Claflin University Professor of Education Dr. Bernadette Nwafor was recently named a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc.
Nwafor has been teaching at Claflin for the past 18 years. She says it is the excellent students at the University who have keep her in the profession.
“I have wonderful relationships with my students. I could have retired years ago. They are the ones keeping me here,” said Nwafor.
Her teaching style demonstrates a commitment to critical thinking which utilizes the latest instructional and technological approaches in education. This is not the first award Nwafor has won for teaching. She is a past recipient of the James E. Hunter Excellence in Teaching Award – the University’s highest instructional honor – and the United Methodist Church Exemplary Professor of the Year Award, among several other acknowledgements.
“Dr. Nwafor has a passion for teaching and is deeply committed to her students,” said Dr. Vermelle Johnson, vice president for academic affairs.
This is the seventh year the S.C. Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. has awarded its Excellence in Teaching Award to professors at its 20-member institutions. Award winners receive a certificate and a $3,000 stipend for their achievements.
Teaching, according to Nwafor, is about being an effective leader.
“You have to be a leader – a reflective practitioner,” she said. “You have to use those skills to help students not only to know something but to put it into practice. You must care for your students.”
She credits Claflin for providing her with excellent professional opportunities over the years to perfect her craft. “Claflin encouraged and assisted me in presenting my research,” she said.
Nwafor has presented at conferences in Russia, England, France, Germany and many other places. She serves as a reviewer for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and is a member of the Adolescent Psychology Advisory Board.
She joined Claflin in 1994 after years of teaching in Nigeria and the West Indies. Nwafor received her Masters of Education degree and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Loyola University in Chicago.