2016 Faculty of Distinction


19 Kansas Faculty Selected as KICA's 2016 Faculty of Distinction


October 11th, 2016

The KICA Faculty of Distinction program celebrates excellence and achievement among faculty at the 19 accredited private colleges and universities in Kansas.  Throughout their existence, these colleges, which included the oldest colleges in Kansas, have emphasized the importance of classroom teaching, personal attention to each and every student, and a commitment to character, values, and learning through every facet of their graduates’ lives.

“At Kansas’ independent colleges, we know that our most important job by far is to provide a vibrant, relevant, high-quality education to each and every student that enters our doors.  These nineteen individuals are shining examples of that commitment to the future of our students and the rare value that Kansas’ private, non-profit colleges offer,” says Matt Lindsey, President of KICA, in preparation for Thursday’s award celebration.

While this year’s honorees are just a small fraction of the 3,600 teaching faculty across the KICA network, they have a mighty impact. As a cohort, they’ve received 16 additional academic awards, 7 professional awards, are involved with 11 statewide initiatives, 6 national programs, and have been instrumental in bringing millions of dollars in grant monies to Kansas.

The 2016 Honorees are:

BAKER UNIVERSITY: Kevin J. McCarthy, Ph.D., Professor of Business and Economics

BENEDICTINE COLLEGE: Dr. Adam Buhman-Wiggs, Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences

BETHANY COLLEGE: Dr. John Mullen, Associate Professor of Philosophy

BETHEL COLLEGE: Mallory Marsh, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS: Ms. Jamie Sparks, Instructor of Psychology

CLEVELAND UNIVERSITY – KANSAS CITY: Aftab Merchant, M.B.B.S., F.C.P.S., Professor of Preclinical Sciences

DONNELLY COLLEGE: Dr. Melissa Lenos, Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts, English

FRIENDS UNIVERSITY: Chris Habben, Professor of Marriage & Family Therapy

HESSTON COLLEGE: Marissa King, Instructor of Education Instructor

KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY: Barbara J. Marshall Nickell, Associate Professor, Communication Studies and Theatre Arts

MANHATTAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE: Dr. Genilyn McCaffrey, Professor of Worship Ministry

MCPHERSON COLLEGE: Mr. Garrick Green, Associate Professor of Automotive Restoration

MID-AMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY: Dr. Linda Alexander, Professor of Education

NEWMAN UNIVERSITY: Dr. Jill Fort, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

OTTAWA UNIVERSITY: Dr. Denise Cook. Assistant Professor/Licensure Specialist, Teacher Education

SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE: Patrick Lee, Assistant Professor of Accounting

STERLING COLLEGE: Daniel Swartz, Assistant Professor of Art

TABOR COLLEGE: Dr. Norman Hope, Professor of Business Administration

UNIVERSITY OF ST. MARY: Nancy Dunavant King, Professor of Psychology

And what do our students say about this year’s honorees?

“His Philosophy courses have helped me make sense of the rest of my educational experience.”

“She has helped me to become a better student, and has encouraged me to go transform society.”

“The environment she creates is one that I feel comfortable and welcome to express myself.”

The honorees will be recognized at a celebratory training and award reception on October 13th, 2016 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, KS. This event is sponsored in part by Energy Solutions Professionals.

Located in Topeka, the Kansas Independent College Association develops and enhances the competitive standing of its 19 member independent, non-profit, regionally accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities and strives to assure opportunity and choice in higher education for all students. KICA was founded in 1976 and is a 501 (c) (4) not-for-profit Kansas corporation.


For more information on the Faculty of Distinction Awards, the Kansas Independent College Fund or Association, please contact Jesyca Hope at 785-235-9877 or jesyca@kscolleges.org.