Houghton College recently awarded its 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award to professor Ken Bates. Bates has taught for the past 24 years at both at the Houghton and Buffalo campuses.
The Excellence in Teaching Award is a distinctive honor, as it publicly acknowledges and rewards faculty for outstanding teaching. This award is open to any faculty member with at least five years of service and with at least 50 percent of their current contract in the classroom setting.
"Ken is a highly regarded faculty member, colleague and friend,” commented Linda Mills-Woolsey, dean of the college. “In all the years I've known him, I don't think I've ever heard a bad word about him. As an educator, he is extremely knowledgeable, fair, and has a real desire to share his expertise."
Bates commented, "While my job does involve helping students learn about business and managing in the workplace, more importantly I share with all Houghton professors, a desire, no a passion, for our students to mature in their Christian faith during your college years."
The awardee is determined by the Faculty Development Committee who receives nominations from all areas of the college; faculty, staff and students; and selects the recipient from a pool of highly regarded educators.
Some of the criteria for nomination include: compelling evidence of outstanding instruction in the classroom, laboratory or studio and thorough knowledge of subject matter; a variety of contacts with students in mentoring, service learning and other collaborative activities; encouraging students to think imaginatively, critically and independently; and development and improvement of teaching and learning in self and others.
"The highest honor of my professional life has been in this second chapter…the opportunity of equipping Houghton business students to be salt and light in the workplace," said Bates.
Bates currently serves as associate professor of business, and is the department chair for business and economics. He received a bachelor’s of science in 1971 from Houghton College and a master’s in business administration from Loyola College in 1980. He also has completed certification as senior professional in human resources through the Certification Institute of the Society for Human Resource Management in 2000.
Mills-Woolsey also commented, “"Not only is Ken a great teacher, his participation in the community is admirable, through participation in the Houghton Foundation, management of The Inn at Houghton Creek, and involvement in many other key initiatives."
Bates and his wife, Barbara, also a graduate of Houghton , were married in 1972. They have two married children; Shannon Kitchen ’97 and Peter Bates ‘05along with four grandchildren; Lyndsay (7), Levi (2), Violet (1) and Lucas, who was born May 9 of this year.
"Receiving this award is certainly a much appreciated honor," remarked Bates. "But at the same time I’m humbled because this comes from my faculty peers, my equals, and my betters, many of whom are actually my role models. Most importantly, thanks to my students for this nomination.