Every year, one faculty member is honored as the most distinguished member on campus with the Byler Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, research and service.
Charlie Schwepker, professor of marketing, received the Byler Award on April 18.
The Byler Award was created by William Byler, a UCM professor who graduated from the university in 1927. He was the inventor of the black light and an author who established an endowment fund to provide annual recognition for distinguished faculty teaching, scholarly examples and professional-related service, according to a press release.
Schwepker said he was nominated by Scott Smith, a marketing professor, and he said he was very humbled to receive the Byler award.
“I’m really honored to get it and quite humbled because…essentially, there’s so many great faculty here,” Schwepker said.
Schwepker said he has been teaching at UCM since 1992 and has led activities for marketing students, such as the State Farm Sales Marketing Competition, where he is the team leader.
Schwepker said his favorite thing about being a professor is helping students be successful.
“I’ve had some comments from students over the years (saying) I was able to help them,” he said. “Some of it’s certainly through the classroom. I really enjoy getting to work beyond the classroom with the students. I’m one of the advisors at the American Marketing Association organization here on campus. And I’ve been coaching the sales students for many years, and I’ve had a lot of students go to these sales competitions and improve their sales skills. They are very happy and thankful for those opportunities.”
Schwepker said he enjoys having the students gain real experience in marketing by doing different outside projects. One example is having his marketing class get into groups to find a local company who need help with their marketing communications.
“If you can get some experience in different ways or more hands-on, that helps you see what you’re trying to learn in a bit different light,” he said.
Tessa Belknap, senior marketing major, said Schwepker is a professor who goes above and beyond for his students.
“Charlie truly cares about his students,” Belknap said. “He is an engaging, knowledgeable and an invested professor. I think Charlie deserved this award because he is dedicated to students inside and outside of classes, is willing to go above and beyond to help anyone in need, and is one of the most dedicated professors I know.”
Belknap said Schwepker is heavily invested in his students, whether it be in the classroom or in extracurricular activities.
“His hard work over the years has contributed to the success of the Harmon College,” Belknap said.
Belknap said she was a member of the sales team with Schwepker and competed in sales competitions through the year under the guidance of Schwepker.
“He was always willing to work with me as much as possible to make me successful,” she said. “I know I couldn’t have accomplished what I did this year in sales without him as one of my coaches. I have had the opportunity to get to know Charlie not only as a professor, but as a person. It has been an honor to work with him this year and I think he truly deserves this award.”
Scott Smith said he nominated Schwepker for the Byler Award for his dedication to students.
Smith said Schwepker is very involved outside of the classroom with committees, student organizations and competitions.
“Charlie is a tireless contributor at all levels of the university, the community and his field. In terms of committee service, Charlie is always willing to do his part at the department, college and university level,” he said. “Charlie clearly understands that service provides a value to the university that allows our core academic thrust to endure.”
Smith said Schwepker by helping lead the American Marketing Association, it has resulted in numerous awards at a regional and national level.
“I am also fortunate to serve as an advisor with Charlie for the American Marketing Association student chapter here at UCM. Charlie always has time to assist the students in the organization in any way,” he said.
Smith said Schwepker has guided his students in many service activities in the community to allow his students to hone their skill sets while benefiting the town, and is willing to go great lengths for his student’s success.
“Charlie is a scholar and educator who continues to exhibit a deep dedication to students, research and service at the University of Central Missouri,” he said. “He is an outstanding colleague and personifies all that goes along with the Byler Distinguished Faculty Award…Charlie has continuously demonstrated an amazing record for research in his the marketing discipline. He has done an outstanding job educating our students at the University of Central Missouri and is always innovating in the classroom and in other areas.”