John Murphy, professor of mathematics, is the 2009-10 recipient of the Donna Meredith Humphreys Award for Teaching at Bethany College.
Murphy was nominated for the award by his students. “One student notes,” said Bethany College Provost Eugene Bales, “there has never been a time where he hasn’t dropped whatever he was doing to help – even with evening phone calls at home.” Murphy also revitalized the Von Neumann Society, which fosters leadership and intellectual community.
His diligence to the students of Bethany College along with his unexpected sense of humor caused another nominee to write, “I will most definitely be carrying a model in my head of Professor Murphy’s teaching when I begin a teaching career of my own. He has shown me how to be there for students and how to challenge students but still allow them, and help them, to succeed.”
At Bethany, Murphy teaches a variety of math classes and is the chair of the mathematics and physics department. He has been awarded the Bethany College Mortvedt Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership and coached tennis for seven years. He will retire at the end of this academic year.
Murphy earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Kansas State University and his Master of Arts from Washington University, where he was a graduate assistant. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois. Previously, Murphy taught at Kansas State University and Lenoir-Rhyne College. He is professionally affiliated with the Kansas Branch of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Mathematical Associate of America and Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.
Don and Alice Humphreys of Great Bend, Kan., established the award in memory of their daughter, Meredy, who earned a bachelor’s in chemistry at Bethany in 1991. Meredy died in March 2002. The award includes a cash grant for the recipient.