Faculty & Staff - April 23, 2019

Dear Colleagues: 

As I mentioned at today’s Faculty, Staff and Retirees awards ceremony, Winthrop will confer during spring Commencement ceremonies awards on faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional service to the institution and a dedication to student learning. 

The Distinguished Professor Award is the highest honor Winthrop can bestow upon a faculty member. It is presented in recognition of exceptional skills in teaching, significant research or creative effort, high standing among professional colleagues, and service to the university and community. It is my pleasure to announce Dr. Cara Peters, professor of marketing, as the 2019 Distinguished Professor.

The Outstanding Junior Professor Award is given to an assistant professor who has demonstrated a commitment to inspired teaching, creative scholarship and dedicated service to students. Dr. Stephanie Lawson, an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, is to be congratulated as the 2019 Outstanding Junior Professor.

The Distinguished Professor and Outstanding Junior Professor awards will be presented at the 3 p.m. Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 4.

The LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award is given to a 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 the university. Please join me now and on May 2 at the Graduate Commencement ceremony in congratulating Dr. Laura Gardner, a professor of fine arts and program coordinator of art education in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, as the recipient of the 2019 LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award.

Below is a press release with more about these outstanding faculty members. The release will go out to our larger Winthrop community shortly. Please join me now and at graduation in thanking these faculty members for their extraordinary contributions to Winthrop University.


Three Winthrop Faculty Members Honored with Annual Awards

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University will honor two marketing faculty members at its May 4 Commencement ceremony for their scholarship and creative teaching methods.

President Dan Mahony will recognize Professor Cara Peters as recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award, the highest recognition for faculty members, and Assistant Professor Stephanie Lawson with the Outstanding Junior Professor Award at one of two graduation events.

There will be two Commencements on May 4 at Winthrop Coliseum – one at 10 a.m. for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts and another at 3 p.m. for those graduating from the Richard W. Riley College of Education and the College of Business Administration. Peters and Lawson will be honored at the afternoon event.

A third faculty award will go to Professor Laura Gardner of the College of Visual and Performing Arts during the May 2 Graduate Commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Winthrop Coliseum. She will be honored with the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award. 

Read more about the honorees:

Distinguished Professor 
Cara Peters is the 2019 Distinguished Professor. The designation is the highest honor the Winthrop community can bestow on a faculty member.

A faculty member in the Department of Management and Marketing, Peters has served on the College of Business Administration’s leadership team as assistant and associate dean for professional development.

She teaches a wide variety of courses including the principles of marketing, advertising, e-commerce, marketing management, qualitative market research, personal selling and global marketing. An active and prolific scholar, Peters has built a record of high quality publications in top journals. A firm believer in helping the community through her research, Peters and a colleague have studied the economic development efforts of the nearby Catawba Indian Nation. 

In addition, her research on Black Friday and NASCAR fans have garnered positive press for the college and for Winthrop.

Peters has won two other Winthrop faculty awards: the 2010 LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award and the 2009 Kinard Award for excellence in teaching. 

Outstanding Junior Professor
Stephanie Lawson is the 2019 Outstanding Junior Professor. An assistant professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, she has professional experience in marketing management and research in the healthcare, transportation and retail industries. 

Lawson has shown a commitment to quality online instruction delivery by taking a flexible approach to reformulating courses to reflect the benefits of online education.

She has developed a capstone course for M.B.A.-marketing concentration students so they could complete marketing plans for several area businesses including two owned by Winthrop alumni. She also initiated the “Marketing Me” project where she challenged students to imagine their professional and personal lives five years from now.

Her research covers collaborative consumption, services, sustainability and Native American marketing issues.

Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award
Laura Gardner, a professor of fine arts and program coordinator of art education in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, is the 2019 Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award recipient.

Gardner began her career teaching art to young children in the Hudson Valley. A letterpress printer and book artist, she has worked as an illustrator and specialty painter in New York and the Carolinas.

At Winthrop, Gardner directed, until 2012, two graduate programs: the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and the Master of Arts in Art Education. She has received numerous grants and awards in the areas of pedagogy, service learning, arts education, book arts, and letterpress printing, including a 2018 award from the South Carolina Art Education Association for her mentoring.

Gardner also studies how to integrate educational technology into academics for art educators.

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