George Fox recognizes its top professors
George Fox University announced the recipients of its faculty teaching and research/scholarship awards for the 2017-2018 academic year earlier this month.
The school honored a pair from the music department as its top undergraduate professors, while faculty from Portland Seminary and the counseling department were recognized as the best at the graduate level.
George Fox bestowed assistant professor of music and director of choral activities Danielle Warner with the Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching, while fellow music instructor Brent Weaver, a professor of music theory and composition, was named recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.
Warner is primarily responsible for conducting the four choral groups on campus, but also taught conducting, her self-confessed true passion, in 2017-2018.
"What I love most about teaching is twofold," Warner said. "First and foremost is my love for students. They are funny and hardworking and think critically about the material. They are willing to serve others in both mundane and profound ways and are willing to be vulnerable and open to anything."
Secondly, Warner expressed a deep appreciation for George Fox as a place where she has the ability to dream, explore opportunities that excite her and collaborate with her colleagues. For example, she cited performing Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" this spring as a proud moment for her personally and professionally.
Warner holds a doctor of musical arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, a master of music from Western Washington University and a bachelor's degree in music from Whitman College.
"The two great loves of my life are people and music," Warner added. "I look forward to growing as a conductor and artist over my lifetime and also teaching the next generation."
Weaver, who has been composing music for 45 years – from solo piano works to symphonies and opera – was honored for his creative work rather than research. His works have been performed all over the world and he has written extensively for the school's choirs, band and orchestra, including a fanfare to mark the school's 125th anniversary in 2017.
"Every time I hear my own works offered to the community it's a thrill – a real reward for what can be long hours of work," Weaver said. "But maybe even better than that is watching our student composers hear their creations realized and seeing the joy they experience. It's literally watching someone else's dreams come true."
Weaver, who holds both a doctorate of musical arts and master's degree in music from the University of Oregon and a bachelor's degree in music from Goshen College, said teaching at George Fox offers a great balance of working with students and colleagues while also nurturing creative impulse.
"I chair a department that's involved in honoring God through disciplined and joyful music making, serving a community of learners who honor the name of Christ, and I get to teach and do my creative work in the midst of that community," he said.
On the graduate side, George Fox honored assistant professor of counseling Beronica Salazar with the Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching, with Nijay Gupta receiving the accolades for graduate research and scholarship for his work as an associate professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary.