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University of Phoenix announces 2024 Faculty of the Year Award recipients

Pictured from left to right: Monty Spencer, Valentina Yarovaya, Ky Borgstadt, Deanna Lauer, Mario Jackson, Brent Smith, Danica Djordjevich, Jamie Buchanan, Tomas Oberding and John Woods.

By Michele Mitchum

Award honors top faculty nominated by students and faculty colleagues

University of Phoenix honored its annual Faculty of the Year Award recipients at an awards ceremony event held Saturday, May 4, at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona. The Faculty of the Year Award is part of the Faculty Rewards & Recognition Program at the University of Phoenix. Each year, the university announces a nomination period and asks students, employees and faculty to nominate faculty for the award. The awards ceremony was part of a series of weekend activities held to promote community and connection for faculty recipients.

“As the academic landscape evolves, our faculty at University of Phoenix continuously rise to the challenge, offering unparalleled educational experiences for our students,” states John Woods, Ph.D., provost and chief academic officer at University of Phoenix. “This year’s Faculty of the Year Award is a testament to the exceptional dedication, support and inspiration our awardees bring to our student community, and we're delighted to celebrate their achievements together.”

The Faculty of the Year Award honors the contributions of faculty across the university’s seven colleges: College of Business and Information Technology; College of Doctoral Studies; College of Education; College of General Studies; College of Health Professions; College of Nursing; and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This year, there were 13 award recipients.

·       Ky Borgstadt – DC, College of Health Professions 

·       Jamie Buchanan - DNP, MSN College of Nursing

·       Danica Djordjevich - MAFM College of Business & IT

·       Mario Jackson - MA College of General Studies

·       Deanna Lauer - MSN, MA College of General Studies

·       Olivia Miller - MA College of General Studies

·       Tomas Oberding - PhD, MS College of General Studies

·       Stephen Notaro - PhD, MA College of Doctoral Studies

·       Monty Spencer - MS, MA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

·       Audrey Stevenson - PhD, MPH, MA College of Nursing

·       Brent Smith - MBA College of Business & IT

·       Valentina Yarovaya - MS College of Education

·       Elizabeth Young - EdD, MA College of Doctoral Studies

“I’m truly honored and humbled to receive the Faculty of the Year Award,” shares Jamie Buchanan, an award recipient, and faculty in the College of Nursing. “This award is a testament to the hard work, passion, and commitment that all of us bring to our students every day. For me, teaching has always been about so much more than just imparting knowledge, it’s about fostering curiosity, critical thinking, and a genuine love of learning in my students. I’m grateful to have the support of an incredible department, wonderful colleagues who inspire me, and administrative leaders who value excellence in teaching.”

The award recipients were hosted for a special weekend that included attending and being recognized at an Arizona Diamondbacks game at Chase Field ballpark in Phoenix, as well as a day of fun activities that closed with a celebration dinner and awards ceremony.

Ky Borgstadt, an award recipient and faculty in the College of Health Professions attended this year’s festivities. “I am absolutely flabbergasted that I have won such a prestigious award, so I want to thank all of those who nominated me,” he shared. “I try to be the type of educator that I wish I had when I was going through my educational process. I always try to show positivity and encouragement to my students. I live by, and share with my students, a quote from my mentor, Dr. B.J. Palmer, ‘We never know how far reaching something we may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.”

Learn more here about teaching opportunities at University of Phoenix.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit  phoenix.edu.