University of Mobile Announces Top Faculty and Staff Awards and Promotions

Kathy Dean News

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile’s highest faculty and staff honors, the Megginson Awards and Faculty Engagement Award, were announced May 3. The university also announced promotions and noted years of service during the awards event at the annual faculty and staff spring luncheon on campus.

Following the announcement of the prestigious awards for 2022, UM President Lonnie Burnett and College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Ted Mashburn emceed the lighthearted “Rammy Awards” where employees voted for peers to receive awards ranging from the Chaos Corraller Award, for the person who routinely turns everyone’s craziest ideas into workable plans, to the Air Fryer Award for the person who gets good work accomplished faster than most others.

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 Faculty Engagement Award honors a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in student engagement inside and outside the standard classroom setting and intentionally fosters community among students. Recipients of this award are nominated by faculty and selected by a committee of peers.

The 2022 William A. Megginson Teaching Award was presented to Tammy Brown, assistant professor of nursing and chair of the undergraduate program in the School of Nursing, College of Health Professions.

The nomination cited Brown’s excitement and enthusiasm about teaching. A student wrote, “She adequately prepares us for our nursing role and explains the material in ways that we can understand. Mrs. Brown is compassionate, helpful and pushes you to do your best. She is always encouraging and full of motivation. Her classes helped fuel me for the rest of the nursing program.”

The 2022 Mitford Ray Megginson Research Award was presented to Dr. Gyro Newman, associate professor of communication in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Newman collaborated with research partners from colleges in Connecticut and Massachusetts to investigate the relationship between the use of social media and narcissistic personality traits. The research was published last year in “The Pennsylvania Communication Annual” under the title “An Exploration of the Effects of Media Use throughout Development and Adulthood on Narcissism.”

The 2021 Emma Frances Megginson Service Award was presented to Jeremy Harford, director of media and production, director of the Production Technologies program, and instructor in the Alabama School of the Arts.

“He cares about the needs and concerns of his students and fellow employees – constantly advocating for, mentoring and serving them. He is dedicated to growing students in the things that will help them in their careers but, more importantly, to growing them as people and followers of Christ,” his nomination read.

The 2022 Faculty Engagement Award was presented to Dr. Lori DeLong, dean of the School of Health and Sports Science in the College of Health Professions.

The associate professor of kinesiology was cited for dynamic teaching and work with the university’s Kinesiology Club. She leads the department in organizing an annual health fair that is open to the public. Her nomination praised her for speaking of her faith, adding that, “Most important is her testimony in the classroom, and she often speaks of integrity in her discipline. You can see students coming to talk to her and she is aware of the special situations of her students.”

Promotions and faculty receiving tenure were announced.

  • Pam Buchanan-Miller was promoted to vice president for academic affairs.
  • Glenn Hollingsworth was promoted to associate professor of marriage and family counseling in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Cassidy Cooper, associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, received tenure.
  • Sarah Barnes-Witherspoon, dean of the School of Nursing in the College of Health Professions, received tenure.
  • Larkisha Winbush was promoted to Chief Information Officer.

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

30-Year Service Award: Barbara Greene, Uwe Tittl

25-Year Service Award: Dr. Katherine Abernathy, Debra Adams, Freda Jemison

20-Year Service Award: Eileen Gardner, Cindy Godwin, Lesa Moore, Brian Person, Dr. Jay Robertson, Kristie Sanders

15-Year Service Award: Phillip Counselman, Dr. Troy Henderson, Sally Shouppe, Darlene Smith, Dr. Amy Taylor

10-Year Service Award: Dana Allen, Dr. Matthew Downs, Steve Dunn, Jeremy Harford, Dr. Kathryn Hedlund, Paige Hill, Dr. Gyro Newman

5-Year Service Award: Dr. Steven Bowersox, Tammy Brown, Collin Clardy, Andrew Goodwin, Abbie Henderlight, Aprle James, Dr. Curtis Mathis, Michael Rands, Alison Sellers-Cook, JaRaven Todd, Heath Vester, Alison Wilks

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university with a vision of “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,” founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions in an environment where they are known.


About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the 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 information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or 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.