Dr. Hill and students

Jones honored by S.C. Independent Colleges, Universities

 Wofford professor among recipients of prestigious award

Dr. Trina Jones, associate professor of religion, was honored recently.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College professor Dr. Katherine Janiec (Trina) Jones recently received the Excellence in Teaching Award presented by South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Inc. (SCICU) in a ceremony in Columbia, S.C.

Jones, an associate professor of religion, was selected by Wofford to represent the college as its recipient of the award. Each of the 20 member institutions of the SCICU consortium selects one faculty member each year to receive the award, which includes a professional development stipend for the professor. Each recipient is chosen by his or her institution according to rigorous criteria. The most important characteristic of the nominees is their demonstration of the highest standards in teaching methods that encourage students to strive for excellence in their studies and pursuits.

“Trina Jones quickly established herself on our campus as a superb teacher and an ideal community member for a liberal arts college campus,” Wofford President Benjamin B. Dunlap says. “Her contributions go far beyond her excellent classroom instruction. She is indeed a gift to our learning community. Students consistently heap high praise on her for her classroom instruction and her work with them outside the classroom.

Senior Vice President and Dean of the College Dr. David S. Wood adds, “Trina is exquisitely educated and is well recognized within her discipline. More importantly, she possesses the special combination of skills, intellect and commitment that so often characterizes the outstanding teacher. Trina is admired and loved by students and colleagues alike. None of this is a surprise to those who have the pleasure of watching her work with young people on our campus. Her commitment and dedication to our important effort serves as an inspiration to us all.”

Jones, who joined the Wofford faculty in 2006, earned her B.A from Davidson College, the M.A. from the University of Chicago, and the Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She served as assistant professor of religion for eight years at Transylvania University in Kentucky prior to joining Wofford. At Transylvania she was awarded the Monroe Moosmich Teaching Award and the Bingham Award for New Faculty. Her specialty is in religions of the Asian and South Asian world and she has received numerous research and teaching grants, including funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Lilly Project on the Theological Exploration of Vocation. She has led workshops sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning, among others, and has been an active presenter in programs of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Jones is a dedicated and committed teacher and personifies the essence of the concept of master teacher and lifelong learner at Wofford, Wood says. “Her work with advising and mentoring students is highly regarded on campus and her influence extends throughout the region and the nation. Comments about her from faculty and students frequently note that she is a creative and resourceful teacher, a supportive mentor, and a collaborator and colleague of the first order. While presenting students with difficult and demanding material, she challenges them to rise to new heights in what they can achieve and as such, is effective in developing of our most precious resource, the untapped capabilities of young minds.”

SCICU was established in 1953 with the primary mission of promoting independent higher education in South Carolina. SCICU seeks to advance independent higher education through fundraising, scholarships, research, and by facilitating collaborative activities among the 20 member institutions, which educate nearly 33,000 students each year. For additional information about SCICU, contact Mike LeFever or Brenda Torrance at 803-799-7122, or visit www.scicu.org.