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SOCHE Faculty Awards

SOCHE Honors Six Cedarville Faculty

by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer

The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) will present 58 faculty representing 15 colleges and universities in the Miami Valley with “Faculty Excellence Awards” on Friday, Nov. 18.  The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Dayton Art Institute.

The Faculty Excellence Award is based on teaching, service and scholarship, and each recipient was nominated by his or her respective college or university. Susan Southard, the 2016 recipient of the Dayton Literary Peace Price for nonfiction, will be the keynote speaker.

Representing Cedarville University is Dr. Kristin DeWitt, associate professor of psychology; Sandra Harner, senior professor of professional writing; Mark Klimek, associate professor of Nursing; Dr. Glen Duerr, assistant professor of international studies; Dr. Elizabeth Sled, assistant professor of kinesiology; and Dan Sterkenburg, associate professor of international business.

Dewitt, who joined the faculty in 2015, has volunteered much time mentoring students, faculty and staff within and beyond her department. Student course evaluations have ranked her at or above her peers’ rating. 

“When I received word about the SOCHE award I was in disbelief,” said Dewitt. “I am truly humbled. My true reward in teaching is when I see students clearly articulating the relationship between their faith and knowledge, and when I hear of my students walking in truth.”
Harner developed the professional writing program, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. She has had numerous articles published in her field, presented at conferences and serves as the director of the professional writing student organization. She plans to retire later this year.

“I am so honored to be recognized for doing what I love,” said Harner. “I have given my heart to teaching for 36 years at Cedarville University, and as I retire, this award is another highlight as I take my victory lap.”

Klimek is a founding faculty member for the Cedarville University School of Nursing. He has been teaching for 34 years and has been the school of nursing curriculum committee chair since 2005, leading four major curriculum revisions. 

Duerr is one of the most sought-after experts by local and regional media on international topics. He has participated in more than 100 interviews during the past two years and is viewed highly by students for his teaching.

Sled has served in the kinesiology department at Cedarville for the past four years and has become beloved by her students and respected by her colleagues for her dedication to teaching. Her course evaluations are consistently the highest in the department and well above the institutional averages. 

Sterkenburg has been teaching at Cedarville University since 2010, following a 25-year career in business. He currently advises Financing Hope, a student organization dedicated to helping innovative, needy individuals realize their dreams of owning their own business.  

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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