Two Butler Community College Professors Receive National Teaching Award
Two Butler Community College professors are being honored for their exemplary work in teaching at the community college level.
Two Butler Community College professors are being honored for their exemplary work in teaching at the community college level. A specially cast pewter medallion will be given to each John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award recipient at the Innovations Conference in March in National Harbor, Md.
Each year, Butler faculty and staff nominate one adjunct and one full-time professor for this prestigious award. Nathan Swink, Ph.D., and Darren Bentley, this year’s winners, have a passion for teaching. Each wants to help students learn.
Swink, a psychology professor, began his college career at Butler. After four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, he received his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Wichita State University. Swink has taught at Butler since 2014.
Swink said he always wanted to be a psychologist, but in graduate school he realized that he had a knack for teaching and understood if he taught he could also help others.
“Teaching has always felt natural to me,” Swink said. “I am never more certain that I am in the right place at the right time as when I am in the classroom.”
Swink’s mother ran an alternative school and his father obtained a teaching degree. For Swink, teaching is exciting.
“I love to teach,” Swink said. “There are times when I am driving home that I just giggle because they pay me to do what I love. It’s very rewarding work.”
The other award winner, Bentley, has served as an adjunct science instructor at Butler for more than a dozen years. He is a physics and biology teacher at Andover Central High School. Bentley realized at an early age that teaching was his passion. From middle school on, he was always there to lend a helping hand when a friend needed help with algebra or trigonometry. After graduating from Wichita Southeast High School, Bentley attended Butler and then Newman.
When he’s not teaching high school, Bentley can be seen on Butler’s Andover campus in the biology lab, teaching students from 18 to more than 60.
“I just go do what I do, and I guess I’m doing something right,” Bentley said about winning the award.
Last spring, one of Bentley’s students was studying to be an English teacher. She told him that math and science were her ‘nemeses’. He worked hard to help her understand biology and discover its usefulness.
“She ended up telling me my course was her favorite course,” Bentley said.
Both Swink and Bentley are humbled by the award.