|Dr. Henry Virkler|
Long after students graduate from PBA’s graduate counseling psychology program, they can refer back to the hefty resource notebooks packed with articles that Dr. Virkler carefully assembled for each of his courses.
And most if not all of his former students have requested to be added to Dr. Virkler’s e-mail network, through which they learn about job openings and current news in their field.
"The students at PBA who are well prepared are going to be my legacy," said Dr. Virkler, professor of psychology.
This spring, the Palm Beach Gardens resident was named the 2011 recipient of the Charles and Hazel Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching. The Award for Outstanding Teaching is provided by an endowment fund established in 1995 by former PBA President Dr. Paul Corts and his wife, Diane, in honor of his parents, Charles and Hazel Corts, and in recognition of their commitment to higher education and scholarship.
Palm Beach Atlantic previously presented a "Professor of the Year" award annually.
As this year’s recipient, Dr. Virkler will serve as the Faculty Grand Marshal for the coming academic year. He carries the University's mace in procession at all ceremonial functions, such as degree-granting ceremonies or other formal convocations.
This year for the first time, students as well as faculty were able to nominate faculty for the award. The committee that reviewed the nominations and selected the recipient consisted of four faculty members and three students.
In addition to receiving faculty nominations, Dr. Virker received supportive testimonials from 72 students. "Dr. Virkler is the only person I know who can softly speak in an auditorium classroom and not need a microphone to get the students' attention," one student wrote.
"Dr. Virkler has been very supportive during the difficult times in my life and has always managed to keep me encouraged and focused on my goals," wrote another.
Dr. Virkler said he enjoys keeping in touch with former students through different stages in their careers. "They’re out there in the field. They’re touching more lives than I ever could," he said.
Dr. Virkler earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and later earned a master’s degree in pastoral psychology and counseling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He earned his doctorate in counseling psychology at Georgia State University.
He worked at the Psychological Studies Institute (now Richmont Graduate University) in Atlanta for 15 years and later joined the faculty at Liberty University.
Dr. Joseph A. Kloba, now provost and chief academic officer, began the graduate counseling psychology program at PBA in 1995, and Dr. Virkler became his first hire the following year. The two had worked together at Liberty.
Dr. Virkler gives generously of his time in order to keep abreast of the literature and share it with present and former students, Dr. Kloba said.
|Dr. Virkler's book, Hermeneutics, has been translated into multiple languages.|
Over the years, Dr. Virkler has written five books and more than 40 professional articles and presentations. His book Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation has been translated into eight languages. More than two decades after its release, he co-authored a second edition with Dr. Karelynne Ayayo, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at PBA.
"God just blessed it beyond my expectations," Dr. Virkler said.
He said he continues to receive e-mails from people around the world from people who have read the book. "I love to write to them," he said. "We’re all working together to learn God’s word and apply it to our lives."