The Lyon College Board of Trustees voted in April to approve the promotion of Dustyn Bork to Professor of Art and Dr. Jennifer Daniels to Associate Professor of Psychology.
“It is a great feeling,” Bork said. “Being promoted to full professor is the pinnacle in academia. It is a huge honor and brings me joy.”
Bork, who joined the College in 2010, is appreciative of his colleagues, the administration and the Board of Trustees for the opportunity and for all the help along the way. Most importantly, he said, he cherishes the students, past and present, who have helped him get here and “have constantly inspired [him] to be a better person.”
Aside from teaching, Daniels, who started with the College in 2011, said developing the Year One program has been one of her biggest roles during her time at Lyon so far. She has seen it through a Title III grant and several different iterations.
Daniels is also grateful to former President Donald Weatherman for placing her on the Impact Independence County Education Subcommittee five years ago. It was her first experience connecting with stakeholders within the local community, including K-12 education, businesses, other higher education institutions and chambers of commerce.
Bork said his role on campus has expanded to encompass more of the overall student population. He has served as the Division Chair for Fine Arts the last few years, mentoring other faculty and making sure music, theatre and visual arts are well-represented in the College’s mission and plan.
“It is a challenge and a role I am still striving to grow into,” he said. “It has helped me understand the larger picture for program and curriculum initiatives.”
He has also been more actively involved in recruiting prospective students recently.
“I enjoy meeting with prospective students and spreading the good word about Lyon College.”
Daniels said the biggest highlights of her time at Lyon have always involved students, whether it was the Nichols Trips she and Yonts have taken students on or really good class discussions.
“What I love about Lyon students is that they are all in, so they make me want to be all in!”
She has kept every note and “thank you” card students have given her during her entire career and has received more at Lyon than any of her previous universities.
“Lyon students are eager, sincere, earnest and grateful,” Daniels said. “I can’t imagine teaching at a place that’s not Lyon.”
Bork said many of his most cherished highlights are from the four years he served as the Spragins House mentor. He loved when the class of 2019 awarded him a “Sprag Dad” trophy as freshmen, and it made them awarding him the Alpha Chi Professor of the Year award as they were graduating even more meaningful.
Now that he is a full professor, Bork plans to dedicate himself to expanding the potential of his position. He looks forward to pushing his practice as an artist and seeing the current freshman class all the way through the college process.
“I love the prospect of working with them over the next couple of years, watching them mature to their fullest potential and graduate. It is an ever-evolving process and always brings me joy.”
He concluded, “As sad as it is to see them off, there will always be another group attempting to build on their success and fill their shoes.”
Daniels looks forward to finding and cultivating those students for whom Lyon is the perfect place.
“They’re out there, and they need us. We need them, too, of course.”
She is excited to continue Lyon’s legacy of teaching nuance in an age “when nuance is something we don’t have patience for.” The kind of education offered at Lyon is only going to be more needed in the future, she said.
“Lyon students let me sleep at night because they are the ones who are going to take up the mantle. I’m just glad I can say I knew them back when they were students.”
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