Students studying outside the library

Two Wofford professors receive prestigious teaching awards

May 14, 2006

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College presented its Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science and Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences during Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 14.

The recipient of the Milliken Award was Dr. Charles G. (Charlie) Bass, the Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Anne B. Rodrick, associate professor of history, received the Covington Award.

Bass, a graduate of William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Miss., received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Tennessee. He did post-doctoral research at the University of British Columbia and the Cancer Research Institute at Arizona State University. He has taught at Wofford since 1988. Bass has made presentations to the Green Chemistry in Education Workshop at the University of Oregon (summer 2005) and annually at the Dental Day advising conference at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a member of the American Chemical Society (Organic and Educational Divisions) and the Western Carolinas Division of the American Chemical Society. He currently is developing collaborative research efforts with a professor at Universita “La Sapienza” and the Catholic University of Rome, Italy.

Bass serves as the pre-dental advisor for the Wofford Student Affairs Committee. He has been recognized numerous times as the Faculty Member of the Year by the Panhellenic Council at Wofford and by the Wofford Student Union.

Rodrick is author of a number of books and articles, including a book review of Lynn Alexander titled “Women, Work, and Representation in Victorian Periodicals Review” (2005), “Self Help and Civic Culture: Citizenship in Victorian Birmingham” (Ashgate Publishing, 2004), “Greenwood History of Modern Britain” (Greenwood Press, 2004), and “Thomas Ragg,” revised entry in “New Dictionary of National Biography” (2004). She is a graduate of Northwestern University and received her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas-Austin.

Rodrick serves on the Wofford College Rhodes Scholar interview committee and has been coordinator of the humanities program since 2004. She is a contributor to Wofford’s 19th Century Studies and Gender Studies programs, has been the supervisor of numerous honors theses and capstone projects, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee and the Admissions Committee.

The Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science, 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.

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.

The Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences is named in honor of Philip Stanhope Sheffield Covington, a beloved academic dean of Wofford College who served from 1953 to 1969. A graduate of Emory University, he joined the Wofford faculty in 1947 after earning a master’s degree at Duke University and teaching in public schools in Charleston, S.C. He was dean of students from 1950 to 1953 and served as acting president in 1957-58. In 1970, ill health forced him to give up his administrative duties, but he remained active as a professor of English until his retirement from the college in 1976. Wofford honored him with a doctor of literature degree in 1959, and with the title of dean emeritus. “Philip Covington was widely recognized in academic circles as a creative and brilliant teacher as well as a speaker of unusual ability,” said his long-time friend and colleague, dean of students emeritus the late S. Frank Logan (Wofford Class of 1941). Covington was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Blue Key National Honor Society, Sigma Chi and Sigma Delta Psi.

The Covington Award winner, selected by the president and academic dean of the college, receives $5,000 per year for three years; one recipient will be named each year. The money may be used at the recipient’s discretion for travel, study or other professional development.