ISSUED: 17 May 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Costa
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic is the recipient of the 2022 Mentzer Award for Inspirational Teaching (MAIT). Howard-Bostic, who is associate vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusivity, chair of the Department of Sociology, and an associate sociology professor, was recently presented the award by its creator, Sue Mentzer-Blair.
All Shepherd students are invited to nominate a professor for the MAIT and briefly describe how that professor has made a difference in their life or the life of a classmate. Two students nominated Howard-Bostic.
“Dr. Howard-Bostic is a remarkable leader, educator, mentor, and friend,” said Kristen Vernon, a sociology major from Martinsburg who is one of the nominating students. “It brought me great happiness to find out she received the Mentzer Award for Inspirational Teaching. She always strives for academic excellence and inspires her students to use their knowledge and voice to create a better world today and in the future.”
“In the classroom, I hope that students are able to be better today than they were yesterday,” Howard-Bostic said. “Because learning is an ongoing process, I always tell the students that change is constant but nonhomogeneous, meaning I expect students will change, but I expect that they’ll change at their own pace. And so, I try to present the material in a way that they can at least think critically and understand but then decide for themselves how they want to become more well-rounded.”
Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic (left) accepts the MAIT award from Susan Mentzer-Blair.
The MAIT was created by Shepherd alumna Susan Mentzer-Blair and her husband, William “Bill” Blair, to honor a full-time professor recognized by Shepherd students for being particularly inspiring and having a profound effect on their students. Sue’s brother, Dr. John Thomas “Tom” Mentzer, served as inspiration for the award. Tom received a similar accolade from his Ph.D. candidate students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he held the Bruce Chair of Excellence in the business department. The MAIT honors Sue’s brother, who died in 2010, as well as her mother, who died in 2014. A portion of each of their estates was used to create this unique recognition.
Sue Mentzer-Blair is a retired school counselor with Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland, is a member of Shepherd’s Board of Governors, and serves as a director emerita on the Foundation’s board of directors. Bill Blair is also a retired educator, having taught history and worked as a school counselor with Jefferson County Public Schools in West Virginia.
This year’s presentation marks the sixth award of the MAIT. Previous recipients include Dr. Timothy Nixon, associate professor of English (2017); Dr. Stephanie Slocum-Schaffer, associate professor of political science (2018); Dr. Geraldine Crawley-Woods, professor of social work (2019); Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst, assistant professor of history (2020); and Dr. Samuel Greene, assistant professor of political science and global studies (2021).
The MAIT is typically presented at Shepherd’s Annual Student Recognition Day ceremony, however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s student and faculty award recipients were honored virtually.
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