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04/21/2017

Three Faculty Members Tapped for Awards for Outstanding Work

Quick Facts

 On May 4, President Dan Mahony will present the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award to Siobhan Brownson, an associate professor of English.
 During the May 6 undergraduate Commencement ceremonies, the president will bestow the Distinguished Professor Award on John Bird, a professor of English, and the Outstanding Junior Professor Award on Adam Glover, an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

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Siobhan Brownson
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John Bird
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Adam Glover
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University will present three awards to outstanding faculty during the May Commencement exercises.

On May 4, President Dan Mahony will present the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award to Siobhan Brownson, an associate professor of English. The presentation will occur during the 7 p.m. graduate Commencement ceremony at the Winthrop Coliseum, where master’s or specialist degrees will be awarded to nearly 230 graduate degree candidates.

During the May 6 undergraduate Commencement ceremonies, the president will bestow the Distinguished Professor Award on John Bird, a professor of English, and the Outstanding Junior Professor Award on Adam Glover, an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

This year’s undergraduate commencement activities will be split into two ceremonies. The faculty awards will be presented at 10 a.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum during the ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. A 3 p.m. Commencement will be held for those graduating from the Richard W. Riley College of Education and the College of Business Administration.

The first undergraduate ceremony will involve nearly 400 seniors in arts and sciences and visual and performing arts, while the afternoon ceremony will honor nearly 315 seniors in business administration and education, as well as the Think College graduates.

Distinguished Professor Award
John Bird is the 2017 Distinguished Professor. The designation is the highest honor the Winthrop community bestows upon a faculty member.

Bird joined the Winthrop faculty in 1993 as an associate professor of English and was promoted to professor in 2005. Known around the campus as an evangelist for high quality teaching, he is the recipient of several teaching awards, including Winthrop’s James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005. Other notable Winthrop awards include serving as the Margaret M. Bryant Professor of English since 2014 and as a Thompson Scholar in 2009-10.

Nationally recognized as a Mark Twain scholar, Bird publishes prolifically, has edited a journal and served as president and vice president of the Mark Twain Circle. Most recently, he discovered in Twain’s papers some notes about a bedtime story for his daughters. The discovery, which is the only known Twain bedtime story in existence, recently was featured in the New York Times.
Bird also has played a prominent role in decisions affecting academics and faculty life. He provided steady leadership for the past four years as chair of the Faculty Conference and as director of the Teaching and Learning Center.

Outstanding Junior Professor
Adam Glover is the 2017 Outstanding Junior Professor. His selection indicates a reputation for inspired teaching, research or creative excellence and dedication to the welfare of students.

Glover joined the Winthrop faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. In his four years here, he has distinguished himself as a prolific scholar and teacher. His interests are in theology/philosophy, literature, 19th and 20th century Latin American literature and Caribbean studies. He handles all of the Spanish program’s advanced courses but also enthusiastically operates as an ambassador by teaching courses in several areas of the university. He is successful in teaching students across the academic spectrum, from introductory to advanced levels.

In addition, Glover has co-led two study abroad experiences, one in 2013 to Chile and in 2015 to Cuba. And he has forged new ground in his department in encouraging undergraduate research with the oversight of a recent independent project in religious studies. He has been a key participant in the conception and realization of the Global Friends program to support Winthrop’s global learning initiative to pair international students with other students interested in learning a second language or first-hand exposure to other cultures.

LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award
Siobhan Brownson, an associate professor of English, is the 2017 recipient of the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award. This award, established in 2008 by a Winthrop Board of Trustee member, recognizes outstanding teaching at the graduate level and significant contributions to graduate education at Winthrop.

Brownson joined the Winthrop faculty in 1997 as an instructor, although she had worked for the university earlier in her career as a lecturer. She became an assistant professor in 2002 and was promoted to an associate professor in 2008. She served as the director of composition and as program assessment coordinator for the Department of English. Selected as the director of the master of liberal arts program in 2015, she was chosen because of her ardent defense of the liberal arts and of learning for its own sake. With her knowledge of assessment, her vision and her formidable organizational skills, she has made significant contributions to graduate education first in the English master’s program and now in the liberal arts program.

An active scholar, Brownson recently published a co-edited collection of “Thomas Hardy’s Short Stories: New Perspectives” (Routledge, 2017), which brings together leading Hardy scholars. Hardy was prominent in the Victorian period, but there has been little sustained study of his short stories in scholarly literature. The book is part of a distinguished series and is expected to contribute widely to the field. Brownson has shown great leadership and professional stewardship on campus. She is the recipient of the 2015-16 Excellence in Service departmental award and serves on the Executive Board of the South Carolina Women in Higher Education.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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