Professor of the Year Winners 2019

At the end of each Spring Semester, a faculty member is chosen to receive the Professor of the Year award. Nominations are submitted by faculty members and students. Consideration is given to (1) teaching excellence, (2) student counseling, guidance and advisement, (3) scholarship/writing, (4) community service, and (5) general support of the University’s mission.

Traditional Undergraduate Program

2019 TUG Professor of the Year Dr. Michelle StinsonMichelle Stinson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Old Testament

Dr. Stinson received her B.A. in English from the University of Texas and her M. A. in Biblical Studies from Denver Seminary. In 2018 she completed her Ph.D. in Old Testament from the University of Bristol, Trinity College in the UK. Dr. Stinson has been teaching at Simpson since 2007.

Comments from Students & Colleagues:

"She is a passionate/compassionate professor. Her soul is good and she genuinely cares about what she teaches and her students learning her content. She configures her curriculum to use different teaching/learning methods and it works well with the diversity of students. I can tell her heart and soul goes into what she does and she deserves some recognition for those attributes."

"She has so much passion in teaching the Bible. She teaches the truth about God's word and lives it out through her gentle, friendly spirit. She also makes effort to remember each of her students' names which is part of being a gateway to world service."

"Dr. Stinson is one of the most outstanding professors I have had. She comes to class every day ready to teach and you know her passion is in everything she does and says. Her positive uplifting attitude is always a breath of fresh air and is so unique to have. She cares so much for each and every one of her students and it shows every time she shows up to class and the willingness she has to meet students where they are spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. "

School of Adult Studies

2019 School of Adult Studies Professor of the Year Sarah HerringSarah Herring, M.A.

Adjunct Professor of Adult Studies

Sarah Herring received her M.A. in Psychology from UC San Francisco and a Grad Certificate from Multnomah School of the Bible.

Comments from Students and Colleagues:

"Professor Herring's class curriculum and presence was superior in that she lays out an exemplary syllabus and class structure that was both easy to maneuver and yet challenging enough to stay engaged and excited throughout the length of her courses. Professor Herring's ability to connect with students in a professional arena and maintain positive feedback is essential in keeping her students positively motivated given the quickness of the course and the heavy work load involved. She is open, honest, and clearly passionate about her teaching at Simpson and has proven to be an effective asset to this institution. Professor Herring truly embodies the Simpson University's mission and philosophy."

"She really took the time with each student to make sure we were all doing okay. She always gave extensive and timely feedback on our assignments and papers. Could tell she really took the time and takes pride in what she does."

"I feel Sarah has done a very thorough job in giving feedback and being understanding when situations arise. She always responded very quickly when there were issues and was kind hearted."

  • Professor of the Year Winners 2018

    Traditional Undergraduate Program

    2018 TUG Professor of the Year Dr. Michael LyonsMichael Lyons, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Old Testament

    Dr. Michael Lyons received his B.Sc. in Biblical Education from Multnomah University, one Master’s degree in Old Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a second Master’s degree in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his Ph.D. in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Lyons taught at Simpson University from 2007-2018.

    Comments from Students & Colleagues:

    "Dr. Lyon's has been an amazing professor during his time here at Simpson. His enthusiasm about what he teaches is shown through his smile and joy. He truly wants to help his students and shows amazing hospitality when visiting his office. He goes above and beyond to make sure his students are as excited about the subject that he teaches as much as he is. As Dr. Lyon's moves to Scotland, Simpson's Bible/Theo department won't be quite the same, and this would be an amazing way to honor his time here as a professor."

    "He cares about each and every one of his students. He wants them to be the best people they can be - in every sort of way. He does his best to help students understand theological concepts, even by giving his own personal thoughts into it."

    School of Adult Studies

    2018 School of Adult Studies Professor of the Year Rebecca LuffRebecca Luff, MAT

    Adjunct Professor of Adult Studies

    Rebecca Luff received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Liberty University and her Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in teaching and learning from National University.

  • Professor of the Year Winners 2017

    Traditional Undergraduate Program

    2017 Traditional Undergraduate Professor of the Year Dr. Stephen BaileyStephen Bailey, Ph.D.

    Professor of Intercultural Studies

    Dr. Stephen Bailey earned his BA in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College and his M.Div. in Intercultural Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary. He earned his Th.M. in Intercultural Studies and his Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Bailey has been teaching at Simpson University since 2012.

    A few faculty and student comments:

    “Dr. Bailey has shown a deep compassion and love for his students. He wants them to grow and is willing to challenge them to think deeply.”

    “He genuinely cares about his students. He shows passion for the things he teaches about and is a big supporter of Christian community.”

    “Stephen Bailey is an amazing professor who not only is an incredible instructor but a great mentor. He gives his full attention to his students inside and outside of the classroom. He meets all five criteria listed and his service extends internationally to his work in Laos. Stephen Bailey is fully committed to Simpson University and this year he had to take on a whole department by himself. Even with these transitions and challenges, Bailey still provides excellent classes and works alongside his students to make sure they are ready for graduation. He genuinely cares for his students and he is a clear reflection of Christ's love and grace. Stephen Bailey is the epitome of what a professor should be like at Simpson University.”

    School of Adult Studies

    2017 School of Adult Studies Professor of the Year Dr. Peter YoungPeter Young, Ph.D.

    Adjunct Professor of Psychology

    Dr. Peter Young earned his B.A.in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton. He earned his M.A. in Theology and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Young has been teaching at Simpson University in the School of Adult Studies since 2006.

    Student Comments:

    “Dr. Young always has high energy, and makes every class interesting. His genuine attitude and sense of humor gave everyone something to look forward to.”

    “He was always available and eager to help. The classes that he taught have stuck with me and I feel I have a good grasp of the information.”

    “Great sense of humor and brought fun to the classroom setting. He sincerely wanted his students to succeed. He was available anytime for questions we had.”

  • Professor of the Year Winners 2016

    Traditional Undergraduate Program

    2016 Traditional Undergraduate Professor of the Year Dr. Cherry McCabeCherry McCabe, J.D.

    Associate Professor of Political Science

    Dr. Cherry McCabe has a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. from California Western School of Law.

    Student Comments:

    “Professor McCabe is one of the kindest, most genuine professors on campus, who takes the time to get to know each and every student individually.”

    “She goes above and beyond to teach, mentor, and genuinely cares for every student. She exemplifies the core values of Simpson University and makes learning fun and interesting.”

    “This professor is passionate about her field; she encourages students to get involved in outside and school communities; she creates an engaging, personal environment in which her students can learn and contribute.”

    School of Adult Studies

    2016 School of Adult Studies Professor of the Year Dr. Robert HughesRobert Hughes, Psy.D.

    Adjunct Professor of Psychology

    Dr. Hughes received his B.A. in psychology from Westmont College. He has an M.A. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Leadership and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. He has a Doctorate in Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Clinical Psychology.

    Student Comments:

    “Dr. Hughes is the best professor and teacher I have ever had. He is always encouraging to all students and very knowledgeable in his field. I really appreciate the time he has given to teach. He has encouraged me to pursue a career in psychology.”

    “Dr. Hughes is the consummate professional seamlessly weaving the Science of Psychology with theology. While lecturing, he draws students in with words of affirmation in interaction. Outstanding.”

    “Dr Hughes was a very knowledgeable professor and was very engaging in his lectures. I personally was excited to go to each class session because of how he presented.”

  • Professor of the Year Winners 2015

    Traditional Undergraduate Program

    2015 Traditional Undergraduate Professor of the Year Dr. John AyabeJohn Ayabe, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of History

    Dr. Ayabe received his B.A. in history from Wheaton College, a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University.

    Student Comments:

    “Dr. Ayabe cares for his students. He is upbeat and loves to keep them excited to learn. Dr. Ayabe goes above and beyond to ensure that his students are receiving a fun education. He is one that believes that learning is supposed to be exciting and interesting. This is what I like most about him. Not only does he care for his students in the classroom, but outside as well. Dr. Ayabe makes a point to come to school events to show his support for his students. He is a one of a kind professor.”

    “Dr. Ayabe has worked diligently over the past few years on many aspects related to furthering the mission of Simpson University.”

    “He is an excellent teacher. He is genuinely interested in what he teaches and makes time for students.”

    School of Adult Studies

    2015 School of Adult Studies Professor of the Year Wally QuirkRobert “Wally” Quirk, M.A.

    Assistant Professor of Business

    Professor Quirk received his BA in psychology from USC and a MA in Management from Sonoma State.

    Student Comments:

    “Wally has been on teacher who seems to make every class understandable.”

    “Honest, helpful, genuine, sincere, funny, forgiving”

    “His teaching style is one of the most unique that I have ever experienced.”

    “He has explained throughout the entire process just how the information we are learning will be used. Knowing the relevance of the information makes it more meaningful.”

  • Professor of the Year Winners 2014

    2014 Traditional Undergraduate Professor of the Year Dr. William GriffinWilliam Griffin, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Ministry and Bible

    Dr. Griffin has a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, a Master’s of Divinity from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and a BA from the University of California at Davis.

    Student Comments:

    “His passion for what he is teaching is poured out for his students every day. It is evident in the way he conducts his class sessions. I often see him around campus mingling with the student population. He asks and cares about each and every one of his students. His influence here at Simpson is often brought up by both students and professors alike. He is great.”

    “I had Professor Griffin as a teacher last year and he is incredible. He is always interacting with his students, meeting with us, and answering the questions we have raised in the classes he taught about God, the Word and overall life. He is very passionate about what he teaches and the position he holds as a professor and he shows that every single day. He’s an overall amazing man of God and he deserves to be professor of the year.”

    2014 School of Adult Studies Professor of the Year Patty TaylorPatty Taylor, M.A.

    Adjunct Professor of Organizational Leadership (ASPIRE)

    Ms. Taylor has her M.A. in Social Science with an emphasis in Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. She also has a B.A. in Organizational Leadership from Simpson.

    Student Comments:

    “She has great teaching skills. Wonderful heart, kind and caring.”

    “She touched us from her heart first and then to experience the materials. She embraced who we were. Curriculum was engaging, unique and inspiring. She is passionate and activated so many during her time with us.”

    “Engaging and truly believed in us. She pulled out the very best in us.”