Provost and Dean of the College Kenneth M. Macur, who presented the award to McDonald, quoted those who had nominated him as saying, “Mark is always thinking about ways to improve our students’ experiences and achievements. Because he understands how students learn, he can help students learn and retain information more readily. And because he makes learning so enjoyable, students respond positively.”
Also, “Dr. McDonald has been an integral colleague…Although he has a large number of advisees, chairs the Faculty Senate, and has agreed to serve as the Faculty Quest Coordinator, he seems to always have time for his students.”
McDonald has been a member of the faculty since 1996. He teaches general biology, microbiology, genetics, immunology, ecology, and scientific research and writing and advises students in pre-medical, pre-veterinary and other pre-professional health programs. McDonald has been highly involved in the development of the new Bethany Pathway curricular and co-curricular activities and the student-run coffee shop and smoothie bar Nelson 116.
McDonald earned his doctorate in ecology and systematics from Kansas State University in 1996 and his bachelor’s in biology from Bethany College in 1991.
Don and Alice Humphreys of Great Bend, Kan., established the award in memory of their daughter, Meredy, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Bethany in 1991. Meredy died in March 2002. The award includes a cash grant for the recipient.