Timmerman Receives Excellence in Teaching Award

by Jim Amidon

May 17, 2005

Associate Professor of Speech David Timmerman has received Wabash College’s most prestigious teaching award.

Timmerman, a member of the Wabash faculty since 1994, received the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award at the College’s year-end Awards Chapel. Timmerman was selected by a committee of the faculty chaired by Dean of the College Mauri A. Ditzler. The award acknowledges excellence and creativity in teaching.

"Students always tell me that the best teachers at Wabash are those who are involved in all aspects of their lives," said Ditzler. "David is available to his students inside the classroom and out. His open door policy with regard to students should be a model for all college teachers. He has been a dedicated supporter of our students’ co-curricular and extra-curricular activites, and I most admire his leadership of our Moot Court competition."

Timmerman earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA in 1983 and later earned his master’s of divinity degree with honors from the Denver Seminary in 1987. He taught at Purdue University and IU-Kokomo while earning his Ph.D. in Communication from Purdue University.

Timmerman joined the Wabash faculty as an visiting professor of speech in 1994 and two years later was named chairman of the speech department and earned a tenure track position. At Wabash he has taught public speaking, classical rhetoric, communication theory, analysis and criticism of mass communication, argumentation and debate, to name just a few courses. His professional scholarship has been focused on presidential and election communication and debate.

He has led Wabash’s innovative Moot Court competition for more than a decade. The competition involves mentoring and tutoring of Wabash students by alumni lawyers, who return to campus to develop cases based on contemporary issues. The competition concludes with a panel of lawyers and judges hearing cases argued by Wabash undergraduates.

"David Timmerman is an excellent role model for our students in a wide range of activities," said Ditzler. "He brings his wife and children to College events, so our students appreciate him as a good father and husband in addition to his excellence in the classroom. When I ask him for advice, I always know he has students at the heart of our conversation."

Timmerman was recently appointed to spearhead Wabash’s first full-scale review of its curriculum in more than 70 years. He also led an effort on behalf of his department to rename the department "Rhetoric" to better reflect the goals and aspirations of the faculty. The Wabash Board of Trustees approved the change at its May meeting.

Timmerman and his wife, Polly, are the parents of two children. They reside in West Lafayette.

 


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