The McMurran Convocation “Last Lecture” was established by the Shepherd University Senate in 2008, to honor an esteemed retiring or retired professor who has served the University and its students through the quality of his or her teaching, scholarship, and service to the campus and community. The “Last Lecture” is a unique opportunity to share with McMurran Scholars the wit and wisdom of the best in the higher education teaching profession, as well as an occasion to honor an extraordinary group of young scholars who are just setting out on their journey in the learned professions.
2017 Last Lecture
Anders Henriksson, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of History
Dr. Anders Henriksson, Professor Emeritus of History, joined the Shepherd faculty in 1985. He earned a B.A. degree in History and in Russian language from the University of Rochester in 1971, and a M.A. in 1972 and a Ph.D. degree in Russian History in 1978, both from the University of Toronto. His Ph.D. dissertation was “The Riga German Community: Social Change and the Nationality Question, 1860-1905.” Dr. Henriksson served as chair of the Department of History from 1990 to 2015, and was the founding co-director of the Women’s Studies program from 1995 to 2016. He served on the Shepherd College Board of Advisors from 1997 to 2001 and was president of the Faculty Senate from 1998 to 1999. He was the first elected faculty representative to sit on the Shepherd University Board of Governors and served from 2001 to 2009. His scholarly interests include modern Russia, modern Baltic history, the women’s experience, and World War I. Publications in history include two books, The Tsar’s Loyal Germans, 1855-1905 (1983) and Vassals and Citizens. The Baltic Germans in Constitutional Russia, 1905-1914 (2009), a chapter entitled “Riga. Growth, Conflict, and limitations of Good Government, 1850-1914” in The City in Late Imperial Russia (1986) edited by Michael Hamm, a variety of articles in Canadian Slavonic Papers, Journal of Baltic Studies, and The Russian Review, entries in the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet, and Eurasian History, and translations into English from German and Russian. He has also published humorous compilations of student malapropisms: Non Campus Mentis (2001 and revised in 2008 as Ignorance is Blitz) and College in a Nutskull (2009). During his Shepherd career, he was awarded academic grants from the International Research and Exchange Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Shepherd University. He is currently writing a World War I book with colleague, Dr. James Greenlee of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, that focuses on global national policies and popular responses to the war.
2016 Last Lecture
Douglas C. Horner, Ph.D.
Professor of Social Work
Dr. Douglas C. Horner, professor of social work, has served as the director of the social work program since 1999. Dr. Horner joined the Shepherd faculty in 1976 as an instructor after earning his M.S.W. from the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a baccalaureate degree in sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned his Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Social Work. His dissertation was titled “Selected Factors Affecting the Utilization of Social Services by Women Clients of Two Domestic Violence Shelters.” Dr. Horner has co-administered a Title IV-E contract funded by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services for the last 23 years. The contract has provided nearly $2.7 million in external funding for Shepherd University. As a component of this contract, he has provided numerous workshops and trainings for non-B.S.W. staff of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, including Advance Legal and Ethical Issues in Child Welfare Practice, Ethics and Dual Relationships, and Professional Behavior and Testifying in Court, to name a few. For the past 17 years, Dr. Horner has the served as the point person for the Council on Social Work Education’s accreditation reviews and visits, ensuring the completion of a three-volume self-study, organizing site visits, and documenting the social work program’s curriculum, field instruction component, and assessment policies. Under his leadership, the social work program has maintained full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education with no concerns for the last two eight-year accreditation cycles. Throughout his career, Dr. Horner has prepared and presented monographs and papers to national, state, and regional conferences on topics in child welfare, professional ethics, domestic violence, social work curricula content and assessment, grant writing, management and supervision, developmental disabilities, and research and testimony for federal and state courts on change of venue studies and jury profiles involving, primarily, homicide and product safety cases. Dr. Horner has served as a board member, officer, and volunteer with the Eastern Panhandle Training Center, Shenandoah Women’s Center, and Safe Haven Child Advocacy Center, providing staff and volunteer training as well as grant writing expertise.
2015 Last Lecture
Carl F. Bell, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Dr. Carl F. Bell began teaching at Shepherd as an assistant professor of biology in fall 1961 after receiving his Ph.D. in plant pathology from Ohio State University. His retirement at the end of this semester will mark 54 continuous years in the Shepherd classroom, making him Shepherd’s most senior employee. He earned his B.S. degree in biology in 1955 from Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio, and his M.S. in botany in 1958 from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Bell has made contributions to Shepherd in a number of academic and nonacademic arenas over the years. He has generously given his time in support of students by organizing and leading multi-day camping field trips for classes and the biology department to foster an out-of-doors experience for students in the sciences. He was instrumental in the development of students’ observational, critical thinking, and analytical skills, which has not only benefitted these graduates, but has also garnered Dr. Bell accolades and the respect of his colleagues and students. So grateful were his former students that a challenge issued by Dr. Philip Spaulding ’67 to the biology graduates of the Class of 1967 resulted in the establishment of the Dr. Carl Bell Biology Fund, endowed with the Shepherd University Foundation and designated for students pursuing a degree in the biological sciences. The donations were made in honor of Dr. Bell, noting him as a mentor and an inspiration. In July 1998, a lab was named in Dr. Bell’s honor in the Robert C. Byrd Science and Technology Center.
2014 Last Lecture
Dr. John Adams
Assistant Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs
Dr. John E. Adams began his career at Shepherd in 1971 with the position of residence director/admission counselor in Thacher Hall. Over the next 40 years, he assumed several titles including retention specialist, housing director, director of counseling and career services, director of Washington Gateway, assistant and associate dean of student affairs, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and interim vice president for student affairs. In 2013, he finished his Shepherd career as a University Professor teaching for the College Student Development and Administration program, Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources, and the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Sport. Throughout his career, Dr. Adams actively participated in and presented at regional, state and national organizations. His accomplishments include the creation of the Career Development Center, acquisition of a $570,000 co-op federal grant, implementation of the Washington Gateway Program, and team writer for the College Student Development and Administration curriculum and proposal. In 2012, he received Shepherd’s Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and recognized by the National Career Development Association as a Master Career Counselor for his life work in career development. Upon retirement, he was conferred the title of Assistant Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs by Dr. Suzanne Shipley, president of Shepherd University. Dr. Adams began his education at Shepherd in 1966 and completed two achelor’s degrees in history and secondary social studies education in 1971 and 1973 respectively. He ventured north in 1976 to complete his master’s degree in student personnel/counseling at Shippensburg University and then south to earn his Ph.D. in educational administration/community college education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1997. His dissertation, “A Study to Determine the Impact of a Precollege Intervention on Early Adolescent Aspiration and Motivation for College,” was focused on Shepherd’s Junior High Washington Gateway Academy. His research explored the impact of precollege intervention programs on aspiration and motivation in middle school children. In retirement, Dr. Adams teaches as an adjunct for undergraduate and graduate studies and works as a licensed and certified career counselor/coach with nontraditional graduates and transitioning military veterans throughout the United States.
2013 Last Lecture
Dr. Mark Stern
Research Assistant Professor of Political Science
Dr. Mark Stern received his B.A. degree in political science from Brooklyn College and his Ph. D. in political science from the University of Rochester. He came from a working class family and values the education he received from a low-cost, public university. He likely would never have been able to go to college without that subsidized education. He went on to teach for 45 years at public universities, and served as founder and head of what became the Honors College at the University of Central Florida prior to coming to Shepherd College in 1994 as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President. After 15 years of service, and learning, in the latter position he returned to his first professional love of teaching and scholarship as a professor at Shepherd University. He published a book, Calculating Visions: John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights, and he has also published more than 30 articles and chapters in professionals journals and books. In recent years he has taken advanced post-doctoral seminars on the Holocaust, published on this subject, and taught a course on The Holocaust: Moral Choice. He believes the heart of this course centers on: “who are we, as people and as a society?” Most recently, Dr. Stern presented on a panel, Human Rights in the Age of Genocide at the 43rd Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Churches and the Holocaust at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He has been honored as both an outstanding teacher and scholar, and finds that his love of teaching, scholarship, and working with students has yet to be diminished. He is most honored to have been chosen by his Shepherd colleagues to present the Last Lecture at this year’s McMurran Convocation.
2012 Last Lecture
Dr. Charlotte R. Anderson
Professor Emerita of Nursing Education
Dr. Charlotte R. Anderson is a native of Winchester, Virginia, and was educated at Shenandoah College (University) with her associate of arts in nursing degree. She received her bachelor of science in nursing from Eastern Mennonite College (University), a master of education in counseling from James Madison University, a master of science in Nursing from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in nursing from George Mason University. Dr. Anderson has been a registered professional nurse for 40 years, working initially in the clinical area. For the past 37 years, she has worked extensively in nursing education at Shepherd University. She served as chair of the department of Nursing Education for 18 years, leading the program development of the current B.S.N. program. She continues serving the Department as a visiting professor since her retirement in May 2010, when she was named professor emerita of nursing education by Shepherd University. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Anderson has received recognition for contribution to the establishment of the Association for Deans and Directors in Nursing Education (A.D.D.N.E) in the state of West Virginia; Outstanding Contribution to Community College Education in West Virginia for the West Virginia Community College Association; Distinguished Alumna Award from Shenandoah University; and Excellence in Nursing Education from the West Virginia Center for Nursing in 2009. Dr. Anderson has been actively involved in the Eastern Panhandle community, where she has served as board member to the Panhandle Home Health Care; Berkeley Senior Center; United Way Day of Caring; and the local Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Her contributions to the community have impacted the lives of more than 800 young Girl Scouts of America interested in exploring nursing as a future profession. For 37 years, Dr. Anderson has been a teacher and colleague. Her love for Shepherd University, students, nursing, education, scholarship, and the state of West Virginia, are a few of the reasons her colleagues selected her as the Last Lecturer for the 2012 McMurran Convocation.
2011 Last Lecture
Dr. Jerry Bruce Thomas
Professor Emeritus of History
West Virginia and Appalachia have always been the inspiration for the award-winning scholarship and work of Dr. Jerry Bruce Thomas, professor emeritus of history at Shepherd University. Dr. Thomas came to Shepherd after completing his B.A. degree in political science at West Virginia University and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Thomas’s dissertation, “Coal Country: The Rise of the Southern Smokeless Coal Industry and Its Effects on Area Development, 1872-1910,” served as the seed for many related research projects, including his book, An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression, published in 1998, by the University of Kentucky Press and reprinted in a 2010 edition by West Virginia University Press. Over the years, Dr. Thomas has published a range of articles on West Virginia for the Encyclopedia of West Virginia, edited by Ken Sullivan, the American National Biography, the Encyclopedia of Southern History, and the Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. His journal articles have dealt with depression era West Virginia, the WPA Writers’ Project in the state, and other historical topics. Dr. Thomas has been actively involved in the community, leading discussion groups, speaking on topics in his field, and involved in educational endeavors and activities including the film series, West Virginia: A Film History. His involvement in the University as teacher, scholar, and committee member over the years allowed him to make a significant contribution to the growth of Shepherd as it evolved from a regional college to a premier public liberal arts university. In 2007, he received the singular honor of being nominated by the University Dean’s Council to represent the Shepherd in the West Virginia Professor of the Year statewide competition, becoming a finalist and again honoring both the University, the School of Arts and Humanities, and the Department of History. For thirty-seven years, Dr. Jerry Thomas was an extraordinary teacher and colleague. His generosity, love of learning, scholarship, and enthusiasm for higher education and the state of West Virginia are the reasons his colleagues have selected him as the Last Lecturer for the 2011 Fiftieth Anniversary McMurran Convocation.
2010 Last Lecture
Dr. Charles W. Carter
Professor of English
Dr. Charles W. Carter is a native of Georgetown, South Carolina, and he was educated at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his B. A., his M. A., and his Ph. D. Before coming to Shepherd in 1972, Dr. Carter was a member of the graduate faculty of Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, and the full-time faculty at his alma mater, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Carter’s areas of expertise include 19th-Century American literature, American poetry, English literature of the Renaissance, especially Shakespeare and Milton, and Classical literature and mythology–and he has regularly taught advanced courses in each of these areas. By invitation, Dr. Carter has given a number of poetry readings for the campus and the community over the last decade. He has served on virtually every major standing committee of the University and as chair of a number of special administrative task forces. He was the first Moderator of the Shepherd College Assembly, the first Director of Academic Advisement (1997-2005), and has been involved with Promotion and Tenure decisions on the departmental, school, and university levels for a number of years. Dr. Carter has held the rank of Professor of English since 1985; he served as Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages from 1990-1993 and from 2004 to the present. In April 2000, he was inducted into the Shepherd chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and, at the end of the present academic year, Dr. Carter will complete his 38th year of service to the University
“In Praise of Science,” 2009 Last Lecture
Dr. Donald L. Henry
Professor of Physics
Dr. Donald L. Henry came to Shepherd in 1981, from Wilson College in Pennsylvania, where he was Assistant Dean of the College. At Shepherd he has served and led the institution in a variety of ways–as Dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics and prior to that as division chair. Since 1984, Dr. Henry has been a member of the editorial board of Proteus. He was a founding member of the Board of the American Conservation Film Festival, board member of the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center, the Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program, and Project director for a prestigious NSF Academic Research Infrastructure grant, which funded renovation and replacement of science research laboratories at Shepherd. Dr. Henry has served on a variety of other boards, grant projects, and has been coordinator of Science Academy at Shepherd. His publications have appeared in Physical Review and the Journal of Chemical Physics, among others. Over the years, he has given much and served well Shepherd University–his colleagues, the institution, and most important his students have been inspired by his intellectual integrity and zest for learning. His words today are a fitting tribute for Shepherd University’s highest academic honor.