LINCOLN – Bruce Hoem, associate professor in the Chadron State College Counseling, Psychology and Social Work department is the Nebraska State College System (NSCS) Teaching Excellence Award honoree for 2016. The award is presented annually to one full-time faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching, service, and leadership from across the NSCS.
Hoem joined CSC in 2006. Since that time, he has served as a faculty member and as the director of the Social Work Field Program, a position required for accreditation with the Council on Social Work Education. Hoem was recognized as the recipient of the CSC Teaching Excellence Award at a faculty and staff luncheon April 14.
“The teaching excellence award recognizes faculty across the NSCS who provide teaching and learning experiences for students that enrich educational experiences and their lives. Mr. Hoem’s commitment to his students and his dedication to immerse his students in what he calls ‘intense, emotional events that help the student navigate positions they will enter when they graduate,’ are indicative of his love for and expertise in teaching,” said NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter.
Members of the NSCS Board of Trustees Academic and Personnel Committee evaluated nominations from the three state colleges and recommended one candidate. The award includes a desk plaque and a $3,000 stipend provided by the respective college foundation.
In his letter of nomination, Dr. James Powell, dean of the school of Education, Human Performance, Counseling, Psychology and Social Work, said Hoem regularly uses high impact learning practices, and most of his activities are designed as service learning or experiential projects. Powell also noted that Hoem requires one of his upper level classes to organize and host an annual conference about current social concerns. Topics have included cancer knowledge, resources and empowerment, veteran awareness, bullying, teen suicide, and most recently, sexual assault.
Hoem has taught a variety of courses during his tenure at CSC, including courses in human behavior, serving the elderly and differently abled, and numerous professional seminars. Students completing evaluations of the courses have commended Hoem on his discussion of real life situations, his enthusiasm and energy, and his willingness to answer questions or help students find the answer.
“I want the students who graduate out of our program to discover that they have the capacity to cause change for few or for many, and that they will one day think back to my classes to realize that I knew they were doing the best that they could do every time they came into my classroom,” Hoem said.
In his letter of support, assistant professor Richard Kenney, a colleague in Social Work, praised Hoem approach to teaching.
“Mr. Hoem’s ability to connect with his students is invaluable. His lectures are not only organized and informative but entertaining as well. Students appreciate his natural storytelling ability to incorporate ‘real life’ workplace situations within the classroom setting to illustrate key aspects of the helping field,” Kenney said.
Hoem earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Montana College, Billings, Montana, and a Master of Arts in Social Work and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
—Korinne Tande, NSCS Public Information