The Junior Distinguished Faculty Award is given to an assistant or associate professor. This year’s recipient has helped many students learn how to set goals and priorities. Popular as a devotional leader and chapel speaker, she has challenged students to follow Christ with discipline and conviction. She has helped students to dig within themselves to discover their own potential and to explore new opportunities to serve through ministry. A person of seemingly endless energy, she manages to volley many responsibilities herself, not only teaching at Gordon, but also working with youth in church, serving on various local and national committees, and speaking around the world.
Helping students to set, to dig, to serve, and to volley—just what you would expect from a coach who led Gordon’s women’s volleyball teams into the NCAA tournament on more than one occasion. Now a full-time faculty member in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, she has recently co-authored a book on ministry in sport. Long involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she has been invited to consult with international Olympic teams and to speak on sports ministry in Asia, Africa, Central America and in many other reaches of the globe. Her doctoral research explored the educational and spiritual results of Gordon’s La Vida program, and she has served the College on numerous committees, including the Chapel Committee, the advisory board for La Vida, and the Institutional Review Board. Many of the students who have received their degrees today can point to this faculty member as a significant mentor during their years at Gordon. And that is one of the reasons why the committee was pleased to give this year’s Junior Distinguished Faculty Award to Dr. Valerie Gin.