NASHVILLE, TN — Trevecca Nazarene University held two ceremonies this spring to present awards for teaching excellence in the traditional undergraduate, graduate and nontraditional programs. Professors who embodied the call to teach and mentor students within the framework of Christian higher education were honored in four categories: the undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, nontraditional undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, graduate Teaching Excellence Award and Excellence in Program Leadership Award.
Dr. Nykolaus Reed received the 2022 undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award. Originally from New Orleans, Reed attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and later Meharry Medical College for biomedical studies. He went on to pursue Ph.D. research on DNA sequences that influence vertebrate development. Reed taught as an adjunct at Trevecca while completing postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt University before joining the Trevecca community full time in 2013. He is loved by his students for his commitment and passion for teaching and is known as a caring and thoughtful person to his colleagues.
The recipient of the 2022 nontraditional undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award is Dr. Jea Agee. Originally from Seaford, Del., Agee graduated from Eastern Nazarene College. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in organizational studies from the State University of New York at Albany and a master’s in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca. He teaches across multiple programs including the traditional business program, two nontraditional baccalaureate programs and several graduate programs including the Master of Business Administration and graduate psychology, among others. He also serves as a dissertation adviser and reader for two of Trevecca’s doctoral programs, the Ed.D. in leadership and the Ph.D. in clinical counseling.
Dr. Melinda “Mindy” Burch is the winner of the 2022 Teaching Excellence Award for Trevecca’s graduate programs. Burch, who is originally from Naples, Fla., earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Trevecca Nazarene University. While teaching in the Clarksville-Montgomery School System, she earned her master’s degree from Austin Peay State University. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in special education from Vanderbilt University and returned to Trevecca to become a faculty member in the School of Education. She has taught at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, in numerous graduate programs including education, counseling and business. She now serves as an associate professor in the leadership department of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. She is known for being available to her students, not only during the time they are with her in class but long afterwards as they are completing their dissertations.
The award for Excellence in Program Leadership recognizes an individual who exemplifies the values of Trevecca and demonstrates excellence in core areas of program leadership, and that honor went to Dr. Brandee Norris. She is the program director and a professor for the health care administration program. She has her B.A. in communication/journalism from the University of Alabama, a M.S. in health services administration from Barry University and a Doctor of Philosophy in human services with a specialization in health care administration from Capella University. She is passionate about coaching and mentoring future health care leaders. As a former healthcare administrator, she values integrating practical experiences in the classroom.
The undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award chapel included an address by Dr. Tim Gaines, the 2021 undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award recipient. He spoke on the need for students to receive an education that goes beyond skills learned in the classroom, and the intentionality of Trevecca professors to teach for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God.
“I marvel at the gift God is giving to the world through Trevecca Nazarene University,” Gaines said. “Beyond just an education, we are teaching students to love and delight in the Lord, how to turn a job into a mission…and that takes excellent teaching.”