DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD WINNER DR. DONNA WATSON (LEFT) AND DISTINGUISHED STAFF AWARD WINNER BRENDA WORKMAN.
President David Olive welcomed faculty and staff to the traditional year-end event and spoke about the accomplishments of the 2015-2016 academic year, including a successful on-site evaluation from the school’s accrediting agency, the restructuring of the Campus Leadership Team, accreditation milestones for the School of Nursing, progress toward the launch of a new master’s degree in business administration, and national tournament appearances for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Dr. Olive thanked the employees for their efforts in achieving these and other accomplishments of the year. He said all were made possible by BC employees “who go above and beyond their call of duty.” One particular employee, Workman, the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Staff Award, was recognized for her “integrity,” “strong work ethic,” and “leadership” in the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE).
“She demonstrates servant leadership qualities in all of her life and work at Bluefield College,” said Dr. Olive. “She has been a faithful member of the Bluefield College family through much transition and loves serving the college and our students. The light of Christ shines through in all that she does.”
Workman joined the BC staff full time in the fall of 2011 as an administrative assistant for enrollment management after working part-time as director of the Fine Arts Community School. She was soon promoted to an admissions counselor for online students before joining the Academic Center for Excellence. Now, as the assistant director of ACE, she works “tirelessly to assist students,” particularly this year as ACE operated without a director.
“She displays a love for others that can be seen through her day-to-day interactions,” said Dr. Olive. “Through her hard work and determination, she embodies what a true servant leader should be. Bluefield College is very fortunate to have her on staff.”
Dr. Marshall Flowers, vice president for academic affairs, joined Dr. Olive in presenting the Distinguished Faculty Award to Dr. Watson, a 20-year veteran professor. She was recognized for her “creative and effective teaching,” “personal and professional integrity,” and “commitment to the mission of the college.”
“The Distinguished Faculty Award honors dedicated and exceptional service to Bluefield College,” said Dr. Flowers. “Dr. Watson’s overall service to Bluefield exceeds the criteria. As a result, her faculty colleagues cast their votes confidently for her exemplary leadership.”
A 1980 graduate of Bluefield College, Dr. Watson joined the BC faculty in 1996, teaching for her mentor and founder of the Division of Education Dr. Gerald Clay. She became chair of the division after Dr. Clay’s retirement in 2006 and later dean of the School of Education in 2013. This year, Dr. Flowers noted, she led the School of Education through its quest for reaffirmation of accreditation with the Teacher Education Accreditation Council and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
As part of the year-end awards program, the college also presented Service Awards to employees with extended years of service, including Walter Shroyer, professor and chair of the Art Department (25 years); Mimi Merritt, assistant professor of communication and director of institutional effectiveness (20 years); Dr. Donna Watson, professor and dean of the School of Education (20 years); Dr. Barry Losey, instructor for online degree programs (15 years); Rebecca McCoy-Reese, assistant professor of theatre (15 years); Dr. Doug Minnix, associate professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science (15 years); Kenneth Newman, online admissions counselor (15 years); Charles Reese, associate professor of theatre (15 years); Bryan Frazier, office manager for enrollment management (10 years); Phyllis Owens, assistant professor of education (10 years); Tabitha Price, operations office assistant for enrollment management (10 years); Dr. Deborah Rullman, instructor for online degree programs (10 years); Vanessa Scruggs, office manager for institutional advancement (10 years); Brenda Workman, assistant director of the Academic Center for Excellence (10 years); Dr. Ramona Alger, instructor for online degree programs (five years); Trent Argo, vice president for enrollment management and student development (five years); Paula Beasley, reference and electronic resources librarian (five years); Erika Bell, head athletic trainer and assistant softball coach (five years); Dr. Bonny Dillon, associate professor of psychology (five years); Caroline Dixon, payroll, benefits and compensation manager (five years); Kevin Downer, assistant professor of exercise and sport science and director of sport and recreation management (five years); Harold Graham, instructor for online degree programs (five years); Jon Leftwich, campus safety officer (five years); Dr. Carolyn Lewis, professor of nursing (five years); Dr. Martin Offield, professor of biology (five years); Dr. Irene Rieger, assistant professor and chair of the Department of English (five years); Will Robinson, director of campus safety (five years); Mark Sarver, head coach for men’s and women’s tennis (five years); and Tamara Williams, instructor for online degree programs (five years).
The year-end employee awards ceremony also included recognition for four BC professors who recently received promotions from the school’s Board of Trustees: Dr. Bonny Dillon, promoted from associate professor of psychology to full professor of psychology; Dr. Emily Lambert, promoted from assistant professor of biology to associate professor of biology; Werner Lind, promoted from assistant librarian to full librarian; and Dr. Charles Priest, promoted from assistant professor of music to associate professor of music. All four professors were acknowledged for their exemplary teaching and for their service to the college, their profession, the church and the community.