Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee
Annual Report, 2008-2009

The Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee met three times during the Spring 2009 term: February 20, March 20, and March 26.

The job of the Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee is currently two-fold. First the committee is charged with soliciting applications from all eligible graduating seniors for the Bradshaw-Feaster and Donaldson-Watkins medals of excellence. The committee then reviews these applications and provides the faculty with a list of three finalists for each award, with the faculty selecting the recipients of these awards at the May meeting of the Furman University faculty. Second, the Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee is charged with interviewing candidates and selecting the recipient of the Faculty Scholarship.

As such, in late January I contacted JoAnn Williams in the Academic records office to obtain the names and contact information of all graduating seniors with a high enough GPA (3.4) to be eligible for the Bradshaw-Feaster and Donaldson-Watkins medals of excellence. On February 2, 2009 letters (and attached application forms) were sent out to all eligible students (176 female and 88 male students) asking them to apply for these awards. Between February 2, 2009 and the application deadline on February 18, 2009, two additional reminder letters were sent to these students to encourage them to submit an application. By the time of the application deadline, 86 applications from female students and 41 applications from male students had been received. The committee carefully read each application and discussed each applicant, and presented to the faculty at the March meeting of the Furman University faculty a list of 11 semifinalist candidates for each award (see below). (It is worth noting, given that the submission of only 11 semi-finalists departs from the Committee’s usual practice in years past, that the relevant policy in the Faculty Handbook specifies the Committee will provide the Faculty with a list of “up to” 12 semi-finalists. For both the Bradshaw-Feaster and the Donaldson-Watkins there emerged a significant break in scores between our ranking of the top eleven candidates and all others.) Once the applications had been ranked and the semi-finalists posted, I then solicited letters of recommendation for each candidate from the three faculty members listed on each student’s application. After careful evaluation of each student’s application and their letters of reference, and extensive discussion, the Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee then narrowed the list of semifinalists to three male and three female finalists. These names (see below) were posted on or before April 7, 2009 and are to be voted on by the faculty at the April meeting of the Furman University Faculty.

The candidates for the Faculty Scholarship must be rising juniors with a GPA > 3.5. This year a committee Chaired by Carol Daniels and consisting of Bill Berg, Connie Carson, Jason Cassidy, and Idella Glenn selected the six students (Sarafina Robinson, Katie Fairman, Ruth Sills, Krishma Naik, Lindsay Shane, and Trey Closson) to be interviewed by the Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee. Each student was asked to fill out an application form, and all six students were interviewed on March 20, 2000. Based on the students’ applications, our interviews with them, and brief letters of support solicited from faculty and staff listed on their applications, the Faculty Scholarship and Awards Committee selected Sarafina Robinson as the recipient of the Faculty Scholarship. The winner will be introduced at the April meeting of the Furman University faculty.

The chair wishes to express thanks to the committee members for their time and efforts in this service:

Monica Black (History), Bill Brantley (EES), Trudy Fuller (Music), Min-Ken Liao (Biology), and Judy Stuart (Education). 

Respectfully submitted,

Nicholas Radel, Chair

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