Spire 2022

FACULTY PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS For many faculty members, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect and restrict opportunities. However, several faculty members completed the following professional accomplishments, awards, and/or contributions made within their field, for the university, and/or in their Christian service:

Dr.Kimberly Famer,Dean and Professor of Criminal Justice

We were excited to see two criminal justice graduates completed academy training/certification and assumed their first assignment posts with the Virginia State Police. Additionally, three graduates finished the police academy and assumed officer positions with local/county agencies and internship opportunities expanded to include Loudon County, Virginia and Piedmont Law Enforcement Academy. Three graduates began the MBA Justice Administration degree program following commencement. The department established the Building Bridges of Trust Initiative as a part of our annual Law Enforcement Week in October. We offer free lunch on Wednesdays in the cafeteria for local law enforcement and first responders, so they can positively engage with our students. In conjuction with the Black Student Alliance a traffic forum was hosted earlier in the spring 2022 semester.

Dr. Joshua Pittman,Assistant Professor and Chair of English

I was excited to take a group of students with me to a professional conference during the fall 2021 semester where I presented a paper. Our students had the opportunity to be exposed to high-level scholarship and writing processes. I am currently participating in an online course on race through a sister university in hope what I learn from it will have impact in my classrooms.

Dr. Irene Rieger,Associate Professor of English

My poem “Sonnetized” was published by the Society for Classical Poets and took Fourth Place in their Best Poems of 2021 contest. My poem “Appendectomy III” received an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Annual Awards. I have the pleasure of serving on the Executive Board of the College English Association, and enjoy being active in coordinating their annual conference, particularly the Women’s Connection sessions. This spring, I presented a paper and chaired several panels at their national conference in Birmingham, Alabama, too.

Dr. ShawnWhite,Assistant Professor of Christian Studies

I have the honor and privilege to give pastoral leadership to First Baptist Church of Bluefield in Bluefield, W.Va. With the congregation’s century-long partnership with the institution, this was especially heartwarming. Along with Dr. Tracey Stout, Dr. Henry Clary, and Mr. Dave Pedde, we developed a Master’s curriculum in Ministry Leadership for Bluefield University with approval still pending. Dr. Stout and I have enjoyed working on the Bachelor of Ministry Leadership program that is currently operational through Highlands Fellowship in Abingdon, Va. to Bluefield University for our on-campus students.

Dr.MeghanWilson,Assistant Professor of Biology

I am excited to share that I have a research project in the proposal stage, of which I hope to share the manuscript next year. I was honored to have been featured in the following publications this past academic year: Harden, S.M., Balis, L., Kennedy, L., Strayer, III, T., Wilson, M., Ramalingam, N. (2022). Exploration of Intervention Characteristics that Facilitate the Adoption of Health Promotion Programming in a National Community-based System. Health Education and Behavior; doi:10.1177/10901981211067170. Harden, S.M., Balis, L., Strayer, III, T., Wilson, M. (2021) Assess, plan, do, evaluate, and report: Iterative cycle to remove academic control of a community-based physical activity program. Preventing Chronic Disease. 18:200513. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd18.200513.

Dr. Shellie Brown,Associate Professor of Education and Director of Teacher Education

I have had the honor to prepare the Education Department’s self-study report for the national accreditor CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education). We are now looking forward to our site visit in March 2023. I had the privilege to participate in multiple recruiting opportunities for the university through regional high schools and community colleges. I also participated in multiple professional development opportunities through VACTE, CAEP, VDOE, and Apple. I also served as a co-chair on the Moving the Needle Academic Advising Team.

Dr.Emily Lambert,Professor of Biology and Dean, School of Sciences and Health Sciences

The Biology Department (with the help of the Department of Education) touched the lives of 1,500-1,600 elementary and high school students in the region as the online Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences (OMABS) students delivered public health modules over the 2021 spring break. We have been pleased with the launch of the OMABS program, because students who may have had to leave were able to enter OMABS and continue with the University. Also, multiple past MABS students that did not meet graduation requirements have come back and repeated these courses in OMABS to be eligible to receive their degrees.


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