Elliott, Lembke Depart from CMU
When the academic year came to an end at Central Methodist University earlier this month, so did the careers of a pair of distinguished educators upon the retirements of Drs. Dana "Dan" Elliott and Linda Lembke.
With their departures, CMU lost over 70 years of service to the institution. Both Lembke and Elliott were granted faculty emeriti status by the University's Board of Trustees, a fitting recognition for their exemplary work, noted President Marianne Inman.
"The strength of Central's academic program is a direct reflection of our most capable and committed faculty members," noted CMU President Marianne Inman. "Both Drs. Elliott and Lembke have influenced countless numbers of students through the years. CMU is the richer for their devotion to learning and teaching."
Dr. Dan Elliott
Dan Elliott, who joined the CMU faculty in 1974, was professor of biology and geology. He also served as curator of The Stephens Museum of CMU since 1998.
During his 38 years at Central Methodist, Elliott taught biology and geology. He gained considerable renown in 1997 when, on a paleontological dig with CMU students in Howard County, Elliott discovered a starfish fossil.
The fossil is a new genus and species and the only starfish ever found like it. It was dated at 350 million years old. It is on display in The Stephens Museum.
Elliott has been widely sought as a speaker and has published numerous scholarly and scientific articles.
A past president of the Missouri Archaeological Society, he received the Missouri Association of Professional Archaeologists' Carl and Eleanor Chapman Award in 2005, and the Distinguished Service Award in 2011. He was the 1992 recipient of the state Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, among many other citations.
Elliott, a native of Grain Valley, gained his bachelor's degree from William Jewell College, his master's from the University of Central Missouri, and his doctorate from the University of Missouri.
Prior to joining CMU he taught at public schools in Raytown, Kansas City, and Liberty. Elliott and his wife Maggie live in Fayette, and they have three grown children.
Dr. Linda Lembke
Professor of mathematics and mathematics education Linda Lembke ended 33 years of service to Central Methodist with the close of the academic year.
Her work ranged from showing future elementary teachers how to teach math, to teaching graduate classes. Lembke started teaching part-time at CMU in 1979, while teaching math, physics and journalism at Fayette High School. She joined Central full-time in1985.
Lembke taught calculus every semester save for one since 1985, and taught almost every math class offered by CMU. She helped develop the master of education degree program, which paved the way for Central Methodist to change its name from "College" to "University" in 2004. Lembke served as the first director of that CMU graduate program.
Lembke led an effort that resulted in CMU's gaining an Eisenhower Grant from the U.S. Department of Education focused on aiding area middle school teachers to teach geometry more effectively.
Another grant a decade ago allowed CMU and the Fayette R-III schools to offer the "Teaching Scholars Partnership." Funded by the National Science Foundation through the Council for Independent Colleges, the grant was designed to both interest students in careers teaching math and science, and to aid Fayette teachers in these areas.
Lembke sponsored CMU chapters of Kappa Mu Epsilon math honorary and Sigma Alpha Pi social sorority, and The Collegian student newspaper for several years. She has been a member of Sigma Epsilon Pi, the National Councilof Teachers of Mathematics and Linn Memorial Methodist Church.
The 1999 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Lembke received her bachelor's degree from Hastings (Neb.) College, her master's from Wayne (Mich.) State University, and her doctorate from the University of Missouri. Lembke now joins her husband Roger in holding emeritus status from CMU. He retired in 2005.
Founded in 1854, Central Methodist programs range from undergraduate and graduate studies to high-school dual credit offerings. Serving more than 5,000 students on its historic main campus in Fayette, through collaborative programs at locations across Missouri, and online, the CMU mission emphasizes academic and professional excellence, ethical leadership, and social responsibility.
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