Seminary, counseling professors earn George Fox University graduate research, teaching awards

May 4th, 2018

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Nijay Gupta and Beronica Salazar are honored by the Newberg, Ore., institution for the 2017-18 academic year

NEWBERG, Ore. – A counseling professor who teaches courses in all four of the university’s Graduate School of Counseling programs and a professor who has published six academic books in eight years were honored as George Fox University’s top teacher and researcher/scholar, respectively, at the graduate level.

Beronica Salazar, an assistant professor of counseling and clinical director of the school’s clinical mental health counseling program, was honored with the school’s 2017-18 Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching. Also honored was Nijay Gupta, recipient of the Graduate Research and Scholarship for his work as an associate professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary.

Salazar teaches a wide range of classes – including Additions Counseling, Psychopathology and Appraisal, Clinical Internship, and Treatment Planning – in the university’s four masters-level counseling programs.

“Teaching at George Fox provides me with the opportunity to serve out my personal mission while simultaneously positively impacting students’ lives,” she said. “I enjoy being able to aid in the forming of students into counselors/therapists, and more importantly helping them deepen or discover God’s love through the experiences and learning that happens through the course of their training.”

Salazar was grateful by the award, but what truly motivates her is the role she plays as an educator.

“I am elated with seeing the profound impact I have in the lives of many of my students I work with,” she said. “Witnessing and walking with them through their journey is so gratifying and fuels me to do everything else I need to do as a professor. I feel so blessed and honored in my role. I am overwhelmed and moved when students share or I witness their changes from their academic experience.”

Salazar holds a PhD in counselor education and counseling from Idaho State University, a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Northwest Nazarene University, and a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University.

Gupta said he was “surprised and deeply honored” to win the honor as the top graduate researcher. In addition to the six academic books he’s published, he’s written 24 articles, 12 book essays and dozens of journal reviews in recent years. He also has five academic books scheduled to come out in the next 18 months.

“I am grateful to have received several research grants and research leaves via George Fox’s Faculty Development Committee, which has made much of this writing possible in my four years at Portland Seminary,” he said.
His love of teaching and his appreciation of colleagues are what inspire him to do good work.

“I love my colleagues, who are wonderful friends and stimulating dialogue partners,” he said. “I also love my seminary students, who inspire me with their love for Scripture, church ministry and spiritual formation. George Fox has supported a culture of ‘dreaming big’ and a pioneering spirit in education and research.”

Gupta holds a PhD in New Testament from the University of Durham, master of theology and master of divinity degrees from Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary, and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Regional University.” Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Linda Samek
Provost, George Fox University

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