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Faculty, Staff Earn Distinctions (Nov. 2012)

A host of Bluefield College faculty and staff earned a variety of professional development distinctions during the fall 2012 academic semester.

Chris Shoemaker

November 29, 2012


Sarah Beamer



Ruth Blankenship


Dr. Bob Boozer


crystal kieloch
Crystal Kieloch


Dr. Emily Lambert


Werner Lind


Sarah Beamer, BC’s vice president for finance, was nominated in August for a Virginia Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Award. Sponsored by Virginia Business magazine, theawards recognize achievements by chief financial officers in non-profit organizations, private companies, and publicly traded companies throughout the state.


Ruth Blankenship, vice president for advancement, was appointed in November by Governor Bob McDonnell to the Virginia Cave Board. A branch of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Cave Board serves as an advisory board on matters related to caves, including rescue, ownership, and recreation. In addition to the state board appointment, Blankenship was named an Honorary Alumna of Bluefield College in October by the BC Alumni Association.


Dr. Bob Boozer, director of general education and associate professor of psychology; Wendy Beavers, assistant professor of history; Dr. Marsha Mead, assistant professor of psychology; Phyllis Owens, assistant professor of education; and Dr. Donna Watson, dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education presented “From the Mountains to the Ivory Tower: Appalachian Cultural Competency in College Teaching” during the Appalachian College Association’s Annual Summit in Knoxville, Tennessee, in October.


Crystal Kieloch, director of the school’s Academic and Career Excellence Center, became a Blue Ridge Writing Project Fellow and Teacher Consultant by participating in the Blue Ridge Writing Project Invitational Summer 2012 Institute at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. This four-week institute is designed for teachers of writing and is a regional extension of the National Writing Project. In addition to attending the Writing Institute, Kieloch served as the lead narrative writer this fall for Bluefield College’s Quality Enhancement Plan for accreditation, titled “The Confident Communicator.”


Dr. Emily Lambert, dean of the College of Sciences and assistant professor of biology, published a manuscript, “In Vitro and In Vivo Analyses of the Bacillus Anthracis Spore Cortex Lytic Protein SleL” in the fall of 2012. She also authored a chapter, “Degradation of Spore Peptidoglycan during Germiantion” in the book “Bacterial Spores: Current Research and Applications.”


Werner Lind, assistant director of library services, received a grant from the Appalachian College Association (ACA) to attend the Association of Christian LibrariansAnnual Conference at Palm Beach (FL) Atlantic University in June 2012.


Dr. Rob Merritt, dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of English, offered a poetry reading of his book, “The Language of Longing,” in September at Virginia Intermont College to an audience of more than 100 students as part of VI’s Convocation Series. Dr. Merritt also chaired a panel discussion on “Appalachian Visions of China” this fall at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Convention. In addition, he participated in the Blue Ridge Writing Project Invitational Summer 2012 Institute at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, in order to become a Blue Ridge Writing Project Fellow.


Phyllis Owens, assistant professor of education, was a featured presenter at the Appalachian Heritage Writer Symposium in June. With Dr. Donna Watson, dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education, Owens drafted a proposal for a master’s degree program in education at BC and wrote a grant, which was just recently approved for special education at BC. Dr. Watson also served as chair of an audit team for program approval during a site visit by the Virginia Department of Education at Sweet Briar (VA) College in August.


Dr. Irene Rieger, assistant professor of English, presented a paper, “Maternity and Sewing in Under-read New Woman Fiction,” at the National Conference of the College EnglishAssociation. In addition, Dr. Rieger wrote a piece, titled “Matters of Dress: French Feminisms and Depictions of Dress in Jane Eyre,” for the “Journal of Liberal Arts Studies.”


Dr. Tracey Stout, associate professor of Christian studies, and Mimi Merritt, assistant professor of communication, attended a three-week Jesse Ball DuPont Seminar in June on New Testament Apocrypha at the National Humanities Center. Dr. Stout also presented a paper, titled “Baptist Sacramentalism: Engaging Recent Baptist Sacramental Theology,” at the Baptist History and Heritage Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, in June.


April Workman, assistant professor of education, continued to develop this fall a Community Autism Support Team (CAST), a group of educators she helped organize last year to improve services available to Tazewell County students with autism. The group provides in-service staff development to faculty and staff in the Tazewell County Public Schoolsystem and offers similar training to Bluefield College student teachers and BC special education majors for the purpose of preparing them for the challenges of teaching students with autism.




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