Alumni Association names Bluffton’s Faculty/Staff Service Award and Professional Achievement Award recipients
Exceptional Bluffton University alumni and faculty are honored each year during Homecoming weekend at the President’s Banquet. During the event, alumni and faculty who have reached milestones of achievement, service and giving are recognized.
This year, alumni awards will be presented to Dr. Marvin H. Hall, a 1977 graduate who will receive the Professional Achievement Award, and Barbara Stettler, associate professor emerita of family and consumer sciences, who will receive the Faculty/Staff Service Award.
As a professor of forage management in the plant science department at Penn State University for the last 17 years, Dr. Hall has mentored students and led research into renewable energy. Previously, he served as an extension specialist in forage production and utilization at Penn State. In this role, Hall taught county extension agents and farmers the best practices for forage management such as seeding methods and disease control. More recently, Hall has focused his research on biomass crops, working to grow switchgrass on the desolate areas of Pennsylvania left behind after the land was strip-mined for coal. He was a biology major at Bluffton and a two-sport athlete in football and track.
The family and consumer science program grew from fewer than 10 students and two departmental majors when Barb Stettler began in 1970 to nearly 60 students and five majors 30 years later. Under her leadership, Stettler led renovations of the department’s facilities twice, as well as an extensive remodeling of the Mara Alva House, which served as a live-in residency location for students. She campaigned for courses from her department to be included in the general education program and developed a food and nutrition major for the department. The major later gained accreditation from American Dietetic Association (ADA) after a lengthy process she coordinated. Stettler made six trips to Jamaica during her tenure – first as a nutrition lecturer and later leading students during their cross-cultural experience. For nearly 20 years she also served as the football team dietitian.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors chooses the award recipients from nominations submitted by alumni, faculty and friends of the university. This year’s event will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception in Burcky Gym on Saturday, Oct. 7, followed by the banquet at 6:30 p.m. in Founders Hall. Tickets for the banquet are $25 and may be reserved by contacting Julia Szabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-358-3245 before Sept. 22.