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  Avila graduate honored with award for supporting service members  
  Kansas City, MO    
September 9, 2010

A graduate of Avila University recently received a prestigious award honoring individuals who support employees who are members of the National Guard or Reserve forces from all branches of the military.

Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., an associate professor of history at Park University who earned his bachelor's degree from Avila in 1988, was honored Aug. 27 with the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a U.S. Department of Defense agency which seeks to promote a culture in which American employers support and value the military service of their employees.

Westcott earned his bachelor's from Avila in 1988, a master's from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1994 and a doctorate from Union Institute and University in 2002.

Westcott was honored along with colleague John Noren, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Park. The two were nominated by Capt. Andrew Forester, chaplain of the Missouri Air National Guard's 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joseph, Mo. In his nomination letter, Forester said both Westcott and Noren exhibit high levels of professionalism and have been flexible and reassuring in making accommodations for his classes should Forester be deployed.

"Dr. Noren and Dr. Westcott have continually affirmed the value of having a military chaplain as part of the university's Religious Studies faculty …," Forester said in a press release. "… all supervisors and program coordinators should look to Dr. Noren's and Dr. Westcott's commitment to military service members as 'exemplar par-excellence.'"


About Avila University
Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.