Hodges announces Employee and Professor of the Year awards

Peter Van Leeuwen, Director of Distance Education at Hodges University, was named Employee of the Year at the Institution. The award recognizes his outstanding work for the University in its distance education program. The award was announced at a recent campus ceremony.

“I am pleased to honor Peter with this award,” said Dr. Terry McMahan, President of Hodges University. “Our students are able to take advantage of quality programs anywhere and anytime, thanks in part to the hard work that Peter has put into the program. The biggest advantage to online learning is that the student can earn a valuable degree without having to put their lives on hold. For an adult student with the pressures of life responsibilities, online learning offers an answer. It is fundamentally why so many adult learners are now pursuing their degrees online. Thanks to this technology, a degree is now possible for those who might not have had the opportunity to attend a class in a campus setting.

“In his role, he makes sure that the students understand how online classes work and he also instructs the faculty how to develop their curriculum for the online student. Peter’s hard work and dedication to our distance learning program is impressive, and we are fortunate to have someone who possesses such dedication at Hodges.”

Each year, administrators, faculty and fellow employees nominate a co-worker for the award with a committee represented by members of the administration electing the winning candidate. 

This year’s winner of the Professor of the Year award was Dr. Valerie Weiss. Dr. Weiss is the Chair of the Health Studies program at Hodges, teaching in both the Medical Assisting and Health Studies programs. She has been with the University since 2004.

“Dr. Weiss is an individual with extraordinary character who is dedicated to education and the development of her students,” wrote a nominating student. “Her encouraging nature gives students who lack confidence - hope, and those with determination - a map to help guide them to achieve their dreams. She helps students to believe in greater possibilities that lie ahead in life. She sees the potential in each individual student and works with the student to develop that potential. Dr. Weiss is a teacher that imparts knowledge which people accept and follow. Dr. Weiss is a teacher par excellence.”

The Professor of the Year nomination process provides the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to nominate the professor they feel is most deserving of this recognition.

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