Wofford College’s Dr. Cecile Nowatka and Dr. James Stukes have been recognized with a place on the 2022-23 Southern Conference’s (SoCon) All-SoCon Faculty and Staff Team for their dedication to the college community and Spartanburg.

Each year, the athletics conference recognizes faculty and staff from its member institutions for service to campuses and communities.

Nowatka, a licensed clinical psychologist, is a professor and chair of the department of psychology, where she has taught since 1999. She teaches courses on child development, abnormal psychology and statistics. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she was the volunteer therapist at St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic for many years. 

Nowatka has found many opportunities to get her students involved with service learning, including the sponsorship of a blood drive, raising money for multiple sclerosis research, the creation of a reading garden at an elementary school and working with infants and toddlers at a child development program. She has served on several committees at Wofford and was a fellow in the year-long Teach.Equity.Now program, which focuses on ensuring equity in classrooms and academic curriculums.

Stukes is a proud first-generation college graduate, who serves as the assistant dean for student success and college access in the Office of Student Success and the Center for Community-Based Learning. For the past 10 years, he has worked in various areas of higher education, including federal TRIO programs supporting underrepresented populations of students. Throughout his career, he has served in capacities related to creating welcoming and affirming spaces for students, faculty and staff.

In 2018, Stukes created the Wofford Firsts initiative to serve as a resource for first-generation college students. The initiative led to the college being chosen for the 2022-23 cohort of First-Gen Forward institutions with the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA). He is a member of the Black First-Gen Collective Steering Committee. His work with college access also reaches into the local community through Wofford students serving as near-peer mentors for high school students considering college. Stukes serves as the vice-chair of the board for the Citizen Scholars Institute, which is a local non-profit dedicated to the elimination of barriers to college access through various programming and initiatives.

At Wofford, Stukes has taught several courses focused on the first-year experience, community sustainability and self-identity. He also serves a mentor for the athletics department’s Level-Up program, which supports student-athletes as they prepare for post-graduate success.

Nowatka and Stukes will be recognized during the Wofford men’s basketball team’s home game against The Citadel on Jan. 7.

The selections for the team were at each institution's discretion. Recipients all shared the common characteristics of demonstrated service to the institution and contributions to campus life and the local community. Faculty members selected demonstrated strong contributions to teaching, research and/or service, while staff members are being recognized for bringing out the best in others and creating conditions for success. Read more about the 2022-23 All-SoCon Faculty and Staff Team.