Quick Links

Live Your Purpose


RIVERSIDE, Calif. (April 21, 2015) -- Students at California Baptist University recently honored Dr. Dennis K. Bideshi, professor of biology, as the 2014-2015 Faculty Member of the Year and Kelli Welzel, director of new student programs, as Staff Member of the Year.

Bideshi has taught various classes at CBU for 14 years, including Anatomy and Physiology II, Human Microbiology and Cell and Molecular Biology.

"I am truly humbled by being selected as Faculty Member of the Year by students," he said. "It is among the most significant awards I have received as a professor, solely because it was conferred by students."

Along with teaching course content, Bideshi challenges students to seriously consider their chosen paths on a more philosophical level, especially during their first year in college.

"I still think the cliche of defining and following one's passion in life applies, but once these are determined, a greater purpose in life is to use one's acquired knowledge and skills to ‘give back' in the form of community service and missions," he said.

Welzel has work at CBU almost five years and has been the director of new student programs since August 2012.

"It means so much to me and is truly an incredible encouragement," she said of the honor. "Pouring into and serving students is why I work here and it means so much that they hopefully feel cared for."

Welzel's job is to welcome new students, connect them to campus and train current students to lead. It includes overseeing orientation and the FOCUS program, which trains student leaders to work with and connect with new students.

"In my interactions, I pray that students see a genuine care for them and a sincere love for Christ," she said. "I would hope that every student feels known by someone on campus and I will do everything I can to be a part of making that happen."

The voting process, conducted by the Associated Students of California Baptist University (ASCBU) organization, was a two-tiered process. First, students nominated their choices for both recognitions. The top 10 names in both categories were placed on the ballot with student Senate candidates.