Fall Convocation 2020: A tradition, with a twist
The coronavirus has challenged Radford University to find creative ways to connect, collaborate and, most recently, celebrate achievements.
Similar to this semester’s New Student Convocation, President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., led the University’s annual Fall Convocation for faculty and staff virtually. This long-standing tradition, historically held in an on-campus auditorium, was delivered this month via video.
Despite the many disruptions COVID-19 has caused, President Hemphill commended faculty and staff for continuing to fulfill Radford University’s worthwhile mission.
“Over the last several months, a tremendous amount of work has occurred in order to get us where we are today,” he said in his remarks. “Our work is not over, and there is much more to accomplish.”
President Hemphill expressed gratitude for the many individuals and groups who helped facilitate the reopening of campus and who “continue to work every day to promote the health, safety and well-being of our campus community.”
“Without question, we are in this together. We are a strong community, but we can and will be stronger together,” he concluded.
Faculty and staff also heard from the University’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lyn Lepre, Ph.D. She joined the Radford family on July 1, 2020.
Provost Lepre remarked on the overwhelming camaraderie amongst students, faculty and staff she has witnessed and experienced since arriving on campus just a few months ago.
“I was welcomed with openness and support. I see that is this spirit of ‘help’ that gives the community its strength — something we all need right now,” she said.
The provost said she was immediately inspired by the University’s faculty, especially those who continue to make student success and student-centeredness a top priority, even amid the current circumstances.
“I am looking forward to our promising future and working with you in the months and years ahead to further the excellent work of teaching, research and service,” she said.
2020 Radford University Foundation Faculty Awards
A major highlight of Fall Convocation is the presentation of the Radford University Foundation Faculty Awards, and this year was no exception.
Invited to individual meetings in Martin Hall on August 28, the award recipients were pleasantly surprised by President Hemphill and Provost Lepre, who informed them of the exciting news.
Nominations for these awards are made by members of the Radford University community. Each recipient receives a monetary prize and has the privilege of selecting an outstanding student to receive a scholarship of $500 in the award recipient’s name.
Meghan Viet '05, M.S. '07, director of the Patricia Langford Roughton Teaching Resource Center in the College of Education and Human Development, received The Award for Administrative and Professional Excellence. The award recognizes those who have a record of distinguished leadership and/or superior service in his or her area of professional activity within the University.
“Radford University feels like ‘home,’ and to be nominated was a very unexpected compliment,” Viet said. “When I realized I had actually been selected as the recipient of the Award for Administrative and Professional Excellence, I was truly taken aback. To be acknowledged as a contributor to the University as an employee, after receiving two degrees from Radford University, is an accomplishment I never considered possible.”
Viet selected Paulette Wright as the scholarship recipient. Wright is currently pursuing a teacher licensure in secondary social science with plans to teach in grades 6 through 12.
Leslie Daniel, Ph.D., professor of special education in the College of Education and Human Development, received The Distinguished Faculty Advising Award. This award recognizes teaching faculty who demonstrate excellence in the important responsibility of academic advising.
“I’m pleased to be honored for being an outstanding advisor, as I do put a lot of effort into supporting my advisees, providing them good information, connecting them with resources, advocating for them if need be,” Daniel said. “The reason I completed the process/paperwork after being nominated was the thought that I could give a student a scholarship. I am thrilled I am able to help a student in this way.”
Daniel selected Lindsey Allison as the scholarship recipient. Allison is currently working on her master’s degree in special education. Daniel says she has proved she will be a wonderful teacher based on her ability to get students engaged in class material.
Nicole Hendrix, Ph.D., executive director of General Education, received The Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes faculty who have contributed substantial service to the University over a sustained period of time.
“I am so grateful to be recognized by my colleagues and the University for the work I’ve done,” Hendrix said. “It has been an amazing experience to work with so many talented and committed colleagues on general education. Implementing our new general education curriculum demonstrates the commitment to student success that Radford University is known for.”
Hendrix selected Anna Ketron as the scholarship recipient. Ketron is a graduate student in occupational therapy. Ketron serves as the graduate assistant for the Core Curriculum and demonstrates a strong commitment to the University and the students through her work there.
Robert Trent, D.M.A., professor of music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, received The Distinguished Creative Scholar Award. The award recognizes significant original contributions to the body of knowledge in academia and rewards contributions that have had a significant impact on effective classroom teaching.
“I am completely humbled, and of course, honored. It makes me realize how grateful I am to have the profession and life that I have,” Trent said. “Most of all I want it known that this will only encourage me to attempt to accomplish more, to be better at what I do as an educator, an artist, and human being. Many, many thanks to all who have taught me, and that includes my students, and all who helped bring me to this point in my life. Thank you!”
Trent selected Octàvio Deluchi as the scholarship recipient. Deluchi comes to Radford University to work on his master’s degree from Brazil after participating in a masterclass taught by Trent. Deluchi created online music festivals and conferences engaging musicians around the world.
Jane Machin, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing in the Davis College of Business and Economics, received The Donald N. Dedmon Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. This award is named in honor of Radford University’s fourth president. Nominees must have an outstanding record of teaching at Radford University, be professionally active in their discipline, and be recognized by colleagues and students as thoroughly knowledgeable in the subject matter and current scholarship of their teaching discipline.
“I chose Radford University because I wanted to work at a school where good, creative, inspiring teaching is not only desired, but recognized and rewarded,” Machin said. “To have won this award demonstrates to me that Radford really does value and reward creative teaching methods.”
Machin selected Taylor McCord Hawkins as the scholarship recipient. Hawkins is working on her Master of Business Administration degree and graduated as a Highlander Scholar in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree.
Watch Radford University’s Fall Convocation 2020 below.