Lee University’s Dr. Christopher Blake has been named the recipient of the 2021 Janet Rahamut Award. This award is given in recognition to the faculty member that exhibits a heart for students evidenced by frequent interaction and positive involvement with them outside the classroom.
The award is named in memory of Dr. Janet Rahamut, a veteran English professor whose tragic death in 2000 shocked the campus and left a tremendous void in the collective heart of the Lee family. The award was created to honor Dr. Rahamut’s dedication to her students, in and out of the classroom.
“This is the most meaningful award I can imagine receiving at Lee as it comes from the very students who inspire and motivate me every single day,” said Dr. Blake, associate professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and linguistics. “Lee University is an incredible place to work, and the students are a huge part of why I love this place so much.”
Dr. Blake joined Lee’s faculty in 2011 and teaches TESOL courses in the Department of Language and Literature. He is also the English as a Second Language program coordinator and director of Lee’s Center for English Language and Literacy, a service program that teaches free English courses to speakers of other languages in the community. He has also led multiple Global Perspectives trips at Lee, including to Colombia and to China, and is leading a trip to Ecuador this summer.
“Dr. Blake holds a strong reputation of integrity throughout the entire campus,” said Mallory Smolen, a senior discipleship ministries major and chairperson of the Student Leadership Council. “His impact stretches far beyond the Lee family as he empowers students to teach English to members of the Cleveland community. Dr. Blake truly deserves this award, and it is our honor to be able to select him for it.”
Dr. Blake earned his doctorate at Purdue University and specializes his research in the areas of fluency, intercultural communication, and language assessment.
He is married with five children and spends most of his free time outside doing landscaping and gardening projects. He is also involved in his church and serves on the board of Cleveland Net, a non-denominational organization fostering unity and renewal in the community through prayer.
A student committee led by the SLC chairperson and sponsored by Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development, chooses the recipient of the Rahamut Award. Dr. Blake was presented the award at the beginning of a special chapel service in April.