Faculty and Staff Honored during Academic Convocation

Posted by Jeffrey Cowart
The 2019 Academic Convocation kicked off what is to be a great year of learning and growing. Awards were presented to distinguished members of the faculty and staff, and a keynote address was given by Dr. Tal Stanley.

Members of the Class of 2023 and 2020 gathered at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts on Wednesday, Aug. 28 to celebrate the back to school year Academic Convocation, a College tradition.

A keynote address was given by Dr. Tal Stanley on the relationship between teachers and students. “At Emory & Henry College, learning is a relational process. Eyeball to eyeball. These folks behind me, the ones in the funny suits are teachers and they work every day to make good on that—be the kind of teachers that work person to person,” said Stanley as he addressed the students in the crowd and the teachers behind him on stage. “But not just them, every person who is Emory & Henry, every person who is here—the ones who wear these funny get ups and sit on this stage, and the ones who do not sit here and do not wear all this garb—every person here is part of this teaching. And I will tell you a further thing, it is you, too. You are part of this teaching and learning. All of us here are co-learners and co-educators together.”

A native of Pulaski County, Va., Dr. Tal Stanley graduated magna cum laude from Emory & Henry College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a major in history. He thereafter earned his Masters of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and a Ph.D. in American studies from the Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University. An ordained elder in the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dr. Stanley returned to his undergraduate alma mater in 1996 and currently serves as a professor of civic innovation, director of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life, chair of the College’s interdisciplinary program in civic innovation, and director of the Bonner Scholars Program.

Award Winners Included: 

The Travel Grant, Dr. Edward Davis

The Emory & Henry College Travel Grant is awarded annually to a full-time faculty member or administrative officer holding faculty status who has served the College for the longest period of years. Dr. Davis is currently a professor of geography, and has co-authored three books: A Virginia Creeper Trail Companion, An Oral History of Konnarock, Virginia, and Collards: A Southern Tradition from Seed to Table. He has authored and co-authored several articles, mostly on rural conditions and rural change, and presents at national and regional conferences every year. He has been invited to speak by the Southern Foodways Alliance (University of Mississippi) and State of the Plate (University of North Carolina). More recently he and his students have been building the first map of the home gardens of Virginia.

United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award, Dr. Jerry Jones

Awarded annually by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, the Exemplary Teaching Award is given to a member of the faculty who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in teaching at a United Methodist-related institution of higher learning. A native of Glade Spring, Jones grew up in Southwest Virginia during the era of segregation. At Emory & Henry since 2001, Jones has authored two books: a college textbook entitledStructured Programming, and Go and Come Again—Segregation, Tolerance and Reflection, a book which detailed the history and culture of a small Virginia town during the era of the Jim Crow mindset. With nearly fifty years as a teacher, Jones wrote his book as a tribute to the struggles that many African Americans faced in their pursuit of an education.

The Maiden Award, Dana Boyd (’85) and Joy Scruggs

The Earnest E. and Elizabeth C. Maiden Award was established in 1975 in honor of the Maidens and in appreciation for their lives of service to the community, the church, and Emory & Henry College. In the past this award has been made annually to a member of the faculty or staff in recognition of unusual academic or administrative achievement and carries a cash stipend. This year two awards were presented to a member of both the faculty and staff.

The staff award was given to Dana Boyd, now in her 27th year with Emory & Henry College and her 16th year as the Administrative Assistant for Athletics. Her dedication to the Wasps’ Athletic Department and willingness to offer a helping hand play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of Emory & Henry Athletics. Boyd has also spent time working in the College’s business office, residence life and student activities office, giving her the perfect background for serving Emory & Henry’s student-athletes.

The faculty member awarded was Joy Scruggs. In 2009, Scruggs retired from coaching the women’s basketball team and moved to full-time teaching after beginning her career in 1981. As a member of the Physical Education department, her areas of interest include health, health education, wellness, First Aid and CPR, sport management, and water safety instruction.

Finch Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Laura Hainsworth

The William Carrington Finch Award for Faculty Excellence was first presented in 1989 in honor of Dr. Finch, fifteenth president of Emory & Henry College. It is given biennially to a member of the faculty who has shown excellence in teaching, in writing, research, or artistic performance, and who has contributed significantly to the life of the College. As Director of the Bartlett-Crowe Field Station, Dr. Laura Hainsworth works to facilitate research, education and service opportunities for students, faculty members, and visitors. Dr. Hainsworth’s research involves the application of analytical chemistry techniques to environmental problems.  She carries out ongoing projects in water quality and atmospheric particulate monitoring. Dr. Hainsworth received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of New York, Potsdam College, and went on to earn her Ph. D in Analytical, Nuclear and Environmental Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Students were cheered on through a tunnel of faculty and staff as they go to begin the academic year at Emory & Henry College. 

  • Dr. Tal Stanley keynote speaker.
    Dr. Tal Stanley keynote speaker.
You are part of this teaching and learning. All of us here are co-learners and co-educators together.
-Dr. Tal Stanley

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