Faculty and Staff Members of the Year Announced at 2019 Reception

May 6, 2019 Macee Hall, Staff Writer

(ABILENE, Texas)–Dr. Larry McGraw announced the 2019 Faculty and Staff Members of the Year at this year’s annual Faculty/Staff Appreciation Reception on May 2, 2019. Dr. Tom Copeland was named the 2019 Faculty Member of the Year, and Mrs. Jodi Zachry was named the 2019 Staff Member of the Year.

Dr. Tom Copeland, professor of psychology and the director of the HSU Honors Program, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor who has been on faculty at HSU since 1994. Copeland received his B.S. in Psychology from Texas A&M University, before continuing his education and earning both an M.A. in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology with a minor in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University.

Dr. Tom Copeland accepts an award as the 2019 Faculty Member of the Year.
Dr. Tom Copeland accepts an award as the 2019 Faculty Member of the Year.

“Having Dr. Copeland as a professor is never boring; you just never really know what you’re going to learn that day, course-related or otherwise. When you leave, you can’t help but think about it later. Normally with class, it’s go in and learn, but when you leave the information stays in the room ’til next class. With Copeland, what you learn stays with you,” says junior Psychology major Kaelyn Heatley.

Mrs. Jodi Zachry has worked at HSU since 2000 when she started her 18-year career as an administrative assistant to the dean of the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics. In September of 2018, Zachry transitioned into a new role with the university and now works as the assistant to the provost. Zachry earned her B.B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Hardin-Simmons while working for the university.

Jodi Zachry poses upon recieving her award for being nominated as the 2019 Staff Member of the Year.
Jodi Zachry poses upon recieving her award for being nominated as the 2019 Staff Member of the Year.

Regina Wheat, administrative assistant to the dean of the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics, explains that “Jodi holds a very high Christian standard.  She is an example to those of us that work with her.  She gives above and beyond what is asked and required of her.  Jodi leads the group of administrative assistants for the deans at Hardin-Simmons University selflessly with a positive Christian attitude and example. Anyone that has the privilege of knowing Jodi can see that she has high moral standards and Christian values she lives by.”

Two steps comprise the selection process for Faculty and Staff Member of the Year: nominations and voting. Nominations were accepted from mid-February to the beginning of March from employees of the university and included statements of support regarding how the nominees fulfill each of the given criteria. Upon receiving the nominations, the Administrative Council narrowed the list to 10 nominees in each of the two categories. University employees were then invited to vote directly for their top picks for both Faculty and Staff Member of the Year.

To be selected, nominees must be full-time faculty or staff who have worked for the university for at least three consecutive years. Though the nomination and voting processes are the same, faculty and staff must exemplify different characteristics to be selected for this award. The Faculty Member of the Year exemplifies teaching excellence, professional development, service to the university, and demonstration of strong Christian values. The Staff Member of the Year exemplifies innovation, dedication, service, and demonstration of strong Christian values.

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