Bethany Professor Receives T. A. Abbott Award for Faculty Excellence

BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany Professor of Social Work Katherine Shelek-Furbee has been named the recipient of the 2015 T. A. Abbott Award for Faculty Excellence, given by the Board of Directors of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was presented the award at Bethany College's 175th Commencement ceremony by Reverend Bernard "Chris" Dorsey.


The 32nd recipient of the T. A. Abbott Award, Shelek-Furbee was selected for her keen ability to inspire students toward excellence through teaching and personal example, her demonstration of an educational philosophy that focuses on wholeness of personal development, and her continued commitment to grow and learn within her academic discipline.

“Professor Shelek-Furbee embodies the qualities that the T.A. Abbott Award for Faculty Excellence seeks to recognize. Undoubtedly a professor with a lasting impact on the lives of her students, she inspires students and colleagues alike to strive for continuous education and improvement,” said Dr. Katrina D’Aquin, Bethany College Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “She serves as a role model, demonstrating leadership and a commitment to service that is contagious. Her accomplishments, both inside and outside the classroom, speak for themselves. We are very pleased that these accomplishments have been recognized through this national award.”

Also the Program Director and Chair of the Department of Social Work, Shelek-Furbee supervises the Service Learning Center and Service Fellows, and serves as co-advisor for Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and the Social Awareness Club. She is advisor to the Kalon Scholar Service Leaders, and supervises activities for the annual Kalon Service Competition.

Shelek-Furbee has supervised the development of the Professional Image Center, a career closet that provides professional attire to students attending interviews or beginning careers.

An engraved plaque will be presented during Bethany’s 2015 Commencement Weekend. The award also includes a $1,000 cash gift for the purpose of Shelek-Furbee’s continued growth as an educator and scholar.

The T. A. Abbott Award was established through a gift to the Higher Education and Leadership Ministries from the descendants of the Reverend T. A. Abbott, who served as an administrator and faculty member at Culver-Stockton College. Nominees must be full-time teaching faculty at Disciples-related institutions of higher education.

Shelek-Furbee is the fourth member of the Bethany College faculty to be honored with the award. Past recipients are John Hull, Larry Grimes and Richard Kenney.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.