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UNC Pembroke faculty honored during appreciation banquet

June 21, 2017

UNC Pembroke recently recognized its professors and lectures during the annual Faculty Appreciation and Awards Banquet.

Faculty were applauded for their role in the advancement of higher education and dedicating their time and talents to students and scholarship.

A former cardiothoracic surgeon, Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings lauded the faculty as the “heartbeat” of the institution.

“UNC Pembroke’s mission is changing lives through education,” Cummings said. “That change happens because of you. My favorite part of this job is when I get to leave my office and see the impact you are making on our students.

“Thank you for the difference you make at UNC Pembroke and in the lives of our students and graduates, their families and their communities across southeastern North Carolina and around the world.”

Sara Simmons, outgoing Faculty Senate Chair, said UNCP is blessed to have faculty who are committed to advancing the core academic mission of the university.

Faculty are involved daily in the important work of teaching, scholarship, and service.

“You teach in the discipline,” Simmons said. “You engage your students in learning and you provide ongoing support to students in a multitude of ways. You contribute in so many meaningful ways to the life of the university and beyond. The work that you do truly does change lives in positive ways.”

Chancellor Emeritus Joe Oxendine and state Rep. Charles Graham, a 1974 UNCP graduate, were among the banquet guests. Graham surprised Zoe Locklear, who recently retired as Provost, with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest civilian award for service.

Locklear served UNCP for 25 years as a professor, dean and provost, before retiring from her alma mater in February. She was the first dean of the School of Education.

Locklear is a pioneer in the field of education, Graham said.

“I want to thank you for the lives you have touched,” he said. “From one special educator to another, you have been a voice for children when they could not speak for themselves. You have been an advocate for children.

“You have enriched the lives of many teachers, aspiring teachers and you have helped countless numbers of families across the state in your capacity. You are a treasure.”

The award presentation brought Locklear to tears.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” she said. “What a privilege. It is such a privilege to teach other people’s children. I would tell our student-teachers to don’t ever forget that it’s such a privilege to teach other people’s children. They are adults, but nonetheless, we teach them.”

Motioning to her colleagues seated in the University Center Annex, Locklear said they were the reason for her success.

“I have loved you all and I have loved this place. I miss you guys and I will love you forever.”

The following faculty were recognized during the ceremony.

  • 2017 Award for Excellence in Teaching

-       Dr. Cherry Beasley, Nursing

  • UNC Pembroke Outstanding Teaching Awards

-       Terence Dollard, Mass Communication

-       Dr. Scott Hicks, English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages

-       Dr. Eun Hee Jeon, English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages

-       Dr. Jennifer Johnson, Nursing

-       Dr. Carla Rokes, Art 

  • UNC Pembroke Outstanding Part-time Teaching Award

-       Judith Paparozzi

  • Graduate Faculty Mentor Award

-       Dr. Ben Bahr, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

  • Diane O. Jones Excellence in Service-Learning Award

-       Hannah Baggott, English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages

  • Adolph L. Dial Endowed Award

-       Dr. Joanna Hersey, Music

  • James F. Hubbard Faculty Award

-       Dr. Mordechai Inbari, Philosophy and Religion 

Faculty emeritus status:

-       Dr. John Bowman, Sociology and Criminal Justice

-       Dr. Fran Fuller, Sociology and Criminal Justice

-       Dr. Joseph Goldston, Mathematics and Computer Science

-       Dr. Michael Menefee, Thomas Family Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship

Full professors for 2017-2018:

-       Dr. Jane Haladay, American Indian Studies

-       Dr. Scott Hicks, English, Theatre, and Foreign Language

-       Dr. Jamie Litty, Mass Communication

-       Dr. Cliff Mensah, Economics and Decisions Sciences; and

-       Dr. Shilpa Regan, Psychology