include two finalists who will each receive $4,000 and eight finalists who will receive $2,000 each. 

2018 Finalists

Andrea Brenner

Andrea Brenner*
American University

American University Experience Program

Karla Jensen

Karla Jensen*
Nebraska Wesleyan University

Be. Here. Now.: Mindfulness Theory and Practice

Sarah DeSmet

Sarah DeSmet
Wesleyan College

WISe 101: Wesleyan Integrative Seminar Experience

Maggie McCampbell Lien

Maggie McCampbell Lien
Shenandoah University

You Don’t Have to Be Gandhi: Student Activism in a Global Perspective

Julie Rust

Julie Rust
Millsaps College

Are Schools Really Broken?: Partnering to Creatively Improve Education

Jodi Goldberg

Jodi Goldberg
Hamline University

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock: When Did Sheldon Cooper Know He Was a Scientist?

Moriska Selby

Moriska Selby
Bennett College

SW 299: The Learning Lab: Bennett Belles Academy

Nathan Hedman

Nathan Hedman
High Point University

Grit: Explaining Survival

Jessica Hower

Jessica Hower
Southwestern University

A Pirate’s Life for Me: Pirates, Piracy, & Southwestern U

Nick Proctor

Nicolas Proctor
Simpson College

SC 101: Galactic Senate

*Finalists awarded $4,000

Exemplary Teacher Award

The Exemplary Teacher Award recognizes faculty at United Methodist colleges and universities who have demonstrated exemplary leadership, excellence in teaching, service to students and a commitment to education.

This award is special because all recipients are nominated by their institution’s leaders. Click HERE to view the 35 Exemplary Teacher Award winners for the 2017-2018 academic year.  

Please contact for additional information or questions. To learn more about Division of Higher Education at GBHEM, visit

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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