Inga Oberst wins Vergil Parks McKinley Award at Troy University

Posted: Friday, 26 September 2014

TROY - Inga Oberst, Instructional Designer for Troy University's eTROY, has won the University's Vergil Parks McKinley Award.

Oberst, who has been employed by the University since 2005, viewed Thursday's ceremony from Port Orchard, Wash., where she resides with her husband, Edward Chao and their children, Spencer and Kate. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, announced the winner and turned the ceremony over to Dr. Karen Shader, Director of Instructional Design, who nominated Oberst for the award.

The McKinley Award is the highest honor that Troy University gives to a non-faculty staff member. It is presented quarterly to an employee who has demonstrated outstanding attitude, innovation and work ethic. The award was established by the late John McKinley, former Texaco CEO, in honor of his father, Vergil Parks McKinley, who was a Troy University professor during the early 20th century and was key to the development of the University's athletic program. Winners of this award receive an engraved clock and a $1,000 stipend.

Dr. Shader said Oberst's work has resulted in improvement of the University's online courses and programs offered through eTROY.

"Inga continues to excel and to demonstrate an outstanding work ethic and quality of work," Dr. Shader said. "I frequently receive emails and comments about her outstanding work. She makes a difference in the lives of online faculty, students and her co-workers."

Others who have been the beneficiaries of Oberst's work also offered praise.

"While job performance and helping others are important things to acknowledge, it is one's character that truly needs recognition," said Ivan Merritt, Associate Dean of First Year Studies and Professor of Leadership Development. "Inga Oberst, without doubt is the employee with the complete McKinley Award ingredients of outstanding attitude, innovation and strong work ethic. The specialness comes when you add to these traits a character of impeccable integrity."

Dr. Diane Bandow, Associate Chair and professor of management in TROY's Sorrell College of Business, said Oberst is a tremendous asset to the College of Business and the University as a whole.

"Inga goes above and beyond expectations with her enthusiasm, her positive attitude and her willingness to do whatever is necessary to help our students experience the best education possible," Dr. Bandow said. "She makes herself available any time we need assistance, does not hesitate to make suggestions and recommendations and accommodates faculty request quickly and effectively."

Oberst said she was honored and grateful to receive the McKinley Award.

"I work with so many wonderful faculty members and a truly amazing team of instructional designers," Oberst said. "It is a great feeling and an honor to know that the job we do impacts the lives of so many students. I am truly blessed to be a part of the team at Troy University, and I will cherish this McKinley Award."

A former resident of Dothan, Ala., Oberst has written and published a children's book, "Al the Nutty Astronaut Orbits the Earth," and is an avid fine arts photographer with works in galleries in Port Orchard and Gig Harbor, Wash. She also serves an adjunct instructor, teaching TROY 1101, the University's required orientation class.

Inga Oberst

Inga Oberst