Gardner-Webb Honors Faculty, Staff for Excellence

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Employees Recognized at Annual “Apples and Accolades” Award Program

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb honored outstanding faculty and staff members on April 29 during the University’s annual “Apples and Accolades” program.

Dr. Ben Coates

The 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Ben Coates, of Campobello, S.C., who serves as assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. “To the students and community members with whom he works, he is both a gracious guide and a gifted instructor,” said GWU President Dr. Frank Bonner. “He provides concise yet informative introduction and generally succeeds in educating hearts as well as heads. His proven talent, dedication and vision in a variety of settings further validate this recognition. One of his students declared, ‘He cares for our success and ultimately portrays Christ through his interactions with us.’”

Linda Smith
Ricky Hollifield

Staff Member of the Year Awards were presented to Linda Smith and Rick Hollifield, who were nominated by colleagues for their work for the University community and its students.

Smith, of Boiling Springs, has served Gardner-Webb for more than 25 years and currently works as payroll director. “She exudes a sweet spirit and humble personality even in moments when her duties require her to convey tough information,” Bonner shared. “She is always willing to go above and beyond for those who need her assistance. Her nominators repeatedly mentioned her after-hours work to ensure that all loose ends are tied up.”

Hollifield, of Shelby, has worked at Gardner-Webb for a decade, currently as director of facility maintenance. He has been involved in the past year in numerous upgrades and additions to campus facilities, including the College of Health Sciences, Brinkley Softball Stadium, O. Max Gardner Hall, Stadium Drive, and Freedom Hall in the Dover Campus Center.

“These projects are in addition to the regular maintenance and requests that he must complete as part of the normal operations of the University, and surely do not represent a complete summary of his contributions to the University,” Bonner added. “His colleagues have repeatedly witnessed his tireless dedication to the University, regardless of the wide range of his workplace roles and responsibilities. He’s a problem-solver and a trouble-shooter, and if there’s a dirty job that needs to be done, he’s the man called on to do it.”

Dr. Doug Bryan
Mischia Taylor

President’s Awards for Community Engagement were presented to Dr. Doug Bryan, of Shelby, who serves as associate provost for academic development, and Mischia Taylor, of Shelby, who serves as instructor in business.

GWU employees were also recognized for their tenures of service to the University.

Dr. Sue Camp, of Shelby, who serves as professor of business administration, was honored for her 40 years of service to the University with induction into the Faith, Service and Leadership Hall of Fame for faculty.


Awards for 30 years of service were presented to:

* Susan J. Bell, of Shelby, professor of art

* Dr. Cindy Miller, of Ellenboro, professor of nursing and chair of graduate programs

* Roberta Parris, of Gaffney, S.C., senior financial accountant

* Stephen Sain, of Shelby, associate registrar


Awards for 25 years of service were presented to:

* Mike W. Hardin, of Shelby, vice president for administration and finance

* Linda H. Smith, of Boiling Springs, payroll director


Awards for 10 years of service were presented to:

* Stephanie Baines, of Chesnee, S.C., assistant director of financial planning

* Kathy S. Bridges, of Shelby, financial planning counselor

* Cary L. Caldwell, of Shelby, campus shop manager

* Freida G. Conner, of Mooresboro, secretary of Noel Center for Disability Resources

* Jerry D. Edwards, of Shelby, groundskeeper

* Dr. Willie C. Fleming, of Charlotte, professor of psychology and counseling

* Jessica D. Herndon, of Bostic, director of First Year Program

* Dr. T. Perry Hildreth, of Shelby, professor of philosophy

* Ricky W. Hollifield, of Shelby, director of facility maintenance

* Dr. Benjamin C. Leslie, of Shelby, provost and executive vice president

* Robert N. Moore, instructor in American Sign Language

* Teralea L. Moore, of Shelby, instructor in mathematics

* Dr. Don H. Olive, of Kings Mountain, associate professor of physics and astronomy

* D. Neal Payne, of Shelby, associate minister to the University for student ministries

* Deirdre M. Pettis, of Shelby, academic advisor

* Jessika M. Raduly, of Shelby, assistant director of Housing for administrative services and marketing


Several GWU faculty and staff members were recognized upon their retirement from the University.

* Dr. Janie M. Carlton, of Newton, professor of nursing

* Glenda S. Crotts, of Shelby, senior assistant to the president

* Dr. Michael T. Kuchinsky, professor of political science

* Dr. Earl Leininger, of Weaverville, associate provost for arts and sciences

* Garry D. McSwain, of Shelby, director of institutional research

* Donna S. Reynolds, of Shelby, office manager for Human Resources

* Audrey M. Sloan, of Spartanburg, S.C., assistant director of operations for Degree Completion Program admissions

* Dr. Frances L. Sparti, of Mooresboro, associate professor of nursing

* James W. Thomas, of Boiling Springs, dean of School of Performing and Visual Arts

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.