Not only has she educated more than 500 students in her 25 years as an East Central College nursing faculty member, but Judy Bieker has also mentored numerous master's students and new faculty members without hesitation.

Her colleagues describe her as someone who "embodies the true spirit of nursing education" and "never turns down a challenge." In recognition of her tenacity and disposition inside the classroom, she has been honored with the 2019 Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The award is presented to an outstanding faculty member from each participating higher education institution in Missouri. Winners are chosen based on effective teaching, effective advising, service to the college community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement.

In her nomination form, Bieker was described as an "out-of-the-box thinker who always holds her students to the highest standards in providing excellence patient care. She instills a spirit of curiosity and educational excellence."

Bieker will be presented with his award at the annual Missouri Community College Association Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Kansas City in November.