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Schreiner Honors Six Faculty Members


Schreiner University announced the recipients of five faculty awards and a professorship following the 2016-2017 academic year. President of the university, Dr. Charlie McCormick, presented the awards at an annual banquet.
The award recipients are as follows: Dr. Barry Shaw, the Margaret Hosler Award for Excellence in Teaching; Dr. Carrie West, the Award for Outstanding Service to the University; Dr. Clark Elliston, the Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity; Dr. Julie Lunsford, the Harriet Garett Award for Teaching Excellence; Marty Lenard, the Elmore Whitehurst Award for Creative Teaching; and Sally Hannay, the Nancy and Cecil Atkisson Professorship.
The Hosler Award honors a teacher who makes a difference in the life of a student. Schreiner University students nominate faculty for this award, then a committee votes and determines the award recipient from among that pool of faculty nominees.
“The award isn’t for someone who gives students the opportunity to be different, but to someone who makes the difference,” said Dr. McCormick. “Believing in students is central to this work.”
Dr. McCormick noted that Shaw provides opportunities for students to apply and practice their knowledge. “Most of these require long van rides, sometimes 14-hour trips. But he does the work. And from a student’s perspective, to be able to say you’ve worked the Final Four or the Super Bowl, that’s incredible. It deeply matters to them that someone will take the time to care so much.”
Dr. West, assistant professor for communication studies, received the Outstanding Service Award because, according one nominator, “She serves the university to serve the university, not to get credit for each extra commitment she takes on.”
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Diana Comuzzie noted that West has assumed a myriad of responsibilities — leading search committees, sponsoring student groups, and more. Dr. West steps up to serve the campus community in many more ways.
“Carrie is always keeping university service in mind, educating her students and the campus community about initiatives such as Soaring Spirits International and Expanding Your Horizons,” said Comuzzie.
Dr. Ellison, assistant professor of religion and philosophy, received his award in recognition of his scholarly work over the last year. He published a manuscript, “Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Ethical Self: Christology, Ethics, and Formation,” and co-authored another, “Theology and the Films of Terrence Malick.” Also, he received a two-year research grant from the Issachar Fund for his project, “Christian Flourishing in a Technological World.”
While doing all of this, he continued to teach a full load of classes, serve on campus committees and engage in university service.
“I don’t know where he finds the time to make it happen between teaching and directing the honors program, but Clark has been publishing up a storm and deserves to be recognized for that scholarly activity,” said one nominator.
For the second year in a row, Dr. Lunsford, assistant professor of nursing, received the Harriet Garett Award, which is voted on by the students.
“It is humbling to receive this award because it requires that a lot of students think you are the best, and that is quite a feat,” said Dr. Comuzzie. “Last year, Julie won as a first-year faculty member. That was really unusual — to be well enough known, and good enough, to be selected in just one year.”
The Whitehurst Creative Teaching Award is annually given to a faculty member who has proposed a project that will allow them to explore a new avenue of teaching. A committee composed of persons from outside the university reads proposals and selects the one they find most promising.
Lenard, who served this year as an adjunct member of the music faculty and will be fulltime in the fall, will use the award’s stipend to implement Project Jumpstart, a lecture series designed to inform students about the variety of careers possible in music.
Hannay, a professor of English, plans to use the Atkisson Professorship to pursue a three-year project to write a collection of 60 sestinas (a fixed verse form) and a children’s book in verse. The professorship provides the time and financial support to such pursuits.
“It is an endorsement that her work as a poet is good and valuable,” said Dr. Comuzzie.
Those nominating Hannay described her as “a wonderful teacher in the classroom, a capable advisor, intelligent, passionate, and deeply spiritual. A mentor and a cherished friend.”