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Home > SVCPulse > News Archive

Dr. Christopher Oldenburg Presented Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award

Public Relations
Posted: Monday Nov 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012

Dr. Christopher Oldenburg, Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Psychology at Saint Vincent College, was presented with the Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award at the annual Founders’ Day Honors Convocation in the Basilica on November 15 in recognition of his excellence in teaching, dedicated service to students and his commitment to the Benedictine values of Saint Vincent College.

The Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award is made possible by a gift from the late Thomas W. Thoburn, Jr. and Tina Thoburn, D.Ed., educators and philanthropists.

“Nominations for this award are made by Saint Vincent College alumni five to seven after graduation,” commented Dr. John Smetanka, Vice President for Academic Affairs, who announced the award. “Alumni are invited to name one member of the faculty who has made a significant impact on them through their teaching and personal interactions. Twenty-two different faculty received nominations this year, several had multiple nominations. This provides a clear indication of the long-lasting impact that our faculty have on our students.”

“Dr. Oldenburg is exceptionally generous with his time and service,” Dr. Smetanka said. “He serves as a leader in his department, school and the college. To give just a couple of examples, in the past few years he has served as President of the Faculty Council and Chair of the Rank and Tenure Committee. He has worked to develop an academic program in Children’s Studies and a web-based curriculum toolkit building on the legacy of Fred Rogers. With this award, we recognize Dr. Oldenburg for the profound impact he has on his students both in the classroom and through advising and mentoring.”

In one of the nominations a recent alumna stated “he has unfalteringly been an ideal advisor and mentor, an excellent professor, and a genuine source of support and guidance.” Another alumna stated that “Dr. Oldenburg allows freedom, individuality, and creativity in his class presentations. He makes learning fun and challenging at the same time.” One former student currently finishing a Ph.D. in psychology wrote, “Dr. Oldenburg is warm, approachable, encouraging, kind, and sincerely service-oriented. He is a family man who is clearly devoted to the advancement of his students and in everything he does he carries with him our strong, Catholic identity. He is a model for the kind of psychologist I would like to be.”

Dr. Oldenburg, who has taught at Saint Vincent College since 2000, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 1991. He earned both a Master of Arts degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Kent State University.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Oldenburg and his wife, Jennifer, a clinical psychologist, live in Latrobe (Unity Township) and have five children. They are members of Holy Family R.C. Church, Latrobe.

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Photo: Dr. Christopher Oldenburg, left, was presented with the Thoburn Excellence in Teaching Award at the Saint Vincent College Founders’ Day Honors Convocation on November 15 in the Basilica by Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president. 

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