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West County Rotary Honors STLCC-Wildwood Instructor, Students

June 06, 2013

John Glen  
John Glen, center, recently received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the West St. Louis County Rotary Club. Also pictured are, from left, Layla Goushey, assistant professor in English/reading at STLCC-Wildwood, and Patrick Vaughn, interim president at STLCC-Wildwood.

A St. Louis Community College-Wildwood instructor and two students were among the honorees at a recent recognition ceremony hosted by the West St. Louis County Rotary Club.

John Glen, assistant professor of history, received an Excellence in Teaching Award while Jordyn Backs and Janey Lawson each received the Collegiate Volunteer Leadership Award.

The awards program is in its second year, and was created by the West St. Louis County Rotary Club to recognize people for their outstanding contributions to the community. The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes the importance of education and the tremendous resource the community has in its teaching professionals. The Collegiate Volunteer Leadership Award encourages student leadership and volunteer engagement on both campuses and in the community. The club also recognizes businesses and business leaders in the area for their service through the Community Business Award.

During the ceremony, the rotary also awarded a number of scholarships to graduating high school seniors from Valley Park, Parkway South, John F. Kennedy, Eureka, Marquette and Lafayette high schools.

Glen has been an instructor at STLCC-Wildwood since 2009. Prior to joining STLCC, he was a professor, an award-winning member of the military who served in Vietnam and a former helicopter pilot for the U.S. Forest Service. He is the founder and sponsor of the History Club on campus and a member of the Board of Directors of the Euphrates Institute, a non-profit organization focused on improving relations between the Middle East and West in the wake of 9/11.

Glen’s supporters wrote about the intentional way that he engages with students in the classroom, with the dual goals of increasing their knowledge and helping students understand how history relates to their personal character and value systems.

“I took three classes with Dr. Glen, where I learned how to critically think, challenge preconceived notions, and look at a subject from multiple perspectives,” wrote Jamie Rybak, one of Glen’s former students. “I feel extremely fortunate to have had Dr. Glen as a teacher because he’s taught me that no matter what you’re doing, it is meaningful if you’re passionate about it.”

Throughout the year, Backs was a positive presence on the campus. She was involved with the Student Government Association as well as Phi Theta Kappa, and also served as one of the student ambassadors. She has represented the campus at several leadership conferences.

In addition to the leadership roles she has undertaken at the campus level, Backs also is active in the community.  She is a Franklin County Younglife middle school leader. She also volunteers at St. Louis Family Church as a children’s ministry volunteer and helps out with activities throughout the year. She also is a children’s event volunteer with the Boles Fire District, and assists them with summer children’s reading program, Boles Safety Days and the safe sitter program. On top of her school and volunteer activities, Backs works at the Vineyard Riverbend Chapel with wedding events and as an activities assistant with Rockwood School District, assisting with children in the before and after school care program.

“Janey Lawson has a true heart for service,” wrote her nominator. Lawson graduated this spring, and was a member and vice president of Fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa. She was president of the Art Club this year and planned and conducted events and activities for the club. She also served as a Student Ambassador, conducting tours for new students and their families and helping students at New Student Registration Workshops and New Student Orientations.

Outside of campus, Lawson is youth leader at St. Alban Roe Catholic Church and recently planned a retreat for eighth graders. She sews quilts for charity and has participated in Project Life for the last several years, a week-long service trip to fix homes of needy families in St. Louis.

Janey Lawson and Jordon Backs  
Wildwood students Janey Lawson and Jordyn Backs, center, received Collegiate Volunteer
Leadership Awards from the West St. Louis County Rotary Club. Also pictured are, left, Pat
McDermott, Rotary Club president, and Kim Folwarski, member of the Rotary Club's Community
Awards Committee.