Winthrop University: Business Professor Barbara Burgess-Wilkerson Earns Top Teaching Award
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Business Professor Barbara Burgess-Wilkerson Earns Top Teaching Award

December 07, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The award was established in honor of former president James Pinckney Kinard and his wife, Lee Wicker Kinard, in 1984 by their family.
  • Burgess-​Wilkerson has developed the Wilkerson Emotional Intelligence Test for Academics and Careers, for which she was named the Thompson Scholar in 2016-17. The test and her ongoing research are designed to help students identify their areas of strength and weakness as they prepare for their professional lives.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University will honor Barbara Burgess-Wilkerson with its top teaching award at its Dec. 18 Commencement ceremony.

A professor in the College of Business Administration, Burgess-Wilkerson is the 2021 recipient of the James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was established in honor of former president James Pinckney Kinard and his wife, Lee Wicker Kinard, in 1984 by their family.

Burgess-Wilkerson joined the Winthrop faculty in 2006 as an associate professor of management and director of student professional development. Promoted to professor in 2018, she teaches business communication, professional development and organizational leadership courses.

Administrators call Burgess-Wilkerson a passionate teacher whose legacy is preparing Winthrop students for professional careers. She provides activities to help students develop professionally, such as the Student Professional Development Conference, mock interview days and through individual consultation.

“Professor Burgess-Wilkerson is a visionary who is committed to student success,” said P.N. Saksena, dean of the business college. “She has led student professional development in the college for more than 15 years. Her initiatives have helped our alumni gain a competitive edge in their careers.” 

Provost Adrienne McCormick noted that Burgess-Wilkerson has provided many models of success for the team that is preparing the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which will focus on improving the career readiness skills of all Winthrop students.

Helping Ready Winthrop Students for Professional Careers

Burgess-​Wilkerson also has developed the Wilkerson Emotional Intelligence Test for Academics and Careers, for which she was named the Thompson Scholar in 2016-17. The test and her ongoing research are designed to help students identify their areas of strength and weakness as they prepare for their professional lives.

A forerunner in bringing technology to the classroom, Burgess-Wilkerson spent countless hours to become highly skilled in the use of Blackboard as an online teaching tool by creating and integrating tutorials and opportunities for group work. Under her direction, the business communications courses also have undergone a major transformation to better equip students.

She has an excellent rapport with students and, as a result of her dedication, is fondly known as “Dr. B-Dub,” a friend and mentor to many students. She helped found the College of Business Administration’s Clothes Closet, which gave faculty and staff members a chance to donate gently used professional clothing for students. Dozens of students have benefitted to date.

Burgess-Wilkerson earned a B.S. in social work-psychology from Edinboro University, an M.S. degree in educational administration from Gannon University, and a Ph.D. in administration and policy studies-social and comparative analysis from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to coming to Winthrop, she was an organizational consultant for 18 years serving the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas.

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

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Last Updated: 10/13/22