During Founders Day Convocation at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Homecoming celebration, Dr. Joanna Webb, associate professor of chemistry, was presented with the General Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award.
The award recognizes faculty members who exemplify excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the institution, and the community.
“Dr. Webb really exemplifies what it means to be a Wesleyan professor,” said Dr. James Moore, dean of the College. “She is tirelessly dedicated to her students, her colleagues, and the College. Lots of schools can boast a roster of great researchers, but in Joanna Webb, just like others here at Wesleyan, we have a brilliant scholar and a world-class teacher.”
A 2007 Wesleyan graduate in chemistry, Dr. Webb holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She joined Wesleyan’s faculty in 2012, and was promoted to associate professor of chemistry last spring. She is the advisor to the Chemistry Department’s Benzene Ring and serves as the faculty advisor to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Under her leadership, the Benzene Ring received a national award from the American Chemical Society. It is believed this is the first time in the school’s history, that Wesleyan’s Benzene Ring was given the honor of outstanding chapter. Only 50 chapters in the nation receive this distinction.
Dr. Webb and the School of Science was awarded a SURE Grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Division of Science and Research in 2017. This three-year grant totaled $120,000 to pay 10 students a stipend of $3,500 for eight weeks of research.
“I absolutely love being in the classroom and lab with students,” she continued. “It is particularly fun to work with students as freshmen in General Chemistry and then again as upperclassmen in the research lab. By that time, they have grown and developed good skills so that they genuinely want to learn more. I no longer have to convince them that the coursework is interesting or important for their futures as scientists; they get it.”