Western's Dr. Mckay West announced as Innovative Educator of the Year

ROCK SPRINGS -- On Thursday, May 12, 2022, Western Wyoming Community College (Western) held their annual Western Celebrations to close the academic 2021/2022 year. Dr. Mckay West was announced as the Innovative Educator of the Year by Western’s Center of Teaching and Learning.

Western’s Innovative Educator of the Year award is given to the instructor who embeds innovation in their instructional practice to create a more collaborative, student-centered, and active learning experience, thereby demonstrating connectedness with students and their learning. Assistant Professor of Communication, West, was selected out of seven nominees.

Originally from Ferron, Utah, West earned his B.A. in Communication Studies in 2015 and his M.A. in Professional Communication in 2017 from Southern Utah University. In 2020, West received his Doctorate of Philosophy from West Virginia University. That same year he joined the Communications faculty at Western.

Western's Dr. Mckay West announced as Innovative Educator of the Year

Nominations for the award included former students, faculty, professionals, and paraprofessionals at Western. When describing West, and his impact on education, a fellow peer wrote, “Mckay brings interactive teaching to life in the classroom. Relatable topics with an approachable method create an individualized learning environment. The classroom atmosphere leads to more interactions/discussion and a more profound learning experience.”

West’s unique teaching style quickly made an impact on many. One of West’s former students wrote, “Mckay makes class so much fun, he inspires his students to work hard. When I had Public Speaking with him, he was always considerate and kind to every student. He is one of the best professors I’ve ever had.” Several of his nominators recognized West’s genuine care for students and how student life experiences were integrated with classroom discourse.

When speaking of the award, West said, “I am truly humbled by and grateful to Western's students and faculty members who I have had the privilege to know. I know I have been blessed and my abilities and understanding as a teacher greatly enhanced thanks to the wonderful people at Western and all they have been willing to teach me. I am also grateful to God and my family for all of the strength, wisdom, and love they have offered me, and I wish everyone the best as we each move forward in the next stages of our futures.”

One of Western’s unique advantages is its small classrooms, averaging a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Additionally, direct access to faculty, as compared to faculty aids at universities, is praised by students as seen in Western’s classrooms.

For information on the Communications program at Western, visit https://bit.ly/3wvwpDK .

To speak to the School of Business & Computer Technology Chair, Beth Gard, on the communications program, email bgard@westernwyoming.edu or call: 307-382-1658.

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