Jennifer Hemphill, Dr. Sean Clouse earn distinguished faculty awards

Stephens College celebrated the scholarship and achievement of students, faculty and staff in a different way for Honors Convocation this year. At the originally planned event time on April 17, the College posted online a video of (just in case) previously recorded award presentations. Later that day, the Stephens community gathered in Zoom meetings to celebrate the accomplishments of everyone.

“I know a live presentation on campus might have been more fun but watching this online in these unique times was inspiring in its own way,” wrote Mark Tayor ’73, chair of the Stephens College Board of Trustees. “It speaks to the resilience and spirit of all the students, faculty and staff at Stephens.”

Top faculty awards went to Jennifer Hemphill, Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator of Musical Theatre, who received the 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award; and Dr. Sean Clouse, Associate Professor/Interim Director of Counseling, who received the 2020 Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award. Numerous students also were recognized for their achievement with academic awards. (See complete list of honors and awards.

"I am humbled, honored and inspired to have received the Distinguished Teaching Award,” said Hemphill, a first-year professor who recently was seen on Broadway in “Mamma Mia!” “Stephens College is incredibly fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated faculty and I am grateful to be surrounded by such a brilliant community of students, educators, staff and administrators.” 

Aurola Wedman Alfaro ’20, who presented the distinguished advising award, said students described the recipient as a “wonderful human being whom you can always count on for advice on both academic and personal matters,” and as someone who always finds time to talk. 

Clouse said that he feels humbled by the award.

“This award confirms my commitment to supporting and mentoring my students,” said Clouse, a licensed psychologist who has taught at Stephens since 2006. “I believe that my goal as an adviser is to help guide and advocate for my students on their path to success and being recognized for this means I am being successful. I am grateful for this acknowledgement.”

Stephens students such as Taylor Jones ’21 appreciated the opportunity to meet with fellow students and their faculty following the video viewing.

She posted on her Instagram account:

Zooming with my fellow fashion seniors and professors made my whole entire week.

Dr. Leslie Swanda Willey ’83, is excited the video, which has received over 900 views, allowed a wider range of the Stephens community, including students’ parents and Stephens alumnae, to participate in convocation.

“We were thrilled at the reaction to the video,” she said. “And that’s what it’s all about, celebrating the accomplishment of our students, faculty and staff together.”

Watch the video:

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