University of Mobile Announces Promotions, Honors Faculty and Staff at Spring Luncheon

Kathy Dean News

MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile’s highest faculty and staff honors, the Megginson Awards, were presented at the annual year-end faculty-staff luncheon May 7 at Ram Hall on campus. The university also announced promotions, service awards and recognitions.

The Megginson Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the university in the areas of teaching, research and service. Recipients are chosen by committees of peers from among nominations sent by students, faculty and staff. The recipients are honored for their character, ethics, accomplishments and contributions to the university.

The 2019 William A. Megginson Teaching Awardwas presented to Brenda Chastain, assistant professor of education, School of Education. Committee chair Dr. Ted Mashburn said Chastain “combines a strong work ethic with a positive and contagious personality. She is conscientious, knowledgeable, organized, personable and caring, and engages students’ interests and holds them to high standards.”

The 2019 Emma Frances Megginson Service Awardwas presented to Jenna Goodwin, director of production and administration, Alabama School of the Arts. Committee Chair J.B. Locke said Goodwin “is the definition of a servant heart.” Her primary responsibilities include managing eight staff members and producing Center for Performing Arts events with 20 ensembles with nearly 600 performances, including Christmas Spectacular with approximately 10,000 in attendance and reaching millions on international television.

The 2019 Mitford Ray Megginson Research Awardwas presented to Dr. Jeremy Padgett, assistant professor of communication, College of Arts and Sciences. Committee Chair Dr. Julie Biskner said Padgett’s latest research has culminated in an article titled “Gatekeeping effects on televised portrayals of U.S. House Members.” His research will be presented at an international conference in May and has been submitted to peer-reviewed journals in the fields of communications and political science.

The 2019 Faculty Engagement Award was presented to Rusty Roberts, assistant professor of accounting, School of Business. Committee Chair Dr. Bruce Earnest said Roberts “intentionally fosters community among students and invests in their lives.” He said Roberts “demonstrates excellence in student engagement inside and outside the standard class setting, and embodies UM’s core values of being Christ-centered and student-devoted in his interactions with students.”

Dr. Troy Henderson, professor of mathematics, was awarded tenure. Henderson joined UM in 2007 as an assistant professor of math. He was promoted to associate professor in 2013, then professor in 2017.

The university announced faculty promotions.

Dr. Randy Craigwas promoted to professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He joined UM in 2014 as an associate professor of biology.

Barbara Brousseau was promoted to associate professor of French in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined UM in 2009 as an adjunct instructor of French.

Dr. Cassidy Cooper was promoted to associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined UM in 2013 as an assistant professor of sociology.

Dr. Michael Robinson was promoted to associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences. He joined UM in 2013 as an assistant professor of history.

Dr. Melissa Thomas was promoted to associate professor of kinesiology in the School of Health and Sports Science, College of Health Professions. She joined UM in 1998 as a graduate assistant in athletic training.

Rachael Counselman was promoted to assistant professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined UM in 2008 as an adjunct instructor of English.

Service awards were presented to faculty and staff for years of service. Employees are honored at five-year marks.

30-Year Service Award:Mike Jacobs, Kim Leousis.

25-Year Service Award:Diane Black, Jeff Calametti, Dr. Kathy Dunning.

20-Year Service Award:Brian Boyle, Kim Gully, Joe Niland, Lori Outlaw.

15-Year Service Award: Sharon Brazel, Hali Givens, Betty Greene, Dr. Patrick Jacobs, Jon Seymour.

10-Year Service Award:Dr. Bruce Earnest, Dr. Christopher Lovely, Leroy Rivers (National Plant Services), Larkisha Winbush.

Five-Year Service Award:Dr. Lesley Baggett, Faith Baker, Andy Canegitta, Jeffrey Caviness, Dr. Randy Craig, Dr. Lori DeLong, Dr. Karen Dennis, Dr. Cynthia Erickson, Magan Flores, Garrett Hughes, Voncile Jackson (National Plant Services), Taylor Lee Ledbetter, Lawrencine Mason, Carlos Navia, Sevints Nuriyeva, Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, Dr. Jeremy Padgett, Shadoe Valentin, Daniel Waldon.

Following the spring luncheon, a retirement reception was held for Kim Fobes, instructor in English in the College of Arts and Sciences. Fobes taught at the university for 26 years, including 12 years as director of the Chora Godwin Learning Center.


 About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.eduor call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.