Known for his teaching honor by inspiring students inside and outside the classroom, Dr. Chris Todden was awarded Baker University’s Jennie Howell Kopke and Verda R. Kopke Award for Distinguished Teaching on Sunday, May 21, during commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center in Baldwin City.

The award annually recognizes a Baker faculty member who has teaching honor for a record of excellence in teaching and in transforming students into scholars, who brings honor to the university, and who exhibits good moral character. Todden, assistant professor and director of exercise science, also received a $5,000 cash award.

He joined the faculty in 2013 and has been instrumental in the growth of the exercise science program. This spring the program earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (, making it the first fully accredited program in Kansas.

The Kopke award was established in 1998 by Charles Kopke, a longtime supporter of Baker. It is named in honor of his late mother, Jennie Howell Kopke, a 1921 Baker graduate, and his late wife, Verda.