Corey Fuller, assistant professor of graphic design at OBU, received OBU's Promising Teacher Award during the university's Spring Commencement May 17.
Fuller, who joined the OBU faculty in 2009, received the award from OBU President David W. Whitlock during the graduation ceremonies before an overflow audience of more than 1,800 in the university's Raley Chapel.
The Promising Teacher Award is presented to a junior faculty member who has taught at OBU less than six years, who has demonstrated outstanding potential as a teacher and who has the characteristics of one who may be a future recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
In presenting the award, Whitlock said Fuller has fully engaged with the OBU community by attending campus events, being involved in committees and playing in the Faculty Chapel Worship Band. Whitlock noted Fuller gives freely of his time and talents to numerous worthy causes including Mission Shawnee and the Haiti Music and Leadership Camp.
"His innovative efforts have all been met with great enthusiasm by his colleagues and students," Whitlock said. "One nomination we received eloquently describes this recipient: 'He is passionate about what he teaches, and he truly cares for his students. He provides interesting lectures combined with exercises to learn each skill. He gives thorough feedback on projects, both negative and positive. He is very encouraging and gives great instruction in how to make our projects better and better. Each class period ends with knowing you have learned something new and valuable.'
Another nomination, Whitlock said, simply read, "Two words: Corey. Fuller. Best teacher ever."
Fuller earned his bachelor's degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his master's degree at the University of Central Oklahoma. His graduate thesis was titled, "The Changing Visual Identity of Churches: From Symbols to Branding."
Fuller said he believes a graphic designer is part artist and part scientist -- an artist in the sense of creating works that visually stimulate and resonate emotionally with people, and a scientist in the sense that the designer creates something that works functionally to enhance cognition and influence a course of action. In essence, he said, a graphic designer is a visual, creative problem-solver.
Each year at Spring Commencement, OBU presents three important awards to recognize quality teaching and faithful, productive service: the Promising Teacher Award, the Meritorious Service Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award. Nominations for the awards are made by alumni, current students, faculty and administration. In addition to public recognition and a token of the university's appreciation, the recipients receive cash awards provided by OBU graduates John and Janet Hudson of Edmond, Okla.