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December 22, 2012

Fall Professional Excellence Award Winners Named at DWU

MITCHELL — René Pruitt and Nathan Hofer are the winners of the Professional Excellence Awards for the fall term at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Pruitt, assistant professor of education, is the faculty winner. She is described as a dedicated employee and educator who oversees volunteer projects for students and volunteers, as well.

René is a mild-mannered, kind and caring person,” one nomination letter states. “As a co-worker, you may come to work and find flowers or candy on your desk.  As a student, you might have cookies and milk during class. She put others before herself on a daily basis.”

During her time at DWU, she has taught more than 20 courses. She instructs and mentors students in the education department from Foundations through Student Teaching. She has roots in the Mitchell community, graduated from DWU, and taught in the Mitchell school district, thereby building relationships that benefit the university and students in the education department. Pruitt currently serves as field experience coordinator for all education practicums. She works with local and area school districts to place at least 50 students every semester.”

“Rene’ knows the ins and outs of the education department and is the go-to person for ‘historical’ information,” states another nomination. “Her input was invaluable during the program accreditation that took place during the 2011-2012 academic year. She is also a go-to person for technology information and assistance. She teaches Tech for Teachers, stays up to date on applications of technology in education, and meets with education students to help them with their PEPs.”

“Last year she tutored a young man from a neighboring community every week after his parents contacted her in their search for extra academic support for their son,” the nomination goes on to say. “Presently she is meeting to coach a student who has struggled to pass the tests needed to qualify to become a teacher. The mission (“Sacrifice or Service”) of DWU is not an add-on for Dr. Pruitt but an expression of her personal beliefs.”

Hofer, director of student activities and resident director of Allen Hall and the apartments on campus, is the staff winner. His nomination letter describes him as a team player who lives for his job.

“Nathan works continually to engage, develop and entertain students,” states the letter. “He lives and breathes his career. Nathan lives learning, leadership, faith and service. … Thanks to his efforts, students no longer lament a lack of things to do on campus. He’s made sure that if students want an activity, there is one.”

The Professional Excellence Award is given throughout the year to faculty and staff members. The winners are then considered for the year-end awards for faculty and staff.

Winners are given campus recognition and a gift certificate. The award recognizes employees for “outstanding service, for exemplary commitment to the university and for making a difference in the lives of students.” The DWU Employee Recognition Committee selects the winners from nominations submitted by faculty, staff members and students.


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Last updated: 12/22/12