2023 School of Professional Education Faculty of Distinction Skip to content

2023 School of Professional Education Faculty of Distinction

Lara Vanderhoof presents Steven Smith as the Faculty of Distinction for 2023The Following is the Speech Presented by Chief Academic Officer Lara Vanderhoof

The Faculty of Distinction award is presented to a distinguished full-time faculty member who has been instructing at the College for at least three complete years. In deference to the mission of the college, the candidate must exemplify:

  • Heart: fostering community by inspiring students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn and by working with colleagues within and across disciplines, departments, and programs.
  • Soul: exemplifying a life of sacrifice, stewardship, and service to God and the Church.
  • Strength: illustrating a professional persona appropriate to the office of instructor and maintaining a balanced response to the demands of the office.
  • Mind: encouraging intellectual enthusiasm and fostering critical inquiry across the curriculum.

The recipient is determined by a vote of the Faculty and Student Body. In addition to being recognized here this morning, the recipient will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Commencement ceremony next weekend.

This year’s recipient has served the College for 4 years and has been an instrumental part of the Human Services division. I have been impressed by his tenacity for continuing to learn and grow as a faculty member.

As he comes to join me up on stage, please help me congratulate this year’s Faculty of Distinction, Professor Steven Smith.

Professor Smith joined the CCCK faculty in 2019 as an instructor in the Teacher Education department. Since then, he has served as the chair of that department as well as the Human Services division, returning to his instructor position this year. In his four years at Central he has successfully guided Education students through their courses and student teaching programs, preparing them to teach elementary and high school students throughout the country. He also invested many hours doing behind-the-scenes work for the Teacher Education department, collecting data and writing reports to ensure the program’s accreditation.

Beyond the classroom, Professor Smith has a heart for the spiritual well-being of his students and coworkers. He consistently encourages them in the Word of God, praying with them and for them. He regularly exhibits the fruits of the Spirit in his interactions with others, and he strives to serve God in his work.

Professor Smith doesn’t know this, but his wife, Cheryl, is here in the audience today. Cheryl, would you please stand so that we can recognize you?

Cheryl, thank you for being here to support Professor Smith, and thank you for all of the support you have given him these last four years as he has served our students. We are blessed to have him as part of the CCCK faculty.

Professor Smith, thank you again for your work for CCCK. I am proud to present you with this award for the 2023 Faculty of Distinction.

Lara Vanderhoof
Chief Academic Officer



Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.

Back To Top