Bradley's Faculty and Staff Welcome Back Event

August 18, 2021

Bradley's administration welcomed faculty and staff back to campus by hosting a celebration to kick off the new semester. At the celebration event, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Walter Zakahi presented some of the institution's annual recognitions and awards. 

Helen Bartlett Award - This award is to recognize the service, program, or activity of an entire unit that has made the most outstanding contributions to Bradley’s students. The winning unit will have its name inscribed on a perpetual plaque and will receive both a plaque to be displayed in the unit’s office and a monetary grant.

Recipient: Learning Design and Technology (LDT)

The individuals on this team have specialized knowledge and skills from a variety of backgrounds and they are tasked with aiding teaching, learning, and student success. They are responsible for bringing together innovative pedagogies with educational technologies by leveraging a state-of-the-art technology-enhanced classroom for teaching innovation. This department was vital to Bradley’s pivot to online learning throughout the past year and a half. This team helped the university implement technology and transformed the way we designed and delivered classes during the pandemic. Always focusing on innovative ways to serve, LDT offered new, innovative, resource efficient programs with the implementation of Canvas, developing FOLD, and offering training to 1000 participants. The training and support of this department during this pandemic has been relentless in supporting and guiding in excellence to ensure success.

 Academic Advisor of the Year - Since the early 1990s, the Student Senate, in conjunction with the Student Activities Office and the Center for Orientation and Advisement, has recognized a member of Bradley’s faculty, administration, or professional staff who provides exceptional service as an academic advisor.

Recipient: Dr. Quentin Wherfel

Quentin Wherfel is an assistant professor in the Department of Education, Counseling, and Leadership at Bradley. In his nominations, students wrote, “Even though I have only been at Bradley for two semesters, I have met with Dr. Wherfel more than five times for multiple hours each because Dr. Wherfel is passionate about the academic success of his advisees. He helped ease my anxiety during course registration about getting into all of the courses I need. Dr. Wherfel takes time out of his busy schedule to answer any questions I have and he shows interest in what his students and advisees are passionate about and he cares about their wellbeing too. When I tell my peers the many ways in which Dr. Wherfel supports me, they respond that they wish he was their academic advisor as well. Anyone who is his advisee is extremely lucky.”

First Year Faculty Award - This award is determined by student and peer evaluations as well as course innovation and instructional talent.

Recipient: Mr. Timothy Hutchings

Timothy Hutchings is an instructor in Bradley’s globally ranked game design program. In one nomination, he is described as an outstanding teacher, brilliant intellect, and an extraordinary writer and game designer, as proven through the many accolades from his students, colleagues, and peers around the world. His impressive achievements include prolific publications, very high student evaluations, curricular innovations, effective advising, and national and international awards. This is the description of a truly great faculty member who has had a profound effect on the education of his students. Another nominator wrote, “Mr. Hutchings’s contributions to our students’ co-curricular experience cannot be overstated. In addition to serving as the advisor to a number of student groups (Game Narrative Club, Game Design Club, Tabletop Game Club, etc.), Mr. Hutchings has single-handedly established two annual symposia as a way of bringing game industry professionals to campus for our students to meet and learn from. He is also one of the two founding faculty for the department’s new Master of Science in Game Design and Development and will be providing the program’s critical and theoretical coursework via his new IM 580 Game Seminar course, which will be taught every fall and spring semester.”

Caterpillar Professorships and Renewals - Caterpillar Professorships are awarded only to tenured (full) professors at Bradley who have significant nationally or internationally recognized accomplishments for scholarship in their fields. These professorships recognize these accomplishments and enhance Bradley’s academic reputation and stature as an institution committed to excellence in teaching as well as scholarly and creative production. Qualified faculty members from all disciplines are considered. Each Caterpillar Professor receives a supplemental academic year stipend of $8,000 plus associated fringe benefits. Caterpillar Professorships are appointed for five-years.

Caterpillar Professorship Recipients:

  • Dr. Tony Adams, Chairperson of the Department of Communication and Professor of Communication in the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts
  • Dr. Edward Remsen, Professor in the Mund-Lagowski Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of LAS
  • Dr. Tanya Marcum, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Law in the college of FosterCollege of Business

Renewal Recipients:

  • Dr. Joseph Chen, Chairperson of the Department of ‚Äč‚ÄčIndustrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Technology in the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology
  • Dr. Larry Weinzimmer, Professor of Strategic Management in the Foster College of Business

Staff Excellence Awards - As many know, Mrs. Bradley’s vision was to foster a culture of practical application, philanthropic leadership, and overall success. These Staff Excellence Awards honor Bradley’s administrative staff leaders who help ensure Mrs. Bradley’s vision.

Exempt Staff Recipient: Mr. Thomas Kahila

Tom has been a component level electronics technician for Bradley’s biology, physics, chemistry, and biochemistry departments since 2016. He became the Olin Hall machinist a year later. Those in LAS say he is an invaluable member of the college because of his independence, creativity, and persistence. His nominators say Tom always finds a solution, whether it’s to repair, replace, modify, or even repurpose machinery, he will get the job done even if you may think it’s impossible. He has found ways to keep machinery running when the vendor said they no longer service the machine or no longer manufacture the parts for it. One nominator gave this example. “His tireless efforts allowed us to keep our old spectroflurometer and nuclear magnetic spectrometer functioning just a little bit longer so that our grad students could collect necessary data to complete their master’s thesis. He is truly a miracle worker and so multi talented.” His work goes beyond fixing, building, and engineering. He is always full of humility and patience as he dives in every time he is asked to help. As a department of one, his colleagues call him their superhero who keeps them moving in the right direction.

Non-Exempt Staff Recipient: Ms. Martha Schmitt

Martha is from the Office of Student Records in the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts. Her colleagues say Martha's achievements have been extraordinary. She demonstrates servant leadership, unbounded compassion, good humor, unerring record keeping, and above all an unbreakable and total dedication to the academic success of every major and minor in the college. Another nominator says, “Whatever the circumstance, problem, or obstacle, Martha has consistently been there to help navigate our way. She enthusiastically addresses any questions we have about anything. The past year would have been far worse had it not been for her calm, assuring overseeing of COVID restrictions, rooming, and course scheduling. And one more nomination letter reads, “There has been no one on campus more committed to every aspect of student success. It is not just how masterfully she handled all student records, but it is the genuine, heartfelt kindness that she always expresses to everyone she deals with, whether student, faculty, staff, or parents, that has always made her a role model for all of us.”

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.

Bradley's Office of Learning Design and Technology received a standing ovation from the crowd.