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March 7, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Orvis earns SRU's teaching award

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Bruce Orvis, associate professor in Slippery Rock University's School of Business, known for his commitment to teaching, his engaging class style and for developing innovative classroom practices will be awarded the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2013-14 academic year.

Cheryl Norton, SRU president, will present the award at the University's annual Academic Honors Convocation at 1:30 p.m., April 5, in Morrow Field House.

ORVIS"Dr. Orvis is clearly a gifted teacher. His students, his fellow faculty and our alumni often comment on his dedication and commitment not only to teaching but to scholarly growth," Norton said. "All of our faculty are outstanding and dedicated, but this year Dr. Orvis has risen to the top and has been selected to receive special recognition for his efforts," Norton said.

The convocation annually honors SRU's academic success and draws more than 3,000 students, faculty, staff and parents. The event honors spring and fall semester 2013 dean's list students, presidential scholars, academic honorary societies, scholar athletes, service learning scholars and scholarship recipients.

The 2014 President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement, the President's Award for Outstanding Service and the newly created President's Award for Excellence in Academic Advising will also be presented at the ceremony.

Orvis, who joined the SRU faculty in 1995, teaches sales management, principles of marketing, e-commerce and a marketing seminar as part of his work at SRU.

"It is evident that you take great pride in being an educator," wrote one nominator. He was also cited for his work as adviser to Alpha Kappa Psi, the national professional business student fraternity, "where he mixes professional skill-set development and community outreach/service-learning with the social aspects of college life. It is impressive how he leads, motivates and inspires his students by his actions."

"His students and peer evaluations are effusive in their praise of his teaching style, his knowledge and the way in which he knows all of his students by name. He creates a learning environment that certainly fosters and encourages student engagement. He is always looking for new material, new methods of content delivery and new opportunities for his students to become involved in the business community," wrote another nominator.

Others noted, "His classes are consistently among the highest in demand by students, even though he maintains high standards and rigor. He has participated in the Study Abroad Program for several years and that class is always at capacity. Furthermore, it is clearly evident that all students have the utmost respect for him and his work."

Orvis also serves as internship coordinator for the School of Business and works with assisting and advising interns. He has also directed the Freshman Orientation Program and teaches a FYRST Seminar course.

A colleague wrote in his nomination that School of Business students had "passed through my courses, and those students have regularly shown and told me how much Dr. Orvis' teaching has meant to their education. He was one of the early developers of a course integrating foreign travel with his discipline and his Italian marketing students return to SRU with broad perspective and questions that enhance my courses."

"I am nominating Dr. Bruce Orvic for this award because I have never seen anybody so committed to the students at SRU. Dr. Orvis gives 110 percent to this University and to the students. He truly cares about the welfare of the students and gets great joy in watching them grow into adults and be successful in their careers. He is not someone you easily forget," wrote a staff member in support of his nomination. "Dr. Orvis has committed his life to helping students flourish, both personally and professionally," wrote another.

"Dr. Orvis' classroom exceeds the expectation of students when they think of taking a three-credit course. I was lucky enough to experience Dr. Orvis' classroom in the train station of Venice, outside the Duomo in Florence and standing on the Spanish Steps in Rome. The main reason that 20 students are able to learn about Italian business and travel to Italy every spring is because Dr. Orvis is passionate about teaching and his students. He wants to provide an experience that his students will never forget. Year after year, that goal is met," wrote an alumnus.

A student nominator wrote, "I believe Dr. Orvis deserves the award because not only is he a fantastic professor, but fantastic individual as well. His true character shows through his teaching mentoring, advising and friendship."

Comments from student course evaluations noted:

•"Course improvements: None. I learned and enjoyed this class";

•"This class has been my favorite class throughout college";

•"Hands down, best class at SRU";

•"Great course. Very unique. Learned so much";

•"I loved this class. Disappointed I won't have you as a professor again. Also got used to reading the Wall Street Journal, and am going to continue reading it"; and

•"Awesome course. I enjoyed coming to class, which is extremely rare for me. Career planning portfolio project was an excellent idea."

Orvis earned his doctorate in business administration and his master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and his bachelor of education degree from the University of Nebraska.

The award includes a $250 stipend for use in professional development.

Other nominees for this year's teaching award were: Hannah Brewer, assistant professor of physical and health education, Beth Larouere, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, and Eric Tutin, assistant professor of history.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.