Curtis, Haas named scholar and teacher of the year

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Communications professor Todd Allen, last year′s teacher of the year, addresses the crowd in Metheny Fieldhouse.

Geneva College held its annual academic convocation this past Friday, wrapping up the first week of classes by celebrating new and returning students as well as the faculty and staff.

After the freshman class processed into Metheny Fieldhouse, Vice President of Academic Affairs Ken Carson addressed the gathered students. Carson told the freshmen to remember the occasion, noting that the next time they march in together will be at their graduation in four years.

"[In between], something has to happen: higher education," Carson said, adding that Geneva′s aim is "to help students love God with their minds."

Communication professor Todd Allen addressed the gathered crowd with a message titled "The Measure of Success." Allen, recipient of the 2005-2006 Excellence in Teaching award, reminded the listeners that "the meaning of life comes not from what you attain, but from keeping focus on the Lord." He continued his call to the students, encouraging them to know that "God will not lead you where his will will not sustain you."

President Kenneth A. Smith congratulates Dr. Byron Curtis, who received Geneva′s 2007-2008 Scholar of the Year award.
President Kenneth A. Smith congratulates Dr. Mark Haas, who received the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year award.
President Kenneth A. Smith awarded the 2006-2007 faculty awards as part of the ceremony. Dr. Byron Curtis received the Excellence in Scholarship award and Dr. Mark Haas received the Excellence in Teaching award.

Curtis is a professor of biblical studies and recipient of the 1996-1997 Excellence in Teaching award. Congratulated for his contribution to biblical scholarship, he tackled the question of the authorship of the book of Zechariah, analyzing its original Hebrew text. Curtis posited the probability that the book was written by a single author in a single time period. The culmination of this multi-year study became Up the Steep and Stony Road: The Book of Zechariah in Social Location Trajectory Analysis.

Curtis is a graduate of Geneva College as well as of Reformed Theological Seminary, in Jackson, Miss. He did doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible at Duke University, and received a Ph.D. in Biblical Hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. He lives in Beaver Falls with his wife Sue Ann and their children Nathan and Naomi.

Haas has been a professor in the English department since the 2000-2001 academic year. He came to Geneva College from South Dakota State University, bringing with him not only a strong background in English, but also science and computer technology. Haas lives in Beaver Falls with his wife Jalé and son Caleb.

Upperclassmen give the new freshmen a round of applause during the ceremony.