Kenyon Receives 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – April 7, 2011 – Kevin Kenyon, Coker College associate professor of history and coordinator of the social studies education major, was honored with the South Carolina Independent Colleges and University’s (SCICU) Excellence in Teaching Award at a reception and dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 5. 

The Excellence in Teaching award was created to honor those faculty members from SCICU’s member institutions who demonstrate the highest standards of teaching that encourages students to strive for excellence in their studies and intellectual pursuits.

“The hallmark of South Carolina’s private non-profit colleges and universities is their emphasis on individualized learning and student achievement,” said Mike LeFever, SCICU president and CEO.  “Dr. Kevin Kenyon is a dedicated and accomplished teacher-scholar who embodies excellence in the classroom.”

“Like the discipline he so passionately champions, Dr. Kenyon touches students’ lives profoundly, and through his caring he enriches our community in innumerable ways.  I consider him a mentor and friend,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt, who attended the award event on Tuesday evening.

Kenyon joined the faculty at Coker College in 2000, when the institution had only a handful of history majors.  Just three years later, however, the history program was transformed.  With his leadership and guidance, faculty had completely revamped the curriculum, and the number of students majoring and minoring in history had increased eight fold. Key to Dr. Kenyon’s success has been, and continues to be, his ability to persuade. 

At Coker, he has helped students appreciate that knowledge of the past is vital to understanding the issues of the present.  Paring the point with an instantly accessible image, he often speaks of a “great web of history,” a netting in which every human being finds her- or himself irrevocably enmeshed. 

Dr. Kenyon’s research on language and ethnic identity in East Central Europe involves source materials in six languages.  In 2005, he founded the Coker World Scholars—a living-learning community for residential students that broadens student awareness of other cultures and brings an intellectual perspective to life experiences outside the classroom.  And, Dr. Kenyon has played a leading role in making it possible for Coker students to study abroad.  Every year since 2001, he has designed, led and taught travel courses in Europe and has made it possible for other faculty members to offer such courses themselves. 

“Dr. Kenyon personifies in all ways excellence in teaching,” said Coker College Provost and Dean of the Faculty Patricia Lincoln. 

“He cares deeply about his students and provides them with rigorous, often life-changing educational experiences.  In addition, he is an active and accomplished scholar and still finds the time and energy to serve the College in yet many other dimensions,” she added.

Previous Coker College recipients of SCICU’s Excellence in Teaching Award are:

• William Carswell, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral/Vocal Studies
• Joseph Flaherty, Assistant Professor of Biology; Chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics
• Patricia Lincoln, Provost and Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Biology
• Edward Ebert II, Professor of Education
• Shawn Lay, Professor of History; Chair of the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion; Coordinator of the History Major

Chartered by the state of South Carolina as a non-profit, charitable organization, the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities represents twenty independent colleges and universities, each with a unique historical, cultural and, in many instances, faith background. 

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Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

 
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