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Two Wofford professors receive prestigious teaching awards

Sunday, May 22, 2005

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College presented its second Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science and announced the creation and winner of the new Philip Covington Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences during Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 22.

The recipient of the Milliken Award was Dr. Alliston K. Reid, a psychology professor and former chairman of the psychology department at Wofford. Dr. Nancy B. Mandlove, professor of Spanish and coordinator of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Wofford, received the Covington Award.

Reid, a 1975 graduate of Wofford College, received the Governor’s Distinguished Professor Award in 2004 as one of five finalists from four-year institutions for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award; he was among 28 professors considered for the statewide award. The Cheraw, S.C., native returned to Wofford in 1996 after 15 years of teaching and research at Eastern Oregon University; Duke University, where he received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology; and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. He previously won eight awards for teaching excellence in psychology and computer science, teaching in English and in Spanish. He has obtained research grants from National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Mental Health, U.S. Forest Service, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Oregon State System of Higher Education, and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología. Reid served as chairman of the psychology department at Wofford College from 1998 to 2004. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Mandlove, who came to Wofford in 1994, is a graduate of Hanover College. She received her master of arts degree in French from Emory University and her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of New Mexico. Before coming to Wofford, she taught at Westminster College, Agnes Scott College, the University of New Mexico, Muskingum College and Converse College, where she was the Anne Morrison Chapman Professor of Modern Languages. She has been the recipient of a number of awards and grants for research and programming in diversity and international studies. She has published numerous articles and papers and has presented lectures throughout the country. She directs the Wofford Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies Program, which provides an integrated interdisciplinary approach to the historical, political, social, and cultural inter-relationships of the nations and peoples of our hemisphere.

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 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.