Adjunct Instructors of the Year Announced at the University of Mount Olive

Adjunct Instructors of the Year Announced at the University of Mount Olive

May 2, 2024
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive (UMO) recently announced the recipients of this year’s Adjunct Instructor of the Year awards.  The annual award is typically given to one adjunct instructor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and provided an exceptional level of service to students.  The selection is based on student nomination and votes.  There was a tie this year, and the award was presented to instructors Dr. Doug Ward and Dr. Jennifer Russell.

Dr. Jennifer Russell joined UMO’s Education Department in August 2023.  Hailing from Chicago, IL, Dr. Russell holds a BA in elementary education, an MA in teaching and leadership, and an Ed.D in curriculum & instruction.  Dr. Russell’s teaching philosophy revolves around constructivist principles, empowering students to construct their knowledge actively. She fosters a supportive learning environment, emphasizing relationship building and engagement, even in online formats.

“I am truly honored to be the UMO Adjunct Professor of the Year,” Dr. Russell remarked. “The fact that it’s decided by the students makes this honor even more special. The students at UMO are very special, and working with them has been a blessing.”

Dr. Doug Ward, has brought his wealth of experience to UMO, teaching undergraduate and graduate business courses since 2014. His teaching style emphasizes respect, equal exchange of ideas, and accountability, fostering an environment where students thrive.

Dr. Ward’s commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, earning him the 2016 Thomas R. Morris for Excellence in Teaching Faculty of the Year Award. His dedication to his students is evident in the relationships he builds and the support he provides, whether in-person or online.  Reflecting on his award, Dr. Ward expressed humility, stating, “Teaching is a calling. I am humbled by this recognition and grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom said, “Dr. Russell and Dr. Ward’s contributions exemplify UMO’s commitment to academic excellence and spiritual growth. Their dedication to their craft and their students make them shining examples of the University’s values.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University was founded by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit