Students studying outside the library

Goldey receives Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science

May 16, 2004

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College has announced the creation of the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science, a unique recognition for outstanding faculty.

The first recipient of the award, biology professor Dr. Ellen Goldey, was announced during Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 16, 2004.

The award, funded by a $1 million endowment, provides a $50,000 prize– an annual award of $5,000 for up to 10 years – for use in pursuing professional development. The recipient must remain on the Wofford faculty to continue receiving the annual disbursement.

The award recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching of science. Full-time faculty in all science disciplines – biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics and psychology – are eligible. The recipient is selected by a three-person, off-campus committee composed of business and professional leaders in science from a list of nominees developed and approved by the dean of the college.

“Among the many national and international awards bestowed for scientific achievement, I believe the Roger Milliken Award to be uniquely generous in its recognition of the importance of teaching,” says Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap, Wofford president. “Great teaching necessarily involves a scholarly mastery of one’s field, but it also includes the ability to convey that mastery to others. This is an inspiring statement of confidence in the great teachers to be found at Wofford College.

“I know of no other teaching recognition as munificent as the Roger Milliken Award. But, then, I know of no institution where great teaching is more highly prized than at Wofford College – and, at Wofford College, there is no teacher more extravagant in her dedication or more successful in her results than Ellen Goldey,” Dunlap adds.

Dr. Dan B. Maultsby, dean of the college, says, “I am thrilled with this opportunity to reward members of our outstanding faculty. Science is a critical part of Wofford’s educational program. Professors do important work. A significant award for excellence in teaching science is a demonstration of commitment to Wofford’s mission. It makes clear the college’s value on excellence. We appreciate Mr. Milliken’s confidence in our faculty and in our programs, and his generosity in providing for recognition of those persons who make the positive difference in the lives of our students.”

Milliken, chairman and CEO of Milliken & Company, based in Spartanburg, S.C., is on the board of trustees of Wofford and has been involved in numerous planning and building projects on campus through his long relationship with the college.

Science is a part of every student’s program at Wofford, and about 30 percent of the degrees awarded are to students majoring in one of the sciences. Wofford’s science programs and professors have been recognized nationally and internationally for innovation and excellence. The college has a well-respected pre-medical program, and many of Wofford’s graduates enter the healthcare fields. More than 1,200 of the college’s more than 12,000 living alumni are involved in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other healthcare fields. Professors and students are involved in research both at Wofford and other institutions, and have made national and international presentations.

Goldey, an associate professor, was named the 2002 Outstanding Educator of the Year by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, given to teachers in Methodist-related schools and seminaries who have made an extraordinary impact on their students, peers, the institution, church and community.

Goldey came to Wofford in 1995 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked as a toxicologist. She completed her bachelor of science degree at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, and earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Miami University in Ohio.

She and a colleague John Lane, associate professor of English, developed a learning community at Wofford, “The Nature and Culture of Water,” in the fall of 2002, linking a freshman non-major biology course with a humanities course through the common theme of “water.” The success of the pilot led to Goldey applying for and the college receiving a $199,952 National Science Foundation grant to develop other of learning communities at Wofford.

She recently was elected to the executive council of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, the first scientist to hold this position.