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Rapport with Faculty, Students, Professional Achievements Contribute to Strohmeyer Receiving 2023 Byler Distinguished Faculty Award

By Jeff Murphy, April 6, 2023


WARRENSBURG, MO – An educator described by colleagues as an extraordinary teacher and well-respected leader who has great passion and enthusiasm for his work, Scott Strohmeyer, Ph.D., is being honored as the 2023 recipient of the University of Central Missouri’s Byler Distinguished Faculty Award.

Considered the highest university recognition for faculty members, the Byler Award is presented each spring in honor of its namesake, William H. Byler, an inventor, author and teacher who graduated from UCM in 1927 with a major in chemistry and physics. He established an endowment fund to provide annual recognition for distinguished faculty performance, evidenced by teaching, scholarly or creative activity and professional-related service.

Strohmeyer will officially be recognized for his achievement when the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs hosts a reception honoring this year’s award recipient and other nominees  3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Monday, April 10 in Elliott Student Union Room 237. The award presentation begins at
 4 p.m. In addition to this event, Strohmeyer will be honored during the Board of Governors’ plenary session April 27 and during Spring 2023 Commencement exercises Friday and Saturday, May 5-6 in the Multipurpose Building. 

Strohmeyer is currently on the faculty in the Department of Nutrition, Kinesiology and Health Studies. He came to UCM as an assistant professor in 1992, was promoted to associate professor in 1998, and climbed the faculty ranks to become a professor in 2003. His tenure also includes experiences as Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Kinesiology for approximately eight years, and serving briefly as an interim department chair in Nutrition and Kinesiology.

Colleagues who nominated Strohmeyer for the Byler Award praised his commitment to sustained excellence in teaching throughout his entire career at UCM. The same sentiment is echoed by his students. Nominators noted that Strohmeyer has a reputation for demanding high standards in courses such as Biomechanics, which can be rigorous, but his lighthearted, jovial, engaging approach in the classroom often calms students’ fears. At the same time, he has a gift for drawing the most shy and reserved students into classroom discussions.

Students who have returned to UCM to teach as well as other junior faculty members have discovered a strong mentor and confidant in Strohmeyer. His office is a place where they can learn more about university operations, best practices in the classroom, and sometimes hear ‘the voice of reason” from the seasoned veteran of higher education. Whether it’s a student or a colleague, all who work and learn from Strohmeyer can attest to his willingness to provide guidance or serve as an advocate while making them feel like they are more than just students or faculty – they are part of a “family.”

“I have learned so much from him through his words and actions,” Ken Bias, professor and chair of the Department of Early, Elementary, Middle and Physical Education, wrote in a letter of support for Strohmeyer. “He has great rapport with students and genuinely cares about each person who walks through his door, which is inevitably always open.”

While serving in his profession,  Strohmeyer has worked hard to remain current in his field, which includes looking for opportunities to utilize new technology. He updates resources such as lab space, but also has incorporated a focus on diversity issues such as race, gender, and ability in movement analyses in recent years. Additionally, he goes beyond the classroom to help students prepare for life as professionals. His efforts range from accompanying students to professional development events such as the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports Conference to mentoring McNair Scholars and assisting Honors College students with their honors projects.

Strohmeyer has shared his expertise as a presenter or panelist before practitioners within his academic discipline and through scholarly works in publications such as the “Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.” He has served as a reviewer for publications such as the “International Journal of Exercise Science,” “Sports Mechanics,” and “Journal of STEM Education,” just to name a few. He networks with professionals in his academic discipline and uses his leadership abilities through membership in organizations such as the SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators of America) Central District, where he is a former executive director for the nine-state region.

Consistent with the university’s longstanding motto, “Education for Service,” Strohmeyer has used his expertise to help with jump training for Mules and Jennies sports teams, and since 2020 has served as the Faculty Athletics Representative for UCM. In this capacity, he assists the university in solving problems related to athletics participation, confirming eligibility, attending professional development conferences to learn to better serve UCM and its athletes and to advise the university president about Intercollegiate Athletics from a faculty perspective.

Still showing his passion for teaching after more than 37 years in the profession, Strohmeyer has taught Physical Science to nearly 5,000 students.

In addition to being honored with the Byler Award, in March 2023 Strohmeyer was presented the Mark Harvey Legacy Award by SHAPE America for work he has done in the area of biomechanics and for his positive leadership and integrity demonstrated throughout his professional career.

Having been nominated for the Byler Award multiple times, Strohmeyer has had plenty of people over the years who demonstrated their confidence and appreciation for him through their nominations and letters of support. This means a lot to the veteran educator.

“The number of people who have always been willing to step up to support me is more humbling than maybe the actual award,” he said. “It’s great. Don’t get me wrong, but to know that those people believed in me is kind of cool.” 



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