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Press Release



August 9, 2013


McWhirt named recipient of Paul Stirnaman Award


Stirnaman AwardRecognized for her high standards in the classroom and dedication to quality education, Cowley College Humanities instructor Amy McWhirt was named the school’s recipient of the Paul Stirnaman Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence.

The award is named for Paul Stirnaman, a long-time Social Science Department instructor and strong supporter of the College Education Association. He died June 16, 2000, following a lengthy illness, and was remembered as extremely dedicated to his students and fellow faculty members.

For the past 10 years McWhirt has taught beginning Spanish, ESL writing, preparatory writing and reading courses and serves as co-director of the Multicultural Scholars Program.

McWhirt has been a presenter at the NISOD and NADE conferences, and has served on several committees at Cowley. She currently serves as a member of the AQIP Steering Committee and is the AQIP Liaison for the Report, Remediation, and Retention action project.

“Amy is always willing to serve our organization and the college,” said Natural Science Department instructor and 2012 Paul Stirnaman Award recipient Melinda Neal. “She has volunteered to chair many of our committees and is continually implementing different teaching strategies in her classroom to help student success. She has been an active member of CEA and has served the organization as secretary and will serve as CEA vice-president this year. I admire her vigor for language and progression and feel that she represents the qualities that this award exemplifies.”

McWhirt, who was named the school’s Endowed Chair in 2010 and was a NISOD award recipient in 2011, was humbled to receive the award.

“Sometimes we question whether or not we have made the right choices in life.  All I ever wanted to do was make a difference; it’s the reason I got into teaching,” McWhirt said. “Being honored by my peers in this way helps me feel like maybe I am on the right path.”

Slade Griffiths, vice president of academic affairs, mentioned McWhirt has worked in multiple
areas of the College and has a vast knowledge of all the different instructional areas.

“She is always looking for ways to improve student learning and student success and has the
courage to do it,” Griffiths said. “She is a gifted and caring colleague that I am proud to be
associated with.”