Oct 25, 2021

College of the Ozarks awards two faculty members New Faculty Member Five-Fold Mission Award

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. —College of the Ozarks recently awarded Dr. Joseph Western, professor of history, and Dr. Curt Wilkinson, professor of communication arts, the C of O New Faculty Member Five-Fold Mission Award for 2020 and 2021, respectively. Because of circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the presentation of the 2020 Five-Fold Mission Awards was postponed until this fall.

The C of O New Faculty Member Five-Fold Mission Award is given to a new faculty member who has worked six years or less and whom students and co-workers recognize as best embodying the College’s academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals.

2021 College of the Ozarks New Faculty Member Five-Fold Mission Award

Western has served as an assistant professor of history at College of the Ozarks for four years. His degrees include a Master’s in historical theology from Concordia Seminary, a Master’s in history from Saint Louis University, and a Ph.D. in medieval European history from Saint Louis University. Western applies his teaching expertise to his western civilization courses, along with various pre-modern history classes.


Western has been published in the “Journal of Ecclesiastical History” and the College’s “Faithful Lives” journal, as well as having done academic research on medieval southern Italy. He also co-leads the College’s Base Camp student orientation program and is the founder of the Lutheran Student Fellowship at C of O.

“Students can immediately perceive Dr. Western’s love—of God, of history, and of them,” said Dr. Ethan Smile, associate professor of humanities and humanities division chair. “Western’s engaging classes enable students not only to learn about the past but also learn how to apply that knowledge to their present-day lives.”

2020 College of the Ozarks New Faculty Member Five-Fold Mission Award

Wilkinson began with College of the Ozarks in 2014 and currently serves as supervisor of the media production workstation and a professor of communication. His degrees include a Master’s in communication from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in film from Exeter University. Wilkinson employs his skills and knowledge as supervisor of the media production workstation while instructing courses on video production and editing, screenwriting, animation, and photography.

Among other accomplishments, Wilkinson recently published a book titled “KNOWN: A Year of Questions,” which challenges individuals to put their phones down and engage in meaningful conversation. Wilkinson has been married to his wife, Deb, for 13 years and they raise two little girls, Aly and Abby.

“Dr. Wilkinson embraces the five-fold mission of the College through his artistry and production of videos in support of our academic, vocational, cultural, patriotic, and Christian goals,” said Dr. Stacy McNeill, professor of communication arts and performing and professional arts division chair. “He leads a student video production team with consistency and vision and teaches with attention to detail. Dr. Wilkinson and his student team produced copious videos during the pandemic when there was an immediate need to move many campus resource materials online.”