Begun in 2000, the award is given annually to the faculty member who best exemplifies the qualities of excellent teaching at Tabor College.
These qualities include a strong Christian commitment; record of excellence in teaching, as shown by peer and student reviews; evidence of integrating faith and learning; commitment to Tabor College as an institution, as shown in support of departments outside one?s own area.
Swartzendruber received the award from Provost Lawrence Ressler during the annual Honors and Awards Convocation May 13. In addition to a plaque and recognition at the annual spring appreciation dinner, the recipient of the Clarence R. Hiebert Award also receives a personal honorarium of $2,500.
?Dr. Swartzendruber is a special faculty member,? Ressler said. ?It is clear from the comments of students that Dr. Swartzendruber is equally respected for her skills in teaching, her Christ-like character, and her relationship with students. She is well-deserving of the honor.?
A member of the Tabor faculty since 2003, Swartzendruber has taught Vocal Pedagogy and Diction, Music Theory I and II, Ear Training/Sight Singing I and II, Introduction to Fine Arts, as well as private voice lessons.
A gifted concert soprano, Swartzendruber continues to develop her singing career through performances in faculty recitals and other forums.
Last fall she starred as Golde in Tabor?s centennial production of ?Fiddler on the Roof.? The previous year she served as music director for the Tabor musical drama ?Honk!?
The nominating process for the Clarence R. Hiebert Award began during the spring term, when Ressler convened an ad hoc committee consisting of the two past student Hiebert Merit Award recipients, the two immediate past Clarence R. Hiebert award recipients and the vice president of student development.
The committee received more than a dozen nominations for Swartzendruber, written by faculty peers as well as current and former students.
Swartzendruber holds a doctor of musical arts from the University of Kansas, a master of music in vocal performance from Ohio University and a bachelor of arts in music from Goshen College.
She is married to Douglas B. Miller, professor of biblical and religious studies and chair of the Bible, Religion and Philosophy Department.
?I am honored to have served in such a strong music department with wonderful colleagues,? said Swartzendruber. ?It has been a privilege to work with Tabor students, both in the classroom and in my voice studio.?