Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2004-09-01

Family studies professor Dr. Dan Sandifer-Stech was named this year's recipient of the John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching at Samford University. He received a silver tray and accompanying $1,000 cash prize at the opening convocation of the fall semester Tuesday (AUG. 31).

The annual award recognizes an outstanding faculty member who has excelled in classroom teaching. Finalists for the award were nominated by members of the Class of 2004.

Sandifer-Stech, chair of the department of family studies in Samford's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, joined the Samford faculty in 1997.

The honoree, said Samford Provost Dr. Brad Creed in presenting the award, "invests generously in students, both inside and outside the classroom."

"Students who nominated him consistently describe him as someone who spends numerous hours helping to ensure they understand and grasp the material he is teaching," said Creed.

Sandifer-Stech, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Alabama and an approved supervisor in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, primarily teaches courses in marriage and the family and family dynamics. He has written many articles and papers for publication and presentation at national and international conferences. His specialties include late adolescent career development and intergenerational family relationships.

Under his leadership, enrollment in the family studies major at Samford has increased by 31 percent since 1997.
The Shreveport, La., native holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Baylor University, a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in family and child development with specialization in marriage and family therapy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Before joining the Samford faculty, he taught at Northwest Christian College, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and West Virginia Graduate College.

He and his wife, Gwen, have three daughters, Lily, five, Chloe, three, and Emmie, nine months. He is a minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.