BLUEFIELD — Bluefield State College School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science Professor Dr. Jeffrey Bolton was selected as 2016 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia on Monday night.
West Virginia Faculty Merit Foundation Media spokesman Ken Sullivan said that four finalist were selected for the award. “The Foundation presented the award to Professor Jeffrey Bolton of the Bluefield State College School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science during a banquet held in the Great Hall of the Culture Center,” Sullivan said in a press release.
Sullivan said each year the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia honors an outstanding faculty member at a West Virginia college or university. “Four other finalists were chosen along with Dr. Bolton,” Sullivan said. “They are Joseph Horzempa, PhD, natural sciences and mathematics associate professor, West Liberty University; Joseph S. Moritz, PhD, animal and nutritional sciences professor, West Virginia University; Phillip T. Rutherford, PhD, history professor, Marshall University; and Peter S. Ward, PhD, biomedical sciences professor, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.”
Bluefield State College President Dr. Marsha Krotseng said she is extremely proud of Dr. Bolton. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Bolton,” Krotseng said. “He is an excellent teacher. He is always innovating in his classroom. He’s always working to add new technologies that enrich the learning environment for his students. He’s a wonderful example of someone who excels in teaching, in scholarship through co-authoring books and in his service to the local community.”
Krotseng said Bolton has a great passion for teaching. “It’s so gratifying to see someone with his passion and dedication recognized by the Faculty Merit Foundation. We’re just extraordinarily proud of him.”
Sullivan said Professor Bolton has taught full time in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department at Bluefield State College since 2011. He earned his B.S. M.S. and PhD degrees from Virginia Polytechnic University in the field of Engineering Mathematics. Bolton received Bluefield State College’s faculty of the year award in 2014, and Virginia Tech’s Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010.
Sullivan said Bolton believes that the successful college student is marked by curiosity. “Education is marked by more than just a piece of paper one receives at graduation,” Bolton said. “It becomes a mode of operation where the student develops and hones the lens of their mind as they analyze the world around them, hypothesize solutions, weigh options, take action, and make informed decisions. We are given a tremendous opportunity to mold the next generation.”
Sullivan said Bolton leads Bluefield’s School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science in using technology in the classroom. Sullivan said he also serves as a member of the faculty senate and student appeals committee, and as director of digital learning where he oversees how technology is used and implemented institution-wide at Bluefield State College.
According to Sullivan, the Faculty Merit Foundation was created in 1984 to provide a means to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculties of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. The Professor of the Year winner receives a $10,000 cash prize, with smaller awards to the other finalists. The Professor of the Year award is presented with financial support from Graystone Consulting.