James A. Davis Faculty Award Honorees

2023: Dr. D.C. Cobler

Dr. D.C. Cobler, Emory & Henry Class of 1995, D.C. Cobler is an Associate Professor and Department Chair for Emory & Henry’s exercise science department. He was formerly Program Director for the Athletic Training Program and chair of the Department of Athletic Training. He previously served the college as the Head Athletic Trainer from 1997-2004. D.C. was among the most instrumental faculty members in helping Emory & Henry move seamlessly away from an athletic training major into a new major called exercise science. He holds an M.S. degree and an Ed.D. from East Tennessee University.


2022: Dr. Eric Coley

Dr. Eric Coley is a member of the E&H Class of 2004, finishing with a bachelor of science degree in athletic training. He earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Duke University, and completed his Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida. Dr. Coley returned to Emory & Henry in 2012 as a founding faculty member of the Emory & Henry’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, and currently serves as the chair of that program.

2021: Dr. James Duchamp

Trained as a chemist, Dr. Duchamp is known for spending time with students and helping them more deeply understand the coursework and think about ways to apply it to a meaningful career path. He is also a sponsor for the Emory & Henry College Chapter of the Student Affiliate of American Chemistry Society. His research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of the American Chemistry Society and Nature. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and a Fellow of the Virginia Academy of Sciences. In 2009, Professor Duchamp was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. In 2011, Professor Duchamp was named the Virginia Professor of the Year, Council for Advancement and Support of Education/Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


2020: Dr. Lou Fincher

Dr. Fincher is the vice-president of the Emory & Henry School of Health Sciences, and was critically important in developing the Marion campus into a successful, influential school of health sciences. She has over 30 years of teaching and health care experience and over 20 years of administrative and leadership experience. Her previous administrative positions have included Chair of the Department of Kinesiology at The University of Texas at Arlington, Founding Program Director for UT Arlington’s CAATE accredited Athletic Training Education Program, and President and CEO of the Joe W. King Orthopedic Institute at the Texas Orthopedic Hospital in Houston, Texas.The Business Journal of Tri-Cities recently named Dr.  Lou Fincher as a Healthcare Hero.


2019: Dr. Douglas E. Arnold

Dr. Arnold has been a visiting associate professor in education at Emory & Henry College since 2008. He received his bachelor of science degree in Spanish and English at East Tennessee State University. He earned a master’s degree in English education, a certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership, and a doctor of education in educational leadership from Virginia Tech. He has been an instructor and administrator in public schools since 1972. Among many positions is included a term as superintendent of Bristol Va. Public Schools, principal at Galax High School, and member of the Washington County, Va. School Board. 


2018: Dr. Celeste Gaia

Dr. A. Celeste Gaia is a professor and chair of the psychology department at Emory & Henry College. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and French at Christian Brothers University, finished her master’s degree and Ph.D. degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She also serves Emory & Henry as the Director of the Office of International Education and the College’s Principal Designated School Official for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. In 2015, E&H’s study abroad program was listed by Best College Reviews among the top 50 study abroad programs nationwide. While an average of only 2% of U.S. college students study abroad, 37% of E&H students do so; this reflects a 93% increase in study abroad under Dr. Gaia’s leadership. She has overseen the development of 15 faculty-led courses, and has supervised 721 students visiting 48 countries since 2007.


2017: Dr. Matthew Frederick attended West Chester University in West Chester, Penn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He began graduate school at Auburn University where he earned his Master’s in Music and then completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance education at The University of Texas. He serves Emory & Henry as the associate professor of trumpet, director of bands, and director of the Emory & Henry College Marching Band. He has built a trumpet ensemble that has twice earned semi-finalist honors at the National Trumpet Competition and has been selected three times to perform at the International Trumpet Guild Conference. His brass ensembles have toured Germany, Austria and China. He is also music director at Pleasant View United Methodist Church, has served as co-principal trumpet with the Symphony of the Mountains, principal trumpet for the Johnson City Symphony and first trumpet for Barter Theatre. He is an active school band clinician as well as a lecturer on his current research topic, Civil War Brass Bands.  His arrangements of band music from the civil war have been recorded by the American Brass Quintet on their CD entitled Cheer, Boys Cheer.  In addition he has published a book entitled Trumpet Notes.  He and his wife Sandy live in Abingdon with their two sons, Hyder and Jackson


2016: Dr. Laura Hainsworth is an associate professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies at Emory & Henry College. She serves the College as Director of the Bartlett-Crowe Field Station and as the College’s Director of the Environmental Studies Program. She has held the Hull Chair in the Natural Sciences, and served as Chair of the Chemistry Department.  She has a bachelor of arts degree from SUNY Potsdam College and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland’s Analytical, Nuclear and Environmental Chemistry Division. In 2012 she won the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award.  She and her husband, Mark, have two children, Ellie and Joe. 


2015: Dr. Rebecca Buchanan is an assistant professor in Emory & Henry’s Health and Human Performance department. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she attended on a full scholarship in track and field. She has a master’s degree in sports management and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 1994, she served on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.  Rebecca was a member of the U.S. World Championship Track and Field Team in 1997 in Athens, Greece, and finalist for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, and was an NCAA All-American from 1988-1992 while at UNC. She is a coach for Glade Spring Little League, a member of the Busy Little Bees Child Development Center Board, a judge for the McGlothlin Excellence in Teaching Awards, a member of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and a deacon at Glade Spring Presbyterian Church.


2014: Dr. Linda Dobkins  is Associate Professor of Economics at Emory & Henry College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, Missouri, a master’s in science from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and a master of arts and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Among her many honors are the McConnell Scholarship for Teaching Award, the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Award, and the William Carrington Find Award for Faculty Excellence. She is chair of the Economics Department, former Social Science Division Chair, and was Core Curriculum Director during the approval and implementation of the new Core Curriculum. She served as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.


2013: Dr. Felicia Mitchell has been a member of the Emory & Henry English department since 1987, earning the position of full professor in 1999. She has served as director of the CORE Writing Proficiency Program, coordinator of the campus Writing Center, and served as chair of the English Department for seven years. She has chaired committees including the Committee on the Revision of Sexual Harassment and Assault Policies, the Academic Dean Search Committee, and the Honors Program Development Task Force. Among her many publications is an edited collection of poetry entitled Words and Quilts.


2012: Dr. Denise Stanley joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1992. She earned her Ph.D. from Regent University, her Master’s in Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and her undergraduate degree from Clinch Valley College (UVA-Wise). She is currently an associate professor of business at Emory & Henry. She is a prior recipient of the Ernest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Merit Award, the Exemplary Teaching at a United Methodist-related Institution of Higher Education Award, and the Emory & Henry Excellence in Teaching Award.


2011: Dr. Edward Hamilton Davis joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1991. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, his M.A. degree in at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and his Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina. He is currently the associate professor of environmental studies and geography at Emory & Henry. He has earned the United Methodist Church Excellence in Teaching Award, and was a recipient of the Hope Award presented by the Appalachian Center for Community Service. He is an active member of the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, helps organize the annual C.R.O.P. Hunger Walk, and does educational programs for area school children on conservation issues.


2010: Dr. James A. Warden joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1991, serving as an associate professor of Physics and Physics Department Chair. He served as Chair of the Natural Sciences Division from 1994-2006. Prior to E&H, Dr. Warden taught at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Rhodes College in Memphis, a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of South Carolina, and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of South Carolina.


2009: Dr. Teresa D. Keller joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1985 after serving as a producer and noon anchor for WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia. Dr. Keller received her master’s degree in communications from the University of Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in communications from the University of Tennessee. In 2003 she won the Virginia Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation, and in 1989 she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Emory & Henry College. She is the co-author of Television News: A Handbook for Writing, Reporting, Shooting and Editing (now in its third printing), and is currently overseeing an expansion of the WEHC radio station from 500 watts to 10,000 watts.


2008: Kathleen Chamberlain has been a member of the Emory & Henry English Department since 1989. From 1998 to 2002, she served as associate dean of academic affairs and has been the chair of the Humanities Division since 2002. Dr. Chamberlain received her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1993, the E&H senior class chose her for the Excellence in Teaching Award, and she has received the William Carrington Finch Award for Faculty Excellence and the Virginia Professor of the Year Award from CASE/Carnegie Foundation.


2007: Robert J. Johnson received a B.A. degree in history in 1968 from Dickinson College and a M.Ed. from Springfield College in 1976. He is a combat veteran of Vietnam, serving as a Ranger platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. He has served E&H as head basketball coach since 1980, taking his teams to the NCAA Division III Tournament five times and twice to the Sweet Sixteen. He is a three-time winner of ODAC Coach of the Year honors and has been named NCAA South Region Coach of the Year three times. The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named him the 2007 recipient of the Division III Outstanding Service Award, to be presented at the NCAA Division I Final Four in Atlanta.


2006: Dr. George E. Treadwell, Jr. has served as a professor of biology at Emory & Henry since 1970. He received his M.S. degree in biochemistry from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. in plant physiology and biochemistry from Iowa State. Dr. Treadwell has received the Exemplary Teaching Award from the United Methodist Church, the Burroughs Wellcome Fellowship, the McConnell Faculty Grant from Emory & Henry, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Maiden Award for Leadership from Emory & Henry.


2005: Dr. John T. Morgan joined the faculty of Emory & Henry College in 1986. He is professor of geography and chair of the social sciences division. Dr. Morgan received a B.A. in Spanish from East Carolina University in 1972, and an M.A. in geography from East Carolina, Greenville, North Carolina, in 1976. In 1986, he received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Tennessee with a dissertation on “The Decline of Log House Construction in Blount County, Tennessee.” Dr. Morgan is the author of The Log House in East Tennessee.


2004: Dr. John D. Lang graduated summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1969. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1975. He has served in the Emory & Henry English Department since 1983 and currently serves as a full professor, director of the College’s Great Book Program, and editor of Emory & Henry’s Iron Mountain Review. In 1999 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia Council of Higher Education.


2003: Dr. Frederic R. Kellogg graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in science education from Louisiana Tech University in 1962. He received his Th.M. with honors from Southern Methodist University and his Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University. Dr. Kellogg is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Middle East Studies Association, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Holston Conference Board of Ordained Ministries, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi. He has received the Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Merit Award from the College, the Emory & Henry College Excellence in Teaching Award, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church Award for Exemplary Teaching. Dr. Kellogg has served at Emory & Henry College since 1969 and currently serves as the Shelton Professor of Religion.


2002: J. Allen Neal, E&H ’54, taught history at Emory & Henry from 1958 to 1977. After receiving a B.A. from Emory & Henry, he earned an M.A. at Ohio State University. Professor Neal was a United States Air Force historian and served in the 402nd Field Artillery Battalion as well as the 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division. He is the author of the Bicentennial History of Washington County. Mr. Neal has written several publications for the Air Force concerning the development of the pressure suit, the history of the Navaho Missile, and the history of methods of escape from high speed aircraft.

2001: Alan Pickrell, associate professor of speech and theatre, has taught at Emory & Henry since 1964. During his career at the College, Mr. Pickrell has directed more than 175 plays. He has been a member and participant in the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the Library of Congress Symposium and the Popular Culture Conference. Known for his expertise on serial books, pulp fiction, and The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Pickrell has been published in various journals of juvenile literature. He has worked extensively with Bristol Children’s Theatre, Theatre Bristol and the Bristol children’s Theatre Academy.


2000: Dr. Terry Griffin holds degrees from West Virginia University and the University of Tennessee. He joined the Emory & Henry faculty in 1964 and is currently a professor of modern languages. In his community he has served as a leader for the district commission of Boy Scouts of America and as an active member of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.