Academy rewards instructors for excellence

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy held the 33rd annual Outstanding Academy Educator Awards May 6 for instructors who exemplify excellence in education.

Each academic department head, the director of athletics, the preparatory school commander, the commandant of cadets, and the dean of the faculty recognize one deserving instructor annually for superior teaching accomplishments and demonstrated ability motivate our future leaders.

The guest speaker for the event was Dr. Richard Callahan, Associate Dean and Director of State Capital and Leadership Programs for the University of Southern California, State Capital Center (Sacramento). In his remarks, he offered an inspiring message about the Academy's research efforts that emphasize cadet learning and contribute to the future of the Air Force and the nation.

Also invited to speak on behalf of the cadet wing was Cadet 1st Class Bradley DeWees.

Cadet DeWees, a member of Cadet Squadron 22, has served as a Recondo Cadet In-Charge, Basic Cadet Training flight commander, and 3rd Group commander. He also is a member of the Physical Fitness Test 500 Club, Dean's ACE (4.0 semester GPA) three times over, and has been on the superintendent's list seven times. Cadet DeWees recognized specific instructors at the Academy who encouraged him to excel in his work and become a more effective leader. On behalf of cadets, he thanked the educators for teaching him far more than the material in the course syllabi.

In a surprise move, Brig. Gen. Dana Born, dean of the faculty, presented an honorary OAE to Lt. Gen. John Regni, 17th superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, for his outstanding contributions to education during his tenure. The citation highlighted the superintendent's commitment to a culture of learning, development of the USAFA Outcomes, and initiation of cutting-edge education programs, resulting in an overwhelmingly successful accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission. In accepting the award, General Regni applauded the USAFA faculty for their efforts and commitment to excellence, which contributed significantly to the recent USAFA 10-year re-accreditation.

Dr. Callahan, General Regni and General Born presented each winner with a replica of the "Flying Leather" sculpture by Michael Garman. The award is a likeness of a World War II aviator wearing a leather jacket, flight scarf and goggles. 

The Outstanding Academy Educators of 2009 are:

Lt. Col. Timothy Jung, Department of Aeronautics
Maj. Sandra Wilson, Department of Astronautics
Lt. Col. Douglas Lindsay, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
Maj. Mark Pomerinke, Department of Biology
Capt. Michael Hyland, Department of Chemistry
Maj. Matthew Caudell, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Maj. Scott Heyler, Commandant of Cadets' Staff
Capt. Paul Graham, Department of Computer Science
Vickie Connolly, Dean of Faculty Staff
Maj. Glen Gibson, Department of Economics and Geosciences
Lt. Col. Allan Arb, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. John Wood, Department of Engineering Mechanics
Capt. Brandon Lingle, Department of English and Fine Arts
Dr. Carole Edwards, Department of Foreign Languages
Maj. Scott Swartsfager, Department of History
Maj. Shawn McKelvy, Department of Law
Maj. John Martin, Department of Management
Maj.Terence Kudo, Department of Mathematical Sciences
Lt. Col. Mark Heredia, Department of Military Strategic Studies
Dr. Rhonda Smith, Department of Philosophy
Capt. Charles Toth, Department of Physical Education
Maj. Benjamin Ward, Department of Physics
Maj. Dan Sternemann, Department of Political Science
Lt. Col. Larry Brown, Preparatory School