Accounting professor receives Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award
Vonda Post, professor of accounting at Northwestern College, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award. She was honored during the college’s commencement ceremony on May 8.
The award is administered by a selection committee made up of Student Government Association members and Honors Program students. The committee chose Ross Bouma, instructor in kinesiology, and Dr. Chris Nonhof, assistant professor of education and English, as finalists along with Post.
The major factor used in selected the award winner is evidence of strong teaching ability. The committee looks at faculty vitae, service reports and course evaluations in addition to the comments of nominators.
Post joined Northwestern’s business and economics faculty in 1992 after having served as the college’s comptroller and having earned a master’s degree in accounting from the University of South Dakota. The 1988 Northwestern College graduate is a CPA with experience in both public and private accounting.
Lauren Green, Northwestern’s Student Government Association president, says Post embodies the definition of an excellent professor. “Professor Post stands out for many reasons,” says Green. “She cares for her students, her co-workers, and the community. She treats all her students as individuals and does her best to meet each one where they are. She goes above and beyond for her students but allows them to become independent in their learning. When a student is struggling, she takes time out of her day to meet with them to help them better understand the material.”
One of Post’s student nominators described her as a servant leader: “She is always willing to help in whatever capacity. Her faith is strong, and her love for God is evident in her teaching. I have been so blessed to be a student under her for four years.”
Another wrote, “She is genuine, intentional and illuminates God’s work in the world with all she does and who she is.”
Northwestern’s recipient of the 2019 Faculty Inspirational Service Award, Post says her goal isn’t just that students learn the rules for accounting so they can pass the CPA exam, but rather, that they understand the “why” and learn to think like an accountant. Her approach is a large part of the reason Northwestern graduates consistently record some of the best CPA exam scores in the nation and the college’s accounting program is ranked first in Iowa by BestValueSchools.org.