Asen wins McNeir award

The Nancy McNeir Ring Award for an outstanding faculty member
will be presented to Bernhard Asen, Ph.D., associate professor of
theological studies. Ellen Conoyer, president of Alpha Sigma Nu, a
Jesuit Honor Society, will present the award at the College of Arts
and Sciences pre-commencement ceremonies on May 14.

Asen has been a part of the Department of Theology for 25 years
and is also the co-editor of Theology Digest, a journal published
by Saint Louis University. He focuses on biblical studies and
teaches Old Testament, Prophets, Psalms, Apocalyptic literature,
and wisdom literature.

“I’m honored. I think it is a marvelous tribute, and I hope that
I can continue to serve the students of SLU,” Asen said. He said
that the fact students nominated him was very encouraging. He added
that it was an indicator of the importance of getting people
involved in a

subject.

Along with teaching at SLU, Asen also devotes his time to
assisting adults with continuing education, something in which he
believes strongly, by spending his weekends at area parishes of
various denominations.

“It was obvious to me from my first day of class with Dr. Asen
that his students are his first priority,” said one student in
their nomination letter. “He comes to class with an agenda, but he
never sacrifices the students’ understanding for the sake of
keeping on schedule.”

According to his students, Asen displays enthusiasm for what he
teaches.

“Dr. Asen’s passion for the subject was contagious,” said
another student that nominated Asen. “He showed me that the Old
Testament, when understood, is a gripping, beautiful collection of
more than stories … we students were given the opportunity to
allow the class to impact us in personal profound ways.”

The award is presented each year in honor of Ring, who served as
the University’s first Dean of Women. Serving 25 years in the
position, she dedicated her time to the welfare of students. The
award in her name honors faculty members who display special
dedication to students.

As indicated in his letters of nomination, this is what Asen
does on a daily basis.

“On his office door there is a note, ‘Office hours: Just knock!’
This is a sign of a professor who is always available for his
students. And students know it, because true concern and devotion
for others is impossible to miss, and impossible to fake,” one
letter said.

Students are encouraged to submit nominations, and members of
Alpha Sigma Nu select the recipient. Duane H. Smith, Ph.D., of the
English department received the award last year.