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Dr. Michael Groves is a 2021 West Virginia Professor of the Year finalist

ISSUED: 2 February 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Dr. Michael Groves, associate professor of nursing, has been named a finalist for 2021 West Virginia Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia.

headshot of Dr. Michael Groves looking at camera smiling.“I think it’s very exciting,” Groves said. “There are so many outstanding faculty here at Shepherd, so to be picked as the one to nominate for this year is pretty special to me. To be chosen as one of the finalists is an even a greater honor.”

Groves teaches pre-nursing as well doctoral-level nursing courses. Since starting at Shepherd in 2012, he has taught classes at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate levels.

“Dr. Groves’ excellence in the classroom is well documented,” said Dr. Sharon Mailey, dean, College of Nursing, Education, and Health Sciences. “He is recognized as a master teacher for his focus on student learning, expertise in content areas and practice, ongoing professional development, and his leadership with the International Society of Nursing in Genetics and the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.”

Groves said it’s his understanding that the Professor of the Year award focuses primarily on teachers more than researchers and that’s something he appreciates.

“I think it’s important to recognize this group in higher education whose primary job is teaching and who are often not recognized as much,” Groves said. “That’s one of the reasons I like working here—my time is spent in the classroom with the opportunity to engage with students from across the spectrum.”

Groves pointed out that Shepherd’s nursing program includes everyone from student-athletes, to veterans, single parents, and students in an age range that goes from freshmen right out of high school to middle aged and beyond. He loves having the opportunity to engage with such a diverse group of students.

“I think education is the key to improving and maintaining our society, and improving the lives of people in our community,” Groves said. “We need an educated workforce. We need educated young people.”

While he enjoys teaching students, Groves feels he learns as much from them as he teaches.

“I am constantly amazed by the ability of our students to adapt, and their ability to persevere through the struggles of daily life,” he said. “With the percentage of our students who are working, taking care of children, taking care of both children and parents, just their ability to persevere and to be resilient makes me want to give them the best possible chance to enter a career that’s going to give them a lifetime of employment and an opportunity to improve the lives of themselves and their families.”

Aside from his teaching duties, Groves serves on 16 committees, is the coordinator of the R.N. to B.S.N. program, and is president of the Shepherd chapter of academic honor society Phi Kappa Phi.

“Dr. Groves’ outstanding contributions exemplify the type of faculty member we value: one who seeks to make the student experience the best it can possibly be and the application of that same philosophy to the institution as a whole,” Mailey said.

The Faculty Merit Foundation was created in 1984 to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculties of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. Traditionally, finalists are honored at a springtime banquet in Charleston, where the Professor of the Year is announced. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a banquet have not been determined.

Listen to an interview with Dr. Michael Groves here.

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