Dr. Hill and students

Two named to endowed professorships at Wofford

Moss, Sykes recognized for academic work

Moss and Sykes 382x255
Dr. Robert E. Moss, left, and Dr. David A. Sykes receive recognition
2015-09-30

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Two Wofford College professors have been named to endowed professorships at the college, Provost Dennis Wiseman has announced.

Dr. Robert E. Moss has been named as the college’s third Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla Professor of Biology. Dr. David A. Sykes has been named the Larry Hearn McCalla Professor of Computer Science.

“Gifted faculty members are at the heart of an outstanding liberal arts education, and endowed professorships allow Wofford to attract and retain these exceptional teachers,” Wiseman says. “Dr. Moss and Dr. Sykes are stellar examples of the extraordinary teachers we have here. The gifts provided through endowed professorships and chairs are important to helping the college provide the best possible teaching environment for our students, and we are grateful to those who have made them possible.”

Both of the McCalla professorships were made possible through a 1993 bequest from the estate of the late Homozel Mickel Daniel and named for Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla. Dr. McCalla is a 1943 graduate of Wofford who also served on the college’s board of trustees. He was a much beloved Greenville, S.C., surgeon whom Mrs. Daniel chose to honor with the naming of the professorships for him and his wife. Moss received his B.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. degree in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. His research focused on how genes guide development. After completing his degree, Moss worked at the National Headquarters of the American Cancer Society for two years; cancer always has been one focus of his studies. Before coming to Wofford in 1992, Moss taught at Columbia, Fordham and Yeshiva universities in New York. A lifelong learner, Moss’s concern for public health in the aftermath of 9/11motivated him to complete coursework in public health at the University of South Carolina and a six-month sabbatical internship at the Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina’s public health agency. For many years, Moss chaired the Health Careers Advisers Committee and continues to be involved in advising for health careers, especially physician assistants and genetic counseling.

Sykes joined the Wofford faculty in 2001, coming from Furman University. He received a B.S. degree from Purdue University, an M.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in computer science from Clemson University in 1995. Before entering Clemson, he had 13 years of experience developing systems and applications software. He co-authored two books, “Object-Oriented Software Development: Engineering Software for Reuse” (1992) and “A Practical Guide to Testing Object-Oriented Software” (2011). He has coached the WoCoders, the college programming team, since 2001. He has chaired the Department of Computer Science since 2011.