Faculty Awards – Fall/Winter 2016

Faculty Awards – Fall/Winter 2016

Dr. David Gibson becomes two-time North American Scrabble Champion

In August, Dr. David Gibson, Professor of Math, won his second North American Scrabble Championship, besting 400 players over five days in 31 rounds. The tournament, held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, required players to compete in seven 25-minute games each day. Gibson, who has taught math at SMC for the last 41 years, practiced daily for the event with his wife Nancy.

“Without her, I would be nowhere near the player I have become,” he said. “She not only puts up with my Scrabble addiction, but as a word person herself, she helps and encourages me in it.”

Gibson played his first tournament in 1983 and won his first championship in 1994.

“People think Scrabble is a word game, which it is, but it’s more of a math game. It’s analytical skills and thinking about different moves and outcomes and scoring possibilities,” he said.

Gibson, 65, plans to compete in next year’s North American Championship in New Orleans.

Dr. Litasha Dennis awarded the Archie Vernon and Margaret Wannamaker Huff Faculty Award

Dr. Litasha Dennis, Professor of English, is the 2016 recipient of the Archie Vernon and Margaret Wannamaker Huff Faculty Award. The award is given to a Spartanburg Methodist College faculty member who exemplifies out-standing professional qualifications and teaching ability. Dr. Dennis was presented with the award during the college’s commencement exercises on Saturday, May 7. The Huff Award includes an $800 stipend for further study, travel for professional purposes or to defray the cost of publication expenses for scholarly work.

Dr. Mark Holycross receives the 2016 SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award

In April, Dr. Mark Holycross, Professor of Physical Science and Physics, was honored with the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award at a reception and dinner April 12. The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes dedicated and committed faculty from 20 SCICU member institutions who work one on one with students whom they also serve as advisers, mentors and friends and includes a $3,000 professional development grant.

Dr. Jonathan Keisler named GBHEM Exemplary Teacher; wins Founder’s Day Faculty Award

Dr. Jonathan Keisler, Professor of Economics, was selected as an Exemplary Teacher by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church in May. Winners exemplify excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education and service to students, the institution and the community. Winners receive a $500 stipend. In October, Dr. Keisler was also selected by the SMC student body as the Founder’s Day Faculty Award winner.