WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands held its 14th annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Dinner April 22. Three members of the faculty and staff were honored with awards of merit for their commitment and service.
Ms. Jennifer Marsh, instructor of Spanish, is the recipient of the 2006 William T. Miles Community Service Award. At Cumberlands, she has been an advocate for her content area and her department. She was instrumental in developing a new teaching minor and she helped revitalize the honor society in her teaching area. The number of students enrolling in her classes has steadily increased during her tenure. She serves as a STRIPE in our Insights program and serves on the Scholarship and Acceptance Committee, arguably the busiest committee on campus. In her teaching, she takes a cultural approach to her classes and frequently prepares and brings ethnic foods to her classes. She also takes students on field trips for the purpose of experiencing and practicing what they are learning in her classes.
Marsh also is active beyond our campus. She supports the extra curricular activities of her three school-age children. She has been a Girl Scout leader; and like most Girl Scout moms, she has camped out, slept on the floor and gone on countless field trips. She, too, is active in the Corbin Presbyterian Church and has taught Sunday School for several years (she currently children 4-7). She is an elder in the church and a member of the choir. She currently serves on the church’s pastoral search committee. She has participated in a number of mission trips (meeting her husband on a mission trip to Cuba). Because her fluency in Spanish is so extensive, she has served as a translator in several different capacities.
Ms. Karen McKinney, assistant director of financial planning, is the recipient of the 2006 Service Award for full-time administrators and non-teaching staff. McKinney guides faculty and staff through their crucial selection of work-study students for the year and wends her way through any difficulties when a student and a job are somehow not a good match. As a result of working with the work-study assignments, she is in contact with virtually every office on campus. She engages in professional development seminars to help her office run more efficiently.
Besides working full-time, McKinney is a Sunday school and Bible school teacher and a nursery worker. She regularly visits local nursing homes and hospitals to let church members and community friends know they have not been forgotten. The children in her Sunday school class correspond with a National Guardsman in Iraq and send him care packages. She and her husband, Tommy, are faithful members of Buffalo Missionary Baptist Church. They have one son, James Matthew, who is pastor of Ryan’s Creek Baptist Church.
The recipient of the 2006 Excellence in Teaching Award is Assistant Professor of Music and Assistant Marching Band Director Mr. Jim Corcoran. Corcoran, a talented musician who is “enriched by all musical cultures and styles,” has made a lasting impact on his students. As one student commented, “He has had a major influence on my life; he has taught me how to think about music in a different light.” As a private instructor, Corcoran sets high standards for his students and they are among the strongest performers in his department. His teaching often stimulates students to seek out new styles of music to listen to or to find new compositions to learn and perform. Very often, students will come up to him in the hallway or in his office to show him some new instrument or to bring him a recording, and he is just as excited to learn from them as he is to teach them.
Corcoran currently resides in Lexington, Ky., with his wife Doris and their son Jimmy.