Skip to main content
Home / Campus News & Blogs / Three Grace College & Seminary Faculty Honored for Outstanding Performance

Three Grace College & Seminary Faculty Honored for Outstanding Performance

Grace College & Seminary professors Dr. Lauren Rich, Dr. Rachael Hoffert and Dr. Tom Clothier were recently honored for their outstanding contributions to the institution’s culture of service and academic excellence.

Dr. Lauren Rich, chair of the Department of Humanities and associate professor of English, received the Alva J. McClain Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Rich’s peer teaching observations indicate she is insightful and knowledgeable about classroom effectiveness. Through her understanding of literature content and classroom engagement, she exudes excitement for her discipline and encourages students to develop an in-depth understanding of the topic. In her capstone courses, Rich uses self-reflection and critical thinking methods to prepare students for the transition from undergraduate to graduate study.

“Dr. Rich’s courses are consistently met with favorable student results,” said Dr. Kim Reiff, interim co-dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. “Students in Dr. Rich’s literature courses and capstone seminars have commented that they enjoy her teaching style. She always makes the reading interesting, and they appreciate how she fosters deep discussions in class.”

Dr. Rachael Hoffert, chair of elementary education, received the Ronald E. Manahan Award for service. This award is given biennially to a faculty member who exhibits outstanding service on campus and in the community.

Hoffert has served as Baker Youth Club’s board president and has served on boards for the YMCALost Sparrows’, and CASA of Kosciusko County, for which she is also a volunteer. Most recently, Hoffert has become the Goshen Health spokesperson for cancer services.  In recent years, Hoffert has also served the Grace community by chairing the Committee on Faculty and the Academic Affairs Committee. These roles have not only served the greater community, but they have provided key teaching points for Hoffert in her classes.

“Rachael’s work at Grace College is indelibly marked by service,” said Dr. Cheryl Bremer, dean of the School of Education. “In the years I have known her, I have seen her serve not only the community but her students in remarkable ways. She goes above and beyond to ensure her advisees have the resources and direction they need to be successful. What an example Rachael is to our students as she exemplifies a life and heart of service.”

The Excellence in Part-Time Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Tom Clothier. This award honors part-time faculty who go above and beyond in the classroom and facilitate excellent rapport with students.

Clothier has taught Exploring the Bible and Scripture and Interpretation, two of Grace’s core classes, for the past few years. Clothier brings a wealth of pastoral experience to the classroom, having served in pastoral ministry for more than 40 years in Michigan and Indiana.

“Our students repeatedly compliment the way Dr. Clothier engages with the content and encourages them in his courses,” said Dr. Tiberius Rata, associate dean of the School of Ministry Studies at Grace. “It is a blessing to have Dr. Clothier as part of our part-time faculty.”

For more information about Grace College and its faculty, visit

Tagged With: About Grace College, Faculty