Published on June 4, 2013  

Howard College of Arts and Sciences dean David Chapman presented his annual teaching and scholarship awards at an Arts and Sciences assembly meeting May 7. 

The 2013 Dean’s Award for Teaching went to Biological and Environmental Sciences professor and chair Ron Hunsinger, a veteran professor who Chapman said “continues to connect with students as a teacher and a guide.”

An anonymous student who wrote in support of the honor praised Hunsinger for explaining physiological processes “as though they were a story.” “He makes the subject intriguing and motivates me to learn,” the student wrote.

Chapman also noted that Hunsinger offered the first online course in Samford’s Environmental Management program and volunteered to teach Samford’s first Chinese students so he could better understand their unique educational needs.

The 2013 Dean’s Award for Scholarship went to professor of spanish and Director of Samford’s Latin American Studies Program Lynda Jentsch in recognition of her successful translation of Antonio Cornejo Polar’s daunting Spanish-language book Writing in the Air. Chapman said the book, published in May, “will undoubtedly extend” the influence of the noted Latin American literary critic.

“Given Dr. Jentsch’s commitment to her students, the important role she plays as a program coordinator in Spanish, her work with Latin American Scholars, and her leadership in study abroad programs, it is clear that her scholarly achievements have not been at the expense of excellent teaching and service,” Chapman said.

Chapman also noted that in addition to her own scholarship, Dr. Jentsch has worked extensively with student research projects that have appeared at Samford’s Student Showcase and the annual Latin American Symposium at Birmingham-Southern College.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.