Hoffman Named 2011 University Educator of the Year
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 5, 2011 -- The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee has named Dr. Steven Hoffman, professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University, the 2011 University Educator of the Year.
Hoffman received the award May 5 at the Educator of the Year Award Banquet at The Plaza by Ray’s in Cape Girardeau. He was honored along with four other local educators. Each received a $500 check and a commemorative video.
This was the 18th Annual Educator of the Year Banquet sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. The nomination process for Educator of the Year begins in the fall. Once nominations are received from the general public, nominees receive a detailed application and must complete the application by early January. The applications are reviewed and the selection committee, made up of volunteers from the Chamber’s Education Committee, makes final review and bestows the honor onto the four most outstanding K-12 educators and one University faculty member.
K-12 educators honored were Janet Brase, fourth grade teacher at Blanchard Elementary; Kristin Gill, second grade teacher at Blanchard Elementary; Julia Unnerstall, elementary counselor at Alma Schrader Elementary; and Dennis Wilson, visual arts teacher at Cape Central Junior High School.
Hoffman began his faculty career as an assistant professor with Southeast in 1995. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he has served as the coordinator of the Historic Preservation Program since 2003.
Hoffman earned his bachelor of arts degree in history in 1985 and his master’s degree in heritage preservation in 1987, both from Georgia State University. He completed his doctoral degree in history in 1993 at Carnegie Mellon University. Hoffman has since attained the National Main Street Center Certification in the principles of Main Street in 2010 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His application and professional vitae denote dozens of published articles, books and journals as well as a significant amount of presentations.
Before joining the faculty at Southeast, Hoffman was an instructor at Carnegie Mellon University, adjunct assistant professor at Bentley College and lecturer at Bradford College. Hoffman volunteers extensively for the American Association for History and Computing, Missouri Main Street Connections and Old Town Cape, and advises the City of Cape Girardeau’s Historic Preservation Commission.
“I am able to integrate my real world experience in historic preservation and downtown revitalization into the courses I teach. I believe engaging students in that real world projects not only help prepare them for their professional careers but benefits the community as well,” Hoffman said in his application. “Dr. Hoffman’s commitment to involving his students in the community and in community projects is extraordinary. He encourages them to be community thinkers,” said Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape.
Angie Umfleet of Chap Arnold Insurance and chairman of the Educator of the Year Committee said, "The Educator of the Year Award is very significant to receive. This is an award the business community selects which honors the hard work and dedication of educators in our community. This is the business community's way to recognize just a few of the outstanding educators we have in our community. The honorees are a wonderful representation of those who practice the art of teaching."