Last month, President Frederick G. Slabach made four more stops around campus to honor this semester’s recipients of the Engaging Educator Award - Professors Joe Dryden, Michelle Payne and Michael Ellison, and Women’s Soccer Head Coach Josh Gibbs.
The Engaging Educator Award is for educators at Texas Wesleyan who go above and beyond to deliver the “Smaller. Smarter.” promise to our students.
Joe Dryden, Ph.D., School of Education
- Dryden is recognized for his commitment to supporting our education students. He is committed to helping students in the School of Education compete their dissertations. He plays a major role in the oversight of Texas Wesleyan’s graduate and doctoral-level programs in education. Joe uses his experience as a public-school administrator to give his students valuable insight into school administration and leadership before they graduate.
Michelle Payne, Ph.D., School of Natural & Social Sciences
- Payne is a dedicated mentor and advisor to our political science and pre-law students. She is the faculty advisor for Moot Court and our pre-professional program, and has been an advisor to student government, Mortar Board and many more student organizations. Payne brings out the best in her students and exemplifies what it means to be an engaging educator.
Michael Ellison, Ph.D., School of Health Professions
- It is educators like Ellison that distinguish Texas Wesleyan’s graduate counseling program as a top program in North Texas. His true passion is in the Ph.D. class, "Neuroscience/Psychopharmacology for Family Therapists.” He is currently working to offer a master’s course in neuroscience that local clinicians can attend for continuing education. This fall, he presented the "Relaxation Response," as a local offering to mental health clinicians and students, and even supports veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Ellison started Texas Wesleyan’s graduate counseling program 12 years ago, and the program has now grown to 150 students in master-level and Ph.D. classes.
Josh Gibbs, Women’s Soccer Head Coach, Athletics Department
- Texas Wesleyan coaches have a huge impact as educators, and Coach Gibbs is a perfect example. Gibbs is a relationship builder and an advocate for his student-athletes. He teaches his players life-long lessons about values, team-building and commitment from the moment they set foot on campus to graduation day. At Texas Wesleyan, we are committed to putting the “student” it student-athlete first, and coaches and educators like Gibbs make “Smaller. Smarter” more than just a tagline.