Since the annual faculty/staff award banquet was not able to be held this spring, University of the Cumberlands took time in their virtual faculty/staff meeting the week before classes began to recognize outstanding members of the Cumberlands family whose service to the University and local community has made a significant impact.
Staff Service Award 2020
This year’s Staff Service Award recipient is Shelleigh Moses. She is described as someone who goes above and beyond to help our students. For many years, she was often the first voice prospective students and families heard when they reached out for info about Cumberlands, answering around 1,200 phone calls per month. Then, she was often the first face a prospective student met, scheduling detailed campus visits for countless students and families.
One nominator said Moses “treats students like she would want her own children treated while they are away at college.” Another nominator said, “She has arranged hundreds of birthday parties for students and has driven thousands of miles to be in attendance for bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, and other special events in the lives of students she worked with through the years.”
In addition to Moses’ roles at Cumberlands, she is active in her church, serving as a greeter and volunteering in children’s ministries. She is also involved in the local backpack program and volunteers to transport animals to their new forever families.
William T. Miles Community Service Award
This year’s William T. Miles Community Service Award recipient is Dr. Laura Dennis. Dr. Dennis is heavily involved with students at Cumberlands but is also involved in the local community and her church. On campus, she has been an invited guest lecturer in other departments and has led her students in service learning experiences at local schools. She is an active member of her church, where she plays piano and assists with the backpack program and monthly community meal.
Dr. Dennis is passionate about language and culture and currently serves on the board of the Kentucky Philosophical Association as a foreign language representative. Additionally, she is heavily involved in issues surrounding adoption. She generously offers her time and skills to the Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN), a leading organization in the U.S. for raising awareness, understanding, and support for families affected by childhood trauma. She is involved in ATN’s Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools conference and is a regular contributor to the ATN blog. As her nominator wrote, “She believes deeply in the power of sharing stories, especially those that tend not to be heard.” She serves her Cumberlands students, the local community, the larger adoption community, and her own family well.
Excellence in Teaching Award
This year’s Excellence in Teaching Award recipient is Dr. Joy Levine. Dr. Levine has been associated with the University as both a graduate student and now a professor. She has earned doctorate degrees in physical therapy and leadership, the latter of which she earned at Cumberlands.
Dr. Levine has 15+ years of experience teaching face-to-face and online at the graduate level. In addition, she has experience with instructional design, online course development, program planning, assessment, and accreditation in higher education. She has served as a member of the Peer Reviewer Corp with the Higher Learning Commission, a Certified Higher Education Master Reviewer with Quality Matters, and a continuing education reviewer with the various Boards of Physical Therapy.
One former student commented, “She worked harder than the students, which motivated me to up my game.” Another student noted, “She was quite engaging. Our conversations were filled with humor, which was a delight! She is super knowledgeable about the topic of change management and was able to provide many real-life examples that helped me to align the area’s studies to my everyday workplace.”
Recently, Dr. Levine helped guide faculty in moving their courses online during the COVID-19 crisis, working tireless hours to better online delivery for both faculty and students. Not only has she created materials to teach faculty how to teach online, but she also has met virtually with professors and departments, answering questions and problem-solving.