The recipients of Outstanding Teacher and Outstanding Adviser awards were recently announced at Missouri Southern State University.

Students make the nominations for the annual awards, which honor the instructors who have made a positive impact in front of the classroom and in an advising capacity.

The 2020 Outstanding Teacher awards went to Dr. Alla Barry and Dr. William Huffman.

Barry, an associate professor of biology and environmental health, began working at Missouri Southern as an adjunct instructor in the Foreign Languages Department before joining the biology faculty.

She says the recognition inspires her to work even harder.

“I want to satisfy my own requirements for this award,” Barry says. “I have to prove that I deserve it … it’s my responsibility every single day to be a better teacher.”

Huffman, a professor of accounting, has been with Missouri Southern for two decades. He previously served as the coordinator for the Master of Accountancy program.

He says he feels humbled to have received an award based on nominations from the students he teaches.

“It’s the students who have kept me going,” says Huffman. “It’s great to see them catch on, and see that lightbulb pop on over their heads. I love hearing their stories about what their plans are for the future.”

Dr. Melissa Locher, associate professor of teacher education, was named 2020’s Outstanding Adviser.

Locher, who has been with Missouri Southern for 25 years – including service in the Learning Center and five years as an adjunct instructor – says she was gratified that her students took the time to make the nomination.

“I value and cherish the time I have with my students,” she says. “Advising season is one of my favorite times of the year because I get to sit down and visit with each of them. To know that time was useful and valuable to them is fantastic.”