Voorhees College Welcomes World-Class Faculty
Denmark, SC – To begin the official 2020-2021 academic year, Voorhees College launched its annual Fall Faculty Conference virtually. Faculty convened via an online platform on Monday, August 3, 2020, and were engaged in faculty development and training through Friday, August 7, 2020. The focus of the conference was online instructional design and delivery. A traditional highlight of the annual Faculty Conference was the All College Faculty and Staff Institute held on Wednesday, August 5th. At the event, Dr. W. Franklin Evans, ninth President, and CEO presented the State of the College Address. All classes will commence fully online on Monday, August 10, 2020.
“This year’s annual fall faculty conference provides a platform for faculty to engage in sharing best practices in instructional design and delivery and to focus on the amazing responsibility of educating college minds,” stated Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The fall 2020 priorities for academic affairs are: (1) to provide unparalleled excellence in remote instruction and academic support services to students. (2) to provide continued enhanced training in best practices on online instructional delivery for faculty,” Hopkins added.
Voorhees College proudly welcomed its newest faculty members. Dr. Samuel Ritchie, assistant professor of history joined the Voorhees faculty alongside Jonathan McCormick, instructor of psychology. Dr. Ritchie holds a Ph.D. in history from Auburn University and both Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in History from Clemson University. Professor McCormick is currently a doctoral candidate in Teaching Psychology at Walden University and holds the Master of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University.
Ritchie stated, “I am thrilled to be joining the faculty at Voorhees. While there will be unique challenges to this particular school year, I look forward to working with my colleagues and with the students themselves, utilizing the full functionality of Canvas and online resources to ensure a successful fall semester.”
McCormick offered, “I am very excited to be a part of the Voorhees community. I have long desired to begin a teaching career, and Voorhees has provided me with that opportunity. I have a passion for passing on knowledge, and I firmly believe that every person should strive to engage in lifelong learning and bettering themselves and their knowledge. I plan to engage students through the use of class discussions, peer responses, and assignments.” Considering the physical constraints created by the virus, he added, “I intend to hold as much synchronous time for office hours as possible, to make myself available to my students both through the telephone and video conferencing, so I can help them in whatever areas they may be struggling.”
The College’s newest academic staff members, Tiffany Grayson and Myasia Timmons were announced. Grayson will serve as the Program Specialist and Office Manager for the Liberal Arts Innovation Center for Healthcare Access and Equity and Timmons was named Coordinator for First-Year Experience in Career Pathways Initiative.
Further, faculty and staff promotions were celebrated as follows. D’metrius Dew was appointed to Coordinator for Experiential Learning in Career Pathways Initiative. Dr. Tywana Chenault Hemby, Chairperson of the Department of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences was promoted to Associate Professor of Psychology and was awarded tenure. Dr. Zhabiz Golkar, Associate Professor of Biology was named full-time Chairperson of the Department of Science, Technology, Health, and Human Services and was awarded tenure. Dr. Chandra Singh, Professor of Business was awarded tenure. Finally, Dr. Leland Barrows, Retired Professor of History was acknowledged as the College’s first Professor Emeritus.
“Teaching at Voorhees College is really rewarding for me as a returning faculty,” stated Dr. Xiaohua Jin, assistant professor of computer science and mathematics. “I have this opportunity to teach all of the College-level students from freshmen to seniors until they graduate from Voorhees College. It will always be happy and exciting to see those graduating senior students on the graduating ceremony every May,” she continued.
The following faculty accomplishments were announced: Dr. Xiqiang Zheng, Associate Professor of Mathematics was awarded the Henry C. McBay Faculty Research Award by UNCF at $15,000 to conduct research. Also, Dr. Hopkins was awarded the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Study Abroad Grant Award to Barbados funded by the Department of Education at $99,865 for faculty comparison of Barbadian and African American culture and history.
The reigning 2020-2021 Faculty of the Year, Alicia Davis, Assistant Professor of Business shared her enthusiasm about returning for the fourth year. She stated, “Nelson Mandela once stated, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ I am excited to return to Voorhees College, a place where not only students but also the faculty are inspired to Begin. Believe. Become. Within each course, I aim to build learning communities where students feel free to share their ideas. A community where students are engaged and learning is fueled by project-based assessments, virtual interaction with industry leaders, discussion forums, and the use of various technology. I look forward to molding not only local business leaders but global leaders here at Voorhees College.”