University announces 2018 Teaching Excellence Award recipient

Dr. Rick Badley was named the 2018 recipient of Trevecca’s Teaching Excellence Award today.

The honor was announced during the University’s annual Teaching Excellence Convocation, held this morning in the Boone Convocation Center. Badley, a professor of chemistry, has been a member of the Trevecca faculty since 2011. He previously taught at MidAmerica Nazarene University for 17 years, serving as the chair of the Department of Science and Mathematics for 11 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and holds six U.S. patents.

“I feel that God has blessed me by bringing me here and allowing me to work with the students, faculty and staff of Trevecca,” Badley said. “It is an honor to be chosen from among this great group of faculty for an award such as this, and it challenges me to live up to the trust they have put in me.”

The Teaching Excellence Award was established during the 1982-83 school year as a way to acknowledge faculty excellence in the classroom. The recipient is selected through a nomination process that includes students, faculty and staff. The Conference of Chairpersons, a group comprised of academic deans and chairs, makes the final decision and announces the recipient each year in a special chapel service.

Dean Diehl, the recipient of the 2017 Teaching Excellence Award, served as the keynote speaker for the Teaching Excellence Convocation. Diehl, who is the director of Trevecca’s music business program, recounted his story of calling, emphasizing God’s faithfulness, patience and goodness.

“When I was 15, I experienced a calling,” Diehl said. “It was as if God told me, ‘I want you to teach.’”

So Diehl, a 1987 graduate of Trevecca, earned a degree in music education and took a job as a high school band director.

“God called; I answered, and here I was, ready to serve,” he recalled. “And I hated it.”

Diehl explained how he had left teaching to pursue a job in the music industry, one he enjoyed and even excelled in. But, in the end, it was just a job.

“For me, that was never my dream,” he said. “For me, there was no sense of calling, no sense of purpose. It was a job. At the time, I was content to let it be a job. I found calling and purpose in being a husband, being a dad, teaching Sunday school and serving on the church board.”

It was a Christmas gift from Diehl’s then-boss, David Whyte’s book The Heart Aroused, that began the process of leading Diehl back to his calling to teach. The book, combined with series of events, led Diehl to Trevecca’s music business program.

“God is faithful. God is patient, and God is willing to let us find a path,” he said. “That day I made a decision, a decision to open my heart, scars and all, to become vulnerable. I looked toward the door, the last door I thought I would ever choose again, the door that said teacher, reached out, turned the knob and walked through.”    

“If my story means nothing else, it means that it’s never too late,” Diehl continued, ending with a challenge to the audience. “You stand there before a thousand doors. What happens next?”

Click here to watch the 2018 Teaching Excellence Convocation in its entirety.


Media contact: Mandy Crow, mmcrow@trevecca.edu, 615-248-1695