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BPC president reports encouraging outlook in State of College address
Dr. David Smith
MOUNT VERNON—Dr. David Smith, president of Brewton-Parker college, encouraged faculty and staff with “Five Fs,” faculty and their achievements, facility improvement, fundraising, faith-based activities and the college’s future, during his annual “State of the College” address August 16 in Gilder Recital Hall on BPC’s main campus.
With regards to the faculty at BPC, Dr. Smith announced the beginning of a mentoring program for new faculty members and mentioned several recent faculty achievements.
New faculty members hired for the 2006-2007 academic year include: Dr. Camille Castorina – Associate Professor, Business; Mr. George Mosley – Instructor, English; Dr. Mark Mosher – Associate Professor, Spanish; Dr. Mary Waalkes – Associate Professor, History; Mr. Harry Vogel - Assistant Professor, Sociology; Dr. Julie Tiu – Assistant Professor, Sociology; and, Ms. Shelia Simmons – Assistant Professor, Education, Health & PE.
The new faculty mentoring program will begin this semester and will be headed by Dr. Lee Cheek and faculty provost, Dr. T. Ronald Melton. “This remarkable new mentoring program will provide our new faculty with a better transition to academia,” Dr. Smith said.
The highlighted faculty achievements included a healthy mix of academic publishing and nominations to prestigious institutions. Those announced included the following:
- Dr. Bill Faw, professor of psychology and dean of BPC’s external programs, made a presentation at Oxford University (Oxford, England) on alexithymia, a condition by which certain persons are unable to get in touch with their true emotional state;
- Dr. Christopher Jones, an associate professor of chemistry, gave several presentations at the American Chemical Society Conference in Atlanta;
- Dr. Kevin McCranie, an assistant professor of history, published Admiral Lord Keith and the Naval War against Napoleon;
- Dr. H. Lee Cheek Jr., chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division and professor of political science and philosophy, was named to the Humanitas Editorial Board, and served as guest expert on the PBS series “History Detectives”;
- Dr. Ruth Ellen Porter, Grace Lorentzsen Hyatt chair of English and associate professor of foreign language, attended an NEH Institute in Ferrum, Va.;
- Dr. Glenn Eernisse, chair of the music division and associate professor of music, was elected Vice President, Education Division of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference;
- Dr. Smith presented a paper, “Reconsidering the Economy of Scale: How Small Universities Can Positively Affect Higher Education’s Internalization” at an international education conference in Qingdao, China.
In speaking about facility improvements, Dr. Smith
Dr. Smith announced the late spring acquisition of two parcels of adjoining property in Ailey and Mount Vernon, one of which will provide access to the Briscoe Center, across the street from the main campus. The college also acquired 12.1 acres of land on the west side of the main campus for a scenic two-lane entry, to be constructed with the help of the city and state.
In the realm of renovations, Robinson Hall, a former male dormitory built in 1945, is in the process of being renovated for rehearsal rooms and a music technology center. The long term goal is to use the historic on-campus building as a student residence.
Plans are also under way to re-purpose the Lee House, a historic home off-campus, for faculty and staff apartments. Smith said construction on four large apartments will begin during this calendar year.
The Phillips Student Center snack bar will receive an upgrade to its interiors, making it “more attractive,” Smith said.
New construction projects include the addition of the $1 million Hildegard Stanley Music Center. Construction will begin this fall thanks to more than $1 million in fundraising since December, 2005, Smith said. This annex to the Miller Music Building will include a band hall, studio offices and the possibility to add a music recording studio at a later date. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held Oct. 19 in conjunction with the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Smith commended the Division of Math and Sciences, and biology professor Dr. David McMillin, for their efforts to build a 1.6 mile nature trail on the main campus, which is scheduled to open late fall.
In other outdoor facility improvements, Smith announced plans to improve Jones Lake. The project includes draining and dredging the lake, building an island on one end with a gazebo and a new pier to replace the unusable one.
With regards to fundraising, Dr. Smith was proud to announce that over $1 million has been raised in the college’s $2.5 million capital campaign, which began last December. Smith credits the impressive fundraising to the staff in the Office of College Advancement, under the direction of its new vice president, Pam Davis.
Davis, originally from Jesup, Ga., started at BPC this past April. Other new staff members in College Advancement are Roger Byrd, director of Alumni Relations, and Gena Hart, administrative assistant.
The college and its faculty and staff participated in many faith-based activities, ranging from a local missions group traveling to Pascagoula, Miss., to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina to two students providing language translation at an international conference.
The college’s main campus was the site of two summer music camps, sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Convention. One of the camps included the first ever GBC All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra, which held rehearsals at Brewton-Parker before departing on a concert tour of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.
Other external and main campus activities included a Community Block Party at Brewton-Parker’s Hinesville campus in July. Over 200 people attended the event and met the campus’ new director, Sandra Jenkins.
One of the upcoming activities will feature the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubal Chorus concert, Thursday, Oct. 12 in Saliba Chapel. The concert is part of the 50th annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Church Music Conference, which will be held on the Mount Vernon campus.