Gibson, Lima and Bloomquist Earn Prestigious Faculty Awards

April 19, 2024


  • Philip Gibson, Hope Lima and Kori Bloomquist will be honored at Commencement exercises with faculty awards for their scholarship, mentorship of students and service to the university. 
  • Commencement exercises will take place on May 2 and 4 at Winthrop Coliseum.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University will recognize the outstanding achievements of three dedicated faculty members during upcoming Commencement ceremonies in May at the Winthrop Coliseum.

During the 10 a.m. May 4 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony for visual and performing arts plus arts and sciences graduates, President Edward Serna ’02 will honor Assistant Professor of Human Nutrition Hope Lima with the Outstanding Junior Professor Award. Later that day, at 3 p.m. during a ceremony for business and education graduates, Serna will acknowledge Finance Professor Philip Gibson as the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award.

A third faculty award – the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award – will be given to Kori Bloomquist, an associate professor in the Department of Social Work, at the Graduate Commencement ceremony on May 2 at 7 p.m.

Read more about the honorees:

Philip Gibson - Distinguished Professor

A finance professor in the College of Business Administration, Gibson will receive the highest honor given to Winthrop faculty members. The award is presented to educators who demonstrate exceptional teaching skills, undergo significant research or creative efforts, hold a high standing among professional colleagues, and provide general service to the university.

Gibson joined the Winthrop faculty in 2014 as an assistant professor, then was promoted to associate professor in 2018 and to professor in 2022. He holds two directorship roles in the College of Business Administration, as director of the financial planning program and of the Charles Schwab Professional Development program.

He was hired when his department was in the very early stages of introducing the financial planning program. Since then, his efforts culminated last year with a generous gift from the Charles Schwab Foundation to support the program. In addition he has secured numerous other gifts from such donors as TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo Advisors to support Winthrop business students in their professional development efforts, to fund scholarships and to travel to professional conferences. 

His research interests include retirement wellness, mutual fund performance, asset management, the impact of financial education on retirement preparedness, conflicts of interest among financial advisors and retirement planning. 

His department chair noted that Gibson excels in other key areas. He is an accomplished scholar who has won two awards from his peers for his research. He is one of the most published faculty members in the college and frequently mentors junior colleagues in co-authoring articles. He has been highly engaged in the life of the university and his profession in committee work and in leadership roles at all levels of the university, college and his department. He has received training in a mentorship program through the Ph.D. Project, an organization that works to increase the number of minority business school faculty.

In the financial advice industry, Gibson was recognized as an up-and-comer professional by Investment News in 2020 and as one of 50 under 50 influential African American advisors by the Association of African American Advisors in 2021 and 2022. At Winthrop, he was given the 2018 CBA Excellence in Service Award.

A native of Jamaica, he earned a business administration degree with a concentration in finance from Prairie View A&M University and a Ph.D. in financial planning from Texas Tech University. 

Hope Lima - Outstanding Junior Professor

The Outstanding Junior Professor award recognizes excellence among assistant professors for inspired teaching, research or creative excellence, and for dedication to the welfare of students.

An assistant professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Lima started at Winthrop in 2018 and has proven to be a highly productive and engaged scholar who is student-centered in her teaching, research and service to the institution. Her field is human lactation which she studies from a behavioral and biomedical perspective and as a specifically nutritional science. Since her arrival at Winthrop, she has authored several articles appearing in peer-reviewed publications, won two external grants and brought a biennial lactation conference to the campus. 

Lima has conceived and won approval for a certificate in medical lactation program under the auspices of the international disciplinary Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee. It involves a partnership with a local medical center and multiple private lactation providers. Such a certificate is helpful to Winthrop students because it will round out their dietetic expertise. 

Colleagues noted that Lima has found a synergy among her research, teaching and commitment to student well-being. She has included students in her research, engaged in Winthrop’s INBRE program and supervised both honors and master’s thesis work. In addition, she served as the graduate program director during the recent transformation of the department’s master’s degree in human nutrition to online, which involved a significant amount of work to supervise the program’s course development and to shoulder teaching three of the courses. 

A vocal advocate for first-generation and underserved students, she serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences to give voice to those students and the faculty who teach them.

Lima earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in nutrition and animal science and a Ph.D. in nutrition, both from North Carolina State University. 

Kori Bloomquist - Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award

An associate professor with the Department of Social Work, Bloomquist will receive the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award, which was established in 2008 by LaRoche, a former board member and Winthrop alumna. It recognizes outstanding teaching at the graduate level and significant contributions to graduate education at Winthrop.  

Bloomquist joined the Winthrop faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor and was promoted in 2021 to an associate professor. Earlier this year, she was named the 2024-25 Thompson Scholar so she could design a Fostering Eagle Empowerment program to attract and support former foster youth on campus.

During her nine years as a graduate faculty member, Bloomquist has engaged in independent research and secured grant and contract funds that benefitted students and the department. She served as the interim director for the M.S.W. program in 2017-18 and engaged in the critical work associated with the launch of the online M.S.W. in fall 2018. She also launched the child welfare minor at Winthrop.

She is the primary investigator and program liaison for the Winthrop-S.C. Department of Social Services Child Welfare M.S.W. Scholars & Tuition Assistance Program, an initiative that provides nearly $700,000 in tuition assistance and stipends for students seeking a child welfare career. She worked on a five-county needs assessment program for Carolina Community Actions and engaged a Winthrop graduate student in the project. 

Her colleagues said she brings a contagious level of enthusiasm and genuine concern for inclusion and belonging to all her graduate courses. She is a first-generation college student and chose the field of social work for the role that it plays in shaping the welfare of the community. 

At Winthrop, Bloomquist teaches courses in the areas of pre-adoptive placement disruption, adoption from foster care, state child welfare evaluation, Adverse Childhood Experiences, attitudes on poverty and social class, and social worker self-care and professional well-being. She has supervised, mentored and directed 110 capstone projects within the program.

She holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. in social work, all from Indiana University. Prior to coming to Winthrop, Bloomquist taught for the Indiana University School of Social Work on the Indianapolis campus. She has more than 10 years of direct practice experience in child welfare and additional practice experience in mental health, disability services and gerontology.  

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