Dr. David Van Heemst and Dr. Lynda Allen were honored as outstanding faculty members at Olivet’s 100th Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
Political science professor Dr. David Van Heemst
received the 2013 Samuel L. Mayhugh Award for Scholarly Excellence. He holds a bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees and a doctorate degree.
When he joined Olivet’s faculty in 1993, he was the first political scientist hired in Olivet’s history. He developed the program, which focuses on the four major areas of political science: American government, political theory, international relations and political theory.
Relating with students is one of his passions. He sponsors the student clubs Capitol Hill Gang, the Academy, and International Justice Mission; and also Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society.
Dr. Van Heemst is a popular lecturer for local and regional professional societies. He was selected an evaluator of criminal justice education programs for the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
In a 10-year period, Dr. Van Heemst authored five books
, which include Empowering the Poor: Why Justice Requires School Choice,Herman Dooyeweerd and Eric Voegelin: A Comparative Study,Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises, College: What’s the Point? Embracing the Mystery of the Kingdom in a Postmodern World,
and Splashing in Puddles: How to Be a Father to Your Daughter.
“An avid reader and distinguished scholar, David Van Heemst is also a people person,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “We consistently hear stories from our students about how easily and well he relates with them. He challenges their thinking and models for them how to live as a Christian in a confusing world. He continues to grow in his faith, as evidenced by the maturity and insights of his writing. He is a man of service, in our campus and in our world.”Dr. Lynda Allen,
business professor, received the 2013 Richard M. Jones Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. With her master’s degree in business administration and doctorate degree in organizational leadership, she enjoys teaching courses in management and marketing. A full-time faculty member in Olivet’s business department since 2002, she previously taught at Olivet on a part-time basis for 10 years.
Since 2003, Dr. Allen has led the ONU Enactus
(formerly known as SIFE) team to regional championships in Chicago and the national competition each spring. Named as a Sam Walton Fellow in 2009, she is a nationally respected Enactus
leader. With a tradition of excellence and a reputation for empowering students for leadership, ONU’s Enactus team develops and leads a variety of projects that teach free enterprise system concepts. These projects are as diverse as teaching budgeting to fourth graders and helping Haitian entrepreneurs obtain microloans. In 2008, her success with Enactus brought more than $50,000 in donations to support Olivet’s program.
She maintains a key support role in assessment and accreditation practices for Olivet’s business program. In addition to her work with Enactus, she also serves as the faculty advisor for Sigma Beta Delta, the business honor society.
“Lynda Allen is a leader in the classroom, in the community and in the lives of her students,” Dr. Bowling said. “She reflects the character of Christ in everything she does, and her students consistently tell us that in their evaluations. Her response to feedback, commitment to thorough preparation and utilization of diverse instructional methods make her deserving of this award. She is a model teacher who often says that her most effective work happens in her one-on-one conversations with her students.”