Dr. Bruce Finklea of Columbiana was among deserving faculty, staff and alumni honored during the University of Montevallo’s quasquicentennial celebration Oct. 14 on Founders’ Day.
The University of Montevallo’s National Alumni Association (UMNAA) recognized Finklea with the 2021 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award during the celebration. Finklea received the award based on his dedication to the provision of a quality education and his impact upon students through the teaching-learning process.
Finklea, Class of 2007 and associate professor and coordinator of the UM Mass Communication program, received the award for the impact he has had on students during his teaching tenure. Finklea, of Columbiana, has earned several national awards from the Broadcast Education Association and National Broadcast Society, was featured in two communication-focused textbooks, contributed to the “International Encyclopedia of Media Effects” and co-authored the textbook “Fundamentals of Media Effects.”
Finklea received recognition during the Founders’ Day Convocation and at a UMNAA awards reception in Anna Irvin Hall. Finklea said he was honored to be recognized for the difference he has made in the lives of UM students.
“Teaching isn’t about curriculum, it is about caring,” Finklea said. “I hope I’m teaching my students to be good people because that is the greatest lesson in life.”
Finklea teaches several Mass Communication courses each semester and is praised by current and former students.
“He listens, guides and pushes students to be their very best because he genuinely cares,” Kaley Martin, Class of 2016 graduate wrote in her letter supporting Finklea’s nomination. “During my first moments at Orientation Day, Dr. Finklea made me feel like I truly belonged at Montevallo.”
Senior Mass Communication student Jonathan Weed said Finklea fosters genuine connections with all his students and shows personal interest in their success.
“I know I would not be the student I am today without Dr. Finklea. From the moment I became his student, I have been thankful for having a great educator and mentor that works hard for his students every day,” Weed wrote in his letter supporting Finklea.