Recognizing five decades of scholarly work in psychology and inspiring educational instruction, George Fox University named Rodger Bufford and Katy Turpen as the school’s 2013-2014 graduate researcher and teacher of the year, respectively.

Bufford, who has taught in the school’s doctor of psychology program since the school acquired it from Western Baptist Seminary in 1990, was chosen for the Faculty Achievement Award for Graduate Research and Scholarship.

Turpen, an alumna who graduated from both the school’s undergraduate (2001) and master of arts in teaching program (2002), was recipient of the Graduate Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching.

Bufford’s work over the past year included securing, with fellow George Fox psychology professor Mark McMinn, a $200,000 research grant from the Templeton Foundation to explore how positive psychology may impact church communities. The grant will be distributed over three years and support five dissertation projects at two universities.

Since his career began in the late 1960s, Bufford has prepared and/or written peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, professional presentations, invited addresses, book reviews, magazine articles, posters, seminars and workshops. He is also a contributing editor for the “Journal of Psychology and Theology” and an ad hoc editorial consultant for the “Journal of Positive Psy­chol­ogy.” He is a past contributing editor to “Marriage and Fam­ily: A Christian Journal and the Journal of Psychology and Christianity.”

His nomination submission form stated that, while much of Bufford’s scholarship is focused on the integration of psychology and the Christian faith, “that description is much too limiting for a scholar who has published on Christian clinical supervision, evolutionary psychology, demonic influence and mental disorders, assertiveness, and philosophical foundations of clinical supervision.” In addition to his own publications, Bufford has co-published with George Fox’s faculty, faculty from other universities, and with graduate students.

“One of the things I most love about teaching at Fox is seeing our students grow, develop and succeed, often in ways and to degrees that surpass our expectations,” Bufford said. “As founding chairperson of the Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology, I was privileged to lay the foundations for the program we have today. Our goal at the outset was to become an APA-accredited program known for its Christian emphasis. Others who succeeded me have built on that foundation, and together we have achieved that goal and also become widely regarded as an outstanding clinical psychology program.”

Bufford holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The King’s College and masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Turpen, an assistant professor in George Fox’s MAT program, has taught on topics ranging from language and literacy, language arts and social studies methods, structures for learning to human development, elementary mathematics and supervising. Previously, she taught American history at Dunaway Middle School in McMinnville.

Prior to joining George Fox’s faculty full time in 2011, Turpen did extensive work as a middle school teacher at Dunaway, where she coordinated summer trips to the east coast for eighth-grade students, taught history and oversaw a “Sheltered Core” program that specialized in assisting students who struggled in both reading and writing. She also spent two summers in the mid-2000s teaching English in Peru.

A student who nominated Turpen for the award said she “makes every minute of class count” and “keeps us working, moving, reading sorting and doing.” Another said she “had a way of pointing us to the big picture without giving easy solutions. This kept my wheels turning, igniting more passion in me to make a change.”

“My greatest accomplishment is being a mom and a wife,” Turpen said. “My second is seeing my students being successful in the field. When they come back and let me know that they were prepared to be great teachers, it makes my heart sing.”

In addition to her master’s degree in teaching, Turpen holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Fox.

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