DAVENPORT — Two faculty members and a staff member have been honored by St. Ambrose University’s student body for their distinguished work during the past academic year.
The Student Alumni Association awarded professor of the year honors to Phil Beckman, adjunct professor of business, and staff member of the year honors to Carol Shoemaker, administrative assistant for the nursing department. Graduate professor of the year honors went to Kevin Farrell, professor of physical therapy, as chosen by the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA).
Applauded for his devotion to the success of his students, Beckman’s teaching strategy is described as a team effort between students and teacher. “He is an amazing professor who cares about each individual student and will go the extra mile to make sure each student understands the material in order to succeed,” said one student. “During class, one can see that he loves to be there; he loves his job and he loves his students.” Beckman, who retired this May, considers the award an immense honor. “I have a profound appreciation for the students, colleagues, support staff and leadership that I consider my ‘St. Ambrose family.’”
Beckman began teaching at St. Ambrose in 2001 and has worked as an adjunct professor in the ACCEL adult learner program, the mathematics program, and for the College of Business, teaching statistics, economics and personal finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and master’s degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and the University of Iowa.
An administrative assistant in the nursing department, Shoemaker is “a wonderful and caring person who deserves to be recognized not only for her hard work, but for her amazing heart and loving personality,” according to one student who nominated her. “When my grandpa died, Carol not only comforted me, but even offered to contact my teachers and help me pack to go home. If one of us gets sick, Carol brings over chicken noodle soup to help us feel better.”
Shoemaker was very surprised by the honor. “There are so many students at St. Ambrose and my contact is with our nursing majors,” she said. “What a truly lovely honor.”
Shoemaker, who retired in May after an 18-year career at St. Ambrose, worked in the nursing department for 12 years and supervised many workstudy students during her tenure. She was a member of the Staff Assembly where she served in many capacities including as assembly secretary, staff development grant committee member, and a member of the team that welcomed new staff members to the campus community.
Farrell was called a “one-in-a-million professor” by a nominating student. “It is rare to find someone who is so dedicated to students, his work and his family. We appreciate the incredible amount of hours he works to make us better clinicians.”
Farrell is humbled to have been chosen for the honor, which he also received in 2007 and 2001. “I work with so many outstanding colleagues that I look up to,” he said. “I love my job, the people I work with, and the students I have the privilege to interact with.”
Besides teaching in the doctor of physical therapy program, Farrell also serves as chair of the St. Ambrose Orthopaedic Clinical Residency program, and is engaged in several areas of research. He is a board-certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and a Credentialed Advanced Clinical Instructor, as well as a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Farrell has made numerous local, regional and national presentations, and his work has been published in professional journals. Farrell, who earned his doctorate from the University of Iowa, continues in part-time clinical practice and recently celebrated his 20th year at St. Ambrose.