Spartanburg Methodist College is proud to announce that Professor Kent Newberry was recently recognized with a 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award and awarded a $3000 professional development grant from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
The hallmark of South Carolina’s private non-profit colleges and universities is their emphasis on individualized learning and student achievement. This can only be accomplished by a faculty of the highest quality working in a supportive environment that encourages and fosters serious inquiry, critical thinking, and a broader understanding of the world in which we live.
Each year, SCICU recognizes and celebrates the best of the best with its Excellence in Teaching Awards. Award recipients are first and foremost teachers who come to liberal arts institutions to work one-on-one with students whom they also serve as advisers, mentors, and friends. They are dedicated and committed professionals who have worked long and hard to be the best in their particular academic disciple in order to instruct and guide future generations as their life’s work. They are value-centered, passionate, creative, and caring.
Professor of Drama and Speech and Director of SMC Theater Productions Kent Newberry has been motivating and listening to his students and advisees at SMC for more than thirty-five years. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ann Bowles, says of Professor Newberry, “He is described by his peers as a masterful teacher for his skill in helping speech students overcome their fears of speaking in public.” In teaching students to write speeches, he helps them develop skills in organizing a presentation and speaking and writing in correct English. In his drama workshop, students have learned how to plan and build sets, operate theater lighting, and create programs. Some of those drama students have pursued careers on stage or in theater-related professions.
Newberry’s teaching style is described as enthusiastic and motivational. He takes the time to talk everyday with his students before and after class and he is always prepared when advisees drop by to discuss their career plans. His expectations are high and his students have a tremendous sense of accomplishment and confidence when they successfully complete his courses.
Newberry earned baccalaureate, master’s and educational specialist degrees at the University of Florida. He has been honored twice by the SMC faculty with the A.V. Huff Faculty Prize for teaching excellence as well as the Exemplary Teacher Award presented by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. “SMC is fortunate to count among its outstanding faculty a gifted teacher, advisor, and leader like Kent Newberry,” Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of Spartanburg Methodist College shared. “He exemplifies SMC’s mission through his hard work and servant leadership, and almost always with a twinkle in his eye and smile on his face!”