Faculty, Staff Honored
April 19, 2013
The Bruce B. Stewart Awards for Teaching Excellence and Community Service were presented to faculty members Dave Limburg and Julia Jacks and staff member Sandy Bowles.
Diya Abdo received the Board of Visitors Award for Excellence in Academic Advising at the Spring Awards Celebration on April 17.
Dave, a professor of German, enlivens class with songs, games and a textbook he created himself, but don’t let the fun fool you: He challenges his students and expects excellence, according to fellow faculty and former students.
“What makes Dave a gifted teacher, as well as a cherished member of the community, is that he doesn’t just see the best in people – he helps people see the best in themselves,” one alumnus said.
“Inside and beyond the classroom, he leads with a consistent example of kindness, generosity and hard work.”
Julia, a visiting assistant professor of psychology, has taught at Guilford since 2003, demonstrating a passion for psychology and her students. Adding a twist of humor to her lessons, she makes the most complex and abstract topics understandable and engaging, her students said.
“Even after finishing her class,” according to one student, “she will check-in on your progress, ask questions about your path and open your eyes to a greater purpose. She never stops teaching.”
Sandy guides the Community Accountability Process, the student judicial system that aims to restore community bonds and provide strategies for positive change.
When colleagues and students have a problem, she provides her undivided attention, compassion and questions. Her questions help others formulate answers themselves.
“Using her gift to help her colleagues is admirable,” a coworker said. “Using her gift to transform the lives of our students is irreplaceable and embodies the spirit of the man whose service to Guilford is honored by this award.”
The annual Bruce B. Stewart Awards were funded by a $1 million gift from former trustee Bill Soles ’81, his sister Jan Soles ’87 and their father, the late W. Roger Soles.
The gift honors Bruce, a 1961 graduate who has served his alma mater as chair of the Board of Trustees, provost and director of the Richardson Fellows Program, among other roles. Bruce is the retired head of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
Diya, an assistant professor of English, has been a faculty member for the past five years. She was honored with the Dick Dyer Award for Outstanding Academic and Personal Advising in 2010 and the Stewart Award for Teaching Excellence in 2012.
One letter of support came from a 2009 Guilford graduate who was not one of Diya’s official advisees. This former student began teaching at a local community college in the fall and mentioned to Diya a lack of feedback about her teaching.
“She immediately volunteered and scheduled a day to observe me for two hours during a time that she would normally be at home with her family,” the alumna wrote.
“The willingness she has to do this doesn’t surprise me, because this demonstrates her commitment to always go above and beyond for both her present and former students.”