A longtime faculty member in the commercial truck driver program at a Pacific Northwest college recently received its Exceptional Faculty Award.
Bob Gunter, who has taught in Bates Technical College’s Commercial Truck Driving: Entry Level program for some 30 years was honored with a surprise presentation that included a drive-by celebration by colleagues in the college’s other programs.
“Bates is fortunate to have Bob Gunter as part of our excellent faculty,” college President Lin Zhou. “His industry knowledge and high skill level, combined with outstanding dedication to teaching, ensure our commercial truck driving program students receive a superb education and are ready for a successful career upon graduation.”
The annual award recognizes faculty members who infuse their teaching with innovation, and who provide an exemplary level of work performance that fosters and supports student learning.
The writer of the nomination letter said, “Bob has been the cornerstone of the commercial truck driving program at Bates Technical College for 30 years. Through his dedication to the success of his students, he has developed the program into the most respected commercial driver license training program in our region.
“He has chosen to take on the additional challenge of teaching ESL-only training classes, giving new members of our community access to self-sustaining employment opportunities. He spreads the same message to every one of his classes: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or if you are different – all that matters is that you can drive the truck.’ This simple encouragement, especially for students who have experienced discrimination, is exactly the kind of support his students need to achieve their goal of a good job in a high-demand industry.”