Three Juniata Professors Amass Teaching Service Awards

(Posted May 7, 2012)

Beachley Award and Gibbel Award winners for teaching at Juniata College. The winners are, from left: Michael Henderson, associate professor of French, Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service; Jim Lakso, Provost at Juniata; Daniel Welliver, assistant professor of sociology, Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching; James Borgardt, Woolford Professor of Physics, Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching; and Thomas R. Kepple, president at Juniata.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Three Juniata College faculty members were honored Tuesday, May 1, with distinguished teaching and service awards during the College's Spring Awards Convocation in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. Honored for their work were Michael Henderson, associate professor of French; James Borgardt, Woolford Professor of Physics; and Daniel Welliver, assistant professor of sociology.

The convocation was held in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The convocation address was given by Emil Nagengast, professor of politics.

Michael Henderson, a Petersburg, Pa. resident, was honored with the 23rd annual Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service, and James Borgardt, a Huntingdon, Pa. resident, was named the 45th recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching. Welliver, a Huntingdon resident, received the Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching (for faculty members with fewer than six years of service).

Nominations for the awards are received from students, faculty, administrative personnel, alumni and trustees. The college president, the provost, the student government president, and the three most recent recipients of the award make the final selections.

The last three Distinguished Teaching Award recipients were Emil Nagengast, professor of politics (2011); Michael Boyle, von Liebig Chair in Biomedical Science (2010); and James Roney, professor of Russian (2009). The first academic service award was presented in 1989 to the late Mary Ruth Linton, professor emerita of music. Last year's recipient was Jill Keeney, professor of biology. The recipient of the 2011 Gibbel Award for Distinguished Performance was Alison Fletcher, associate professor of history.

Borgardt, a resident of Huntingdon, came to Juniata in 1998 from the University of Arizona, where he was a lecturer in physics. He earned a doctorate and master's degree in physics from the University of Arizona, and two bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He was promoted to associate professor in 2004 and was promoted to full professor in 2010. He received the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2003. In 2011, he was named the William Woolford Professor of Physics. At Juniata, he has established several popular physics outreach events. Mall Physics features demonstrations at a local shopping mall, and Physics Phun Night offers live demonstrations onstage in Juniata's Alumni Hall.

He has served as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Arizona and a Medical College Admissions Test Physics Instructor. Borgardt received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Arizona, and an AAPT Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

He has a number of published articles dealing with ion beam analysis, nuclear reactions and nuclear microprobes. Borgardt has regularly taught with Juniata's Remote Field Course, a summer course that takes students across the western United States. He also has done research with Juniata students at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Hanford, Wash.

Borgardt is currently a member of the American Institute of Physics, the Council on Undergraduate Research, and the Philosophy of Science Association.

Michael Henderson joined the Juniata faculty in 1992 as assistant professor of French. He was promoted to associate professor in 1993.

Henderson teaches a variety of French courses at Juniata, including Sexuality in Literature, French Cinema, French Civilization and Culture and other language courses. In addition, he teaches summer and spring break immersion courses in Lille, France and Quebec, Canada.

As a scholar, Henderson focuses on 20th century literature and has published papers on the works of French author Jean Genet. He remains an active member of the Modern Language Association, the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages and the American Association of Teachers of French.

Henderson earned a bachelor's degree in French from Arizona State University in 1982 and went on to earn a master's degree at ASU in 1984. He earned a doctoral degree in French in 1991 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While at UC-Santa Barbara, he was a Regents Fellow from 1984 to 1989.

Before coming to Juniata, Henderson spent a year as assistant supervisor of language instructors at the Santa Barbara campus from 1991-1992.

Daniel Welliver joined the Juniata faculty in 2006 after a long career in the private sector and state government. He earned bachelor's degree in sociology in 1979 from Juniata College and went on to earn a master's degree in community psychology in 1990 from Penn State University. He earned a doctoral degree from Indiana University in 2011.

Welliver's previous job was as director of education and community services and coordinator of the Pennsylvania Inter-agency Task Force on Civil Tension at the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, a post he held from 1998 to 2006. He was executive director of the Neighborhood Center of the United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, Pa. from 1988 to 1998. He also worked as a researcher and statistician for the Harrisburg Fair Housing Council from 1987 to 1988.

Welliver also continues to serve as a Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellow at the Education Policy Leadership Center in Harrisburg and at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C., a fellowship he has held since 2003. Welliver began his professional career in Huntingdon, Pa. as a family day care home coordinator for Huntingdon County Child development, a local social services agency.

He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the academic honor society, and he received the 1995 Hileman Award from the Methodist Federation for Social Action. He also was recognized by Penn State Harrisburg for Distinguished Service in Community Psychology in 1994.

His current research interests focus on white, anti-racist identity formation and maintenance. He has written and edited a wide range of educational publications, including "Police Response to Hate Crimes in Pennsylvania," "A Citizen's Guide to Hate Crime in Pennsylvania" and "Effective Law Enforcement in Diverse and Changing Communities."

Contact John Wall at or (814) 641-3132 for more information.