Ivy Tech presents 33rd annual instructional excellence award to Bloomington Dean

INDIANAPOLIS – A Bloomington educator with more than 15 years experience in teaching has been selected by Ivy Tech Community College as this year’s recipient of the Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction.  The award is Ivy Tech’s highest honor for a faculty member.


The selection of Larry G. Swafford, Ph.D., R.T., Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus, was announced today at the close of a two-day event for recipients of the College’s annual President’s Awards to outstanding faculty. From that field of 14 regional winners, one is chosen for the Glenn Sample Award. The honor includes a $1,000 stipend for instructional equipment and a $5,000 personal development grant.


Swafford began teaching at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus in 2006 as the Professor and Program Chair of the state’s only accredited two-year Radiation Therapy program.  He not only developed the state’s only associate of science in radiation therapy, but also the nation’s first and only Proton Therapy Specialist Certificate.


“Through his ability to create innovative collaborations with industry partners, Dr. Swafford has afforded his students unique educational opportunities by providing access to state-of-the-art equipment and expert industry training at both Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center and at the ProCure Training and Development Center in Bloomington,” said John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus. “With access to educational resources that do not exist in the same place anywhere else in the world, Dr. Swafford is ensuring that his students are globally-competitive, which fulfills a strategic goal of the College.  Dr. Swafford’s accomplishments have brought credit not only to himself, but national recognition to Ivy Tech Community College.”


Including the program’s first graduates in 2008, Dr. Swafford has graduated 36 Registered Radiation Therapists and 53 Proton-Certified students. Currently, students and proton centers all over the nation and the globe are inquiring about his Proton Therapy Specialist Certificate program.


In January 2012, Dr. Swafford’s Proton Therapy Specialist Certificate program was nominated as one of only 10 national semi-finalists for the Community College Futures Assembly Bellwether Award for Innovation in Workforce Development. 


“Larry develops personal relationships with his students while setting the bar for achievement high. He knows how to motivate his students and encourages them to reach their fullest potential. Larry not only cares about his students’ success in the classroom, he is also concerned about their future after they graduate from Ivy Tech,” said Martin Wolfger, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Bloomington campus.


Swafford’s philosophy on education is to encourage open dialogue with a classroom environment that is relaxed and professional.


“I encourage open exchange of ideas and classroom discussion. Students are free to express their opinions and observations in an appropriate and professional manner,” said Swafford.  “Critical thinking skills are vital for healthcare professionals, and I employ various techniques to enhance these skills. Using clinical and real world examples, students are expected to blend their clinical experiences with book knowledge and classroom presentations.”


Swafford has a Ph.D. in Adult Education and Organizational Development, a Master’s in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, a Bachelor’s of Science in Radiation Therapy, and an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography.


The Sample Award is named in honor of Ivy Tech’s fourth president, who also had served on its first board of trustees, co-founded Ivy Tech Foundation, and was the Foundation board’s first chairman. Ivy Tech established the award shortly after Sample’s death in 1980.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 200,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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