Nov 16, 2020

College of the Ozarks presents Wittick Faculty Awards to esteemed professors

Dr. Mark Nowack, associate professor of engineering
Dr. Mark Nowack, associate professor of engineering
Dr. Brad Pardue, associate professor of history
Dr. Brad Pardue, associate professor of history

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. – Dr. Mark Nowack, associate professor of engineering, and Dr. Brad Pardue, associate professor of history, received The Mildred Letton Wittick Professional Achievement Award and The Eugene Charles Wittick Teaching Excellence Award, respectively, at College of the Ozarks on Nov. 8.

Dr. Mark Nowack – Mildred Letton Wittick Professional Excellence Award

The Mildred Letton Wittick Professional Achievement Award honors faculty members for their professional accomplishments, which may include research, publications, performance, creative productions, and service to professional organizations.      

Nowack serves as director of the College’s new engineering program which is the only four-year engineering program at a work college. In this role he has developed the curriculum, recruited faculty, established an Engineering Advisory Board consisting of local engineers, commissioned the White Engineering Center, and prepared documents for program accreditation. The engineering majors in this graduating class are the first graduates of the program.

“Receiving the award was a pleasant surprise,” Nowack said. “I was a bit sad that I had been separated from our first graduating class for eight months due to COVID-19. I had been looking forward to thanking them in person for their perseverance and courage as our pathfinding cohort. This surprise was a reminder to smile and enjoy watching the many directions the graduates are taking.”

Nowack has membership in a number of engineering organizations, including the Christian Engineering Society. He has reviewed papers for national engineering conferences and presented a paper at the 2017 Christian Engineering Society conference.

He serves as a program evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a national organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in engineering. He has also served as an expert witness in a court case and consults for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The College is grateful for Nowack’s commitment to students and to developing a successful and exemplary engineering program.

“Dr. Mark Nowack is an experienced engineer and Air Force Veteran,” said Eric Bolger, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “His background, including his academic achievements, and his student-centered approach to learning provide a wonderful foundation for excellence in the College’s engineering program.”

Dr. Brad Pardue – Eugene Charles Wittick Teaching Excellence Award

The Eugene Charles Wittick Teaching Excellence Award honors those faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding teaching ability, and who have had a major impact on the lives and careers of their students. Honorees have shown exceptional interest in their students, have set an example compatible with the goals of College of the Ozarks, and have attempted continually to improve their teaching.

“I am honored to receive the Wittick Award for Teaching Excellence and am thankful to be part of an institution that is so committed to providing its students the highest quality education,” Pardue said. “I am also grateful to work with such passionate and committed colleagues as we shape the intellectual and spiritual development of our students.”

Since joining the history department in 2014, Pardue has taught departmental general education courses, European history courses, and church history. He has demonstrated a unique ability to teach his students in an engaging and effective manner. His students consistently comment on the rigor of his classes and compliment him on his clarity and concern for them.

He employs a wide range of teaching methods to ensure his students retain the course content. He helps his students recognize connections between history and contemporary culture and encourages them to be inquisitive learners who pursue faithful education.

Pardue also serves as director of the College’s Center for Faithful Education. He regularly leads workshops and reading groups for the faculty and works with the library to maintain a wide selection of books on pedagogy and Christian higher education.

He has presented at the School of the Ozarks Classical Christian Education Conference, serves on the editorial board for the College’s Faithful Lives journal and an external academic book series, and publishes multiple essays each year. He recently published two essays and presented a conference paper on Christian pedagogy and practice in the history classroom.

“My role as director of the Center for Faithful Education has provided many exciting opportunities to contribute to the five-fold mission of College of the Ozarks. I particularly enjoy discovering and developing resources and facilitating workshops to better equip faculty at C of O to pursue their vocations as Christian educators and scholars.”

“Dr. Brad Pardue is a life-long learner who is always searching for more effective ways to help students learn,” Bolger said. “He is a great example of one who is bought-in to the College’s mission and vision to provide a distinctively Christian education for students who couldn’t otherwise afford it.”