ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University will honor three faculty members for their engaging teaching, outstanding scholarship and service to others during upcoming graduation exercises.
During the May 8 undergraduate ceremony, President Anthony DiGiorgio will bestow the Distinguished Professor Award on Douglas Eckberg, professor of sociology, and the Outstanding Junior Professor Award to Courtney Starrett, assistant professor of fine arts. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum to confer bachelor’s degrees to more than 600 students.
On May 6, DiGiorgio will present the Graduate Faculty Award to Cara Peters, an associate professor for marketing in the College of Business Administration. The presentation will occur during the 7 p.m. graduate ceremony at the Winthrop Coliseum, where master’s degrees will be given to more than 240 students.
Learn more about these inspiring professors:
Sociology Professor Doug Eckberg has been selected as the 2010 Distinguished Professor of the Year.
As the highest honor Winthrop University bestows upon a faculty member, the award honors a faculty member for his or her superior skill in teaching, significant research or creative effort, high standing among professional colleagues and general service to the university.
Eckberg joined the Winthrop faculty in 1987 and served as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology for a decade from 1998-2008. During that time, he is credited with adding the criminology concentration, providing for the seamless incorporation of anthropology into the sociology department and ushering in unparalleled growth in both the number of majors/minors and faculty productivity.
He was one of the earliest advocates for undergraduate student research and continues to take groups of undergraduates to sociological meetings each spring. He welcomes new technologies and is offering all his course materials through electronic avenues.
A nationally respected scholar, Eckberg has made significant contributions to understanding religion, social attitudes and most recently, the historical demography of crime. He has written more than 30 referred articles/commentaries/technical reports and 70 professional paper presentations and is widely cited by others in the discipline.
Selected as president of the Southwestern Sociological Association and the Southwestern Social Science Association, he has been the recipient of a Harry Frank Guggenheim foundation and Fulbright-Hays grants and is co-director of the Historical Violence Database housed at Ohio State University.
Eckberg holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Courtney Starrett, an assistant professor of fine arts, is the 2010 Outstanding Junior Professor of the Year.
The Outstanding Junior Professor award honors an assistant professor who has attained distinction in a number of areas including inspired teaching, excellence in research or creative activity, and dedication to the welfare of students.
Since her arrival in 2006, Starrett has proved to be an exceptional teacher and talented artist. Her tremendous energy, leadership and vision have revitalized the jewelry/metals program in exciting ways. One of her first curriculum actions was to initiate the establishment of the jewelry/metals program as a distinct B.F.A. concentration separate from sculpture.
Her emphasis on new jewelry-making technologies and materials has helped distinguish the jewelry/metals program as one of the premier programs of the region in this discipline. She has challenged students to master a broad range of jewelry and metalworking techniques and has incorporated the latest in 3-D digital technology into her lesson plans.
As the number of jewelry/metal students has grown, there is a sense of pride and community among the students, who have formed a Guild of Emerging Metalsmiths and held a third annual Valentine Day sale to raise money to attend educational conferences. Last year, three graduates were accepted into graduate programs with assistantships.
Starrett’s own work was featured on the cover in 2008 of Metalsmith Magazine, the only non-metals piece to ever appear on the cover. She will present papers this year in England and Greece, as well as hold a solo exhibition this fall at 1912 Gallery at Emory and Henry College in Virginia. She holds a B.F.A. in design from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. in metals/jewelry/CAD-CAM from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
Graduate Faculty Award
The 2010 recipient is Cara Peters, an associate professor of marketing in the College of Business Administration.
The Graduate Faculty Award is given to a graduate faculty member who holds the rank of associate or full professor, has a record of outstanding teaching at the graduate level, and has made a significant contribution to the quality of graduate education at Winthrop.
In addition to teaching in graduate programs, Peters has been extremely active in graduate faculty service roles. She served on the Graduate Council from 2006-09 and served as chair of Graduate Council during 2007-08. As a member of the College of Business’ M.B.A. curriculum review team, Peters will help evaluate the content and delivery methods of courses to shape the next iteration of the M.B. A. program. She is faculty advisor for the student chapter of the American Marketing Association and sits on the University Budget Priorities Committee.
Since coming to Winthrop in 2004, Peters has consistently been rated one of the most effective professors in terms of student evaluations of teaching effectiveness. Her work with students in collaboration with the business community and General Motors has brought accolades to Winthrop. She is a model for how creative teaching is tied directly to student learning and business service.
A prolific researcher and writer, Peters has published numerous articles in the Journal of Consumer Psychology; Consumption, Markets and Culture; and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Colleagues said her intellectual contributions position her as one of the most productive and talented marketing scholars not only at Winthrop but in the nation. Not only has she published in some of the highest ranking journals in the field, but she is asked to review for them and her recommendations have substantial impact on editorial decisions.
Peters was the recipient of the business college’s highest award, the Wachovia Teaching Award, in 2006 and its Faculty Service Award for 2007-08, making her the only business faculty member to have won in two of the college’s three award categories. At the December undergraduate Commencement exercises, Peters was honored with the university’s Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching. She holds a B.A. in management from Luther College and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Nebraska.