2023 Faculty and Staff Award Winners Announced

Spartanburg Methodist College Announces Faculty, Staff Award Winners

Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) announced its annual faculty and staff awards, recognizing the outstanding contributions the winners made to the college and its students during the 2022-2023 academic year.

SMC’s faculty awards are chosen by the entire faculty. Dr. Ethan Birney was awarded the Archie Vernon and Margaret Wannamaker Huff Faculty Award during SMC’s commencement ceremony. Dr. Dalicia Raymond received the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Excellence in Teaching Award. And, Kris Neely was named the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Exemplary Teacher Award winner.

Staff awards are chosen by the faculty and staff and the 2023 winners are Accounts Payable Specialist Karin Tillotson for the Dr. James S. Barrett Memorial Award and Facilities Account Manager Chris Irving for the J.L. Geddis Award.

Birney is a history professor with nearly 20 years of experience as an educator. Prior to SMC, he also taught at the University of St. Andrews and Bob Jones University. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Bob Jones and his Ph.D. in medieval history from St. Andrews. The Huff Award honors an SMC faculty member who exemplifies outstanding professional qualifications and teaching ability. It was founded in 1970 as an endowed fund by Dr. A.V. Huff, Jr., a former member of the SMC Board of Trustees, and his wife, Kate, in memory of his parents, Archie Vernon and Margaret Wannamaker Huff.

Raymond is an English professor who began teaching college in 2011. She has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in English in literature and culture from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in English, Medieval studies from the University of New Mexico. She taught at both of her alma mater colleges prior to joining SMC. The SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes leading faculty members at each of the organization’s member schools. SCICU is a charitable organization that represents 20 liberal arts institutions in South Carolina, providing fundraising, scholarship funds, and research.

Neely has taught art at SMC since 2016 and has also served as the director of the interdisciplinary studies program as well as interim provost during his tenure. Prior to SMC, Neely served in various roles at Wofford College, including executive director of the Success Initiative, assistant academic dean, assistant dean for studio art, director of residence life, director of project development in student affairs, and assistant professor and coordinator for the studio art program. The GBHEM Exemplary Teaching Award recognizes excellence in teaching, civility, and concern for students, institution, and the community. GBHEM is the leadership development agency of the United Methodist Church.

The Dr. James S. Barrett Memorial Award recognizes individuals who go out of their way to assist or support fundraising efforts. Barrett was a past president of SMC who organized the first fundraising campaign for the school and encouraged the practice of professional fundraising to help support the mission.

The J.L. Geddis award, voted on by staff, recognizes a staff member who has been at SMC for three years and displays excellence in creativity, leadership, teamwork, initiative and who makes special contributions to the institution. Geddis served many roles at SMC in his 41-year career, including business manager, vice president for business affairs, faculty member, and men’s golf coach.

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