Dr. Anita Cooper, the director of the Bible Teaching program at Columbia International University is the CIU recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award presented by South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU).
Each year, SCICU recognizes and celebrates outstanding professors among its member schools. A faculty member from each of 20 institutions of higher learning is nominated for the award according to rigorous guidelines. The recipients are honored at a special awards dinner and receive a $3,000 professional development grant.
Cooper, who has been on the faculty of CIU since 1985, is intentional about serving CIU’s students and sharing her life with them.
“Each year the Lord gives me an extraordinary love for my students,” explains Cooper. “I want to do anything I can to get to know them better.”
Known for asking students, “How’s your heart?” Cooper isn’t afraid to share her own. Because she is willing to invest in students both in and out of the classroom, she has a platform from which she can set an example for life as well as ministry.
CIU alumna Mary Randolph says she was impacted by the personal interest Cooper took in her.
“I appreciate that Dr. Cooper takes the time to get to know her students and their hearts; her love for them is clear,” Randolph said. “She has shared words of wisdom, teaching advice, and a passion for the Word of God with me. But most of all, she has set an example of godliness that I want to follow.”
Cooper tells her students being a good teacher isn’t the goal.
“Don’t work hard because you want to be a good teacher, work hard because you love God and you love others,” is the way Cooper explains her approach to teaching. “Becoming a good teacher is a byproduct of loving well.”
And Cooper is quick to point out that her love for God and students isn’t something she produces herself.
“Prayer and God’s Word are foundational to my teaching,” Cooper said. “I pray often for my students and ask others to pray regularly for me. God is the One who enables me to love them year after year.”
CIU Provost Dr. Jim Lanpher says Cooper exemplifies CIU’s purpose of educating people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ.
“CIU is making a greater impact in the world today because of the decades of selfless service of Dr. Anita Cooper,” Lanpher said.
For more on Dr. Anita Cooper and her award, check out:
For more in CIU’s Bible Teaching program visit: http://www.ciu.edu/academic-programs/bible-teaching.