Bethany College President Scott D. Miller presented one faculty member and one staff member with the President’s Awards for Excellence in Performance during the school’s Honors Day Convocation April 17.
The awards, which are given to those who go “beyond the ordinary in their everyday positions,” were given to Heather Taylor, coordinator of the Writing Center, and Harald Menz, a professor of World Languages and Cultures who also serves as co-chairman of the Department of Humanities and as director of both Interdisciplinary Studies and International Studies.
Taylor’s busy schedule includes teaching a freshman seminar course while keeping extensive hours in the Writing Center. The center is an area where students can receive assistance with the writing process, from generating ideas through publishing completed projects.
She finds new and innovative ways to support students’ academic success by training writing tutors, developing a master calendar for semester assignments and attending writing center conventions. Introducing a Facebook page and new software to simplify the scheduling of writing tutor sessions are examples of her efforts.
Taylor also serves as an adviser to the college’s Writers Club and regularly volunteers her time for student and campus events. She is the academic liaison to the soccer, women’s basketball and baseball programs, which includes checking in with teams, attending games and monitoring study sessions.
She completed a novel as part of her master’s degree in creative writing in 2013 and is working toward a master of fine arts in publishing from Wilkes University.
For Menz, who has served on the Bethany College faculty since 1994, the award is the latest in a string of accolades. Last semester, Menz won the International Association of College and University Presidents International Education Faculty Achievement Award. He was also recognized by Bethany with the John R. Taylor Memorial Award in the Liberal Arts.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Padagogische Hochschule in Heidleberg, West Germany and a master of arts degree and his doctorate from West Virginia University.
He has taken countless student groups abroad and instilled in them a desire to travel and learn from other cultures. His travels include those to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Chile.
Every year he coordinates students who come to Bethany from Heidelberg to spend a semester at the college. In addition to advising the German Club, he has become the faculty adviser to the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.