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McMurran Convocation “Last Lecture”

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.

2024 Last Lecture
Dr. Colleen J. Nolan

Retired, Professor of Biology

Dr. Colleen Jo Nolan grew up in western Washington state. A 1977 graduate of W. F. West High School in Chehalis, Washington, she attended Washington State University and graduated as a member of the Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in animal science in 1982. Colleen earned her Master of Science in animal science from the University of Idaho in 1984 and her Ph.D. in physiology of reproduction and growth from Texas A&M University in 1987. Her graduate studies focused on the interaction between nutrition and the endocrine system and, in 1988, she became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. 

As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Nolan expanded the lab’s work on the genetic regulation of steroidogenesis, identifying two different genotypes leading to differences in testosterone production. In 1990 she accepted a position as a research fellow in the Department of Toxicology at the University of Michigan, studying the role of environmental contaminants and ethanol on endocrine function and working to identify how these compounds were impacting steroid hormone production.

While she enjoyed research, she felt called to pursue a teaching career at an undergraduate institution and, in 1991, she accepted a position as an assistant professor of biology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. At St. Mary’s she developed a collaborative research program with Dr. James Nelson at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Her work with Nelson enabled undergraduate students to conduct independent research projects expanding on the interaction of nutrition, aging, and endocrine function. During her 18-year career at St. Mary’s, she was promoted to associate professor, professor, and chair of biology. She helped develop the multidisciplinary forensic science major and served as a member and officer of the Faculty Senate and numerous university-wide committees, including the Premedical-Predental Advisory Committee.

In 2009 Dr. Nolan joined Shepherd University as a professor of biology and dean of natural sciences and mathematics. As dean she helped increase the grantsmanship and research culture within the University. She obtained the first grant to support undergraduate research in the sciences, SOARS, which has subsequently been renewed for over five grant cycles. This grant program has enabled more than 200 students to complete independent research with Shepherd faculty members. 

Dr. Nolan also served as a co-director of the Shepherd University Research Corporation from 2009-2015. In this role, she helped enhance the grant culture at Shepherd and increase the submission and funding of external research grants. In 2017 she returned to the faculty to establish fully online non-major biology courses. Throughout her career she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, technical papers, and abstracts (many including undergraduate student collaborators); presented her work at national and international meetings; and served as an officer or board member of professional organizations.

Following retirement in December 2023, she remained in West Virginia where she embraces her passion of raising, training, and competing with her Spanish water dogs in conformation, obedience, rally, scent work, and coursing. She continues to teach but shifted her focus by volunteering to teach advanced competition obedience classes for the Catoctin Kennel Club. She is honored to speak at this year’s McMurran Scholars Convocation.

2023 Last Lecture
Dr. Desmond Lawless
Retired, Adjunct Professor in the School of Recreation, Sport, and Exercise Sciences

Dr. Desmond Lawless, born and bred in England, grew up playing on the streets of London. Sport, especially football (soccer), would become not only a passion but a vehicle that allowed him to pursue an education while being able to explore the world. He was not the greatest student; though school bored him, sport kept him on the straight and narrow most of the time. Luckily, the 70s were the genesis of what might be called a movement revolution, where exercise, sport, and nutrition were huge influences on society—as they are today. These themes were to play a huge role in his career.  

After attending the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education, then teaching for 2 years in England, he taught physical education in The Bahamas for 5 years then 3 years as a vice principal of the English School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During these years, soccer played an influential role in his career as he coached in the United States every summer. In 1990, he completed a master’s at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and in 1991 was appointed head women’s soccer coach at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. As soccer boomed in the United States, so did Lawless’s 21-year career as a coach at Kenyon College in Ohio, and Shenandoah University in Virginia. During that time, he also was an adjunct instructor in sports sciences and a staff coach for the United States Soccer Federation.  

His love of soccer, coaching, and teaching served as the stimulus to complete a doctorate at Shenandoah University in 2012 with a dissertation titled “Flow and Self-Efficacy in Small-Sided Games,” which explored the motivation of players in practice situations. In 2013, Lawless joined Shepherd University as an associate professor and program coordinator of the Health Promotion and Exercise Science Program in the School of Recreation, Sport, and Exercise Sciences. In that role, he was the lead writer for the first-ever self-study for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs for the application and reward of national accreditation for the Health Promotion and Exercise Science academic program. Lawless has presented nationally and internationally on topics covering “Leadership and Wellness,” “The Importance of Small Sided Games,” and “Why Play is Important!” and served on various committees. 

Lawless continues to be involved in soccer as a volunteer assistant coach and teaching as an adjunct professor in the School of Recreation, Sport, and Exercise Sciences. He is honored to have been chosen to present the Last Lecture at this year’s McMurran Convocation. 

 2022 Last Lecture
Dr. David Wing

Retired, Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. David Bernard Wing, a New Yorker at heart, lived and worked in eight states in the US. He graduated from Ramapo Senior High School, Rockland County, New York, in 1972. After high school, he attended Columbia College in New York City where he majored in biology and was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. He continued to study at Columbia University and earned his Master of philosophy and Master of science from the Department of Human Genetics and Development. During his master’s studies, he ventured out-of-state for the first time and conducted a lab rotation under the mentorship of Dr. Arthur Weissbach at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey.
To complete his doctoral thesis, he chose to study at the Roche Institute and better define the role of the host cell nucleus in vaccinia virus replication. Columbia University awarded him his Ph.D. in 1984. He spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Plant Research, Cologne, Germany, where he shifted from human virology to plant molecular biology and examined how a gene could be in one part of a plant and not another, and the developmental regulation of plant genes. He then spent two years as a visiting postdoctoral scientist at the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources in Tsukuba, Japan, where he attempted to genetically engineer rice. He returned to the U.S. and taught botany and genetics as an assistant professor at the Department of Biology at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico.
In August 1999, he returned to the east coast and joined the Department of Biology at Shepherd. Here, he taught genetics, molecular biology, evolution, and general biology. After about three years of teaching at Shepherd, he initiated the development of a second biology program, a comprehensive major in ecological sciences. He is gratified to see the program gaining traction with concerns over global climate change growing. He was chair of the admissions and credits committee from 2009 to 2011. He then served as chair of biology from 2013 to 2021. From the very start of his tenure at Shepherd, Dr. Wing has maintained a deep commitment to undergraduate research. He conducted research and mentored students investigating several topics from plant sensitivity to copper, differences in the composition of leaf waxes, and the regeneration of an endangered plant species from leaf cuttings. Midway through his Shepherd career, he shifted from plant molecular biology to fruit fly genetics to compare two fruit fly mutants with different levels of wing development. All these efforts rewarded students with presentations at WV-INBRE and West Virginia Academy of Sciences. He retired from Shepherd in January 2022, and now lives in Burlington, Vermont, minutes from his son and two young grandchildren. He is deeply honored to be invited to speak today.

2021 Last Lecture
Dr. c. lynne hannah
Professor of Education

Dr. c. lynne hannah is a native of West Virginia. After graduating from Morgantown High School, she spent a year in Perth, Western Australia, as a Rotary exchange student. She graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University in elementary education with a minor in special education. Her first teaching job was in Berkeley County and it was during that time that she discovered Shepherdstown and Shepherd University (Shepherd College at that time).

After graduating from West Virginia University with her master’s degree in learning disabilities education she went to Montreal, Quebec, to pursue her Ph.D. in educational psychology from McGill University. She graduated on the Dean’s Honour List in 1992. Upon finishing her degree, she was hired in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations at Cleveland State University. Here she began her work in social justice education. Along with a number of colleagues and school personnel she established and administered the Urban School-based Teacher Education Program, a professional development school that was located in an urban middle/high school. This program offered an on-site opportunity for teacher education students who were interested in teaching in urban schools. It was in this school that Dr. hannah began the first of many exciting collaborative efforts in the pursuit of creating teacher education programs that utilized a critical pedagogy.

Dr. hannah came to Shepherd College in 1999 and in 2002 became the chair of the Department of Education. It was during her first semester as department chair that she began work on a project that brings her great pride. Working with Vice President Holly Morgan Frye (who at that time was the Director of Student Community Services) and Dr. Keith Leverett (who at that time was the academic manager at the Harpers Ferry Job Corps) they established a critical service-learning experience for her students. As they continued to work together, along with other faculty in the Department of Education, this service-learning experience became an established part of the teacher education programs. Dr. hannah has co-authored numerous publications on this particular program.

Dr. hannah is always happiest when helping her students expand their knowledge and understanding. And in this light, she is extremely proud of her latest publication which she co-authored with three women who are graduates of Shepherd University’s Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction program. These three women participated in her graduate course on ecopedagogy and it was this course experience that they explored further in their publication. Now retired, Dr. hannah has moved to her farm in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. This working farm has been in her family for seven generations. She is planning to further her examination of ecopedagogy on the farm

2020 Last Lecture
Geri Crawley-Woods, Ph.D., LICSW
Professor of Social Work

Dr. Geri Crawley-Woods grew up on three continents as an “army brat” but has lived in West Virginia nearly all of her adult life. Following graduation from the Ludwigsburg American High School in Germany, she attended Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and completed her undergraduate studies in English literature and sociology at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. She began her social work career in the early 1970s, inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and motivated by his untimely death to become an agent of social change and to help build Dr. King’s vision of “the beloved community.” She pursued the Masters of Social Work degree at The Catholic University of America/ National Catholic School of Social Service in Washington, D.C., and worked in both public and private social service agencies before joining the faculty of Shepherd College in 1976.

She is currently the longest serving full-time faculty member at Shepherd University. While employed at Shepherd, she pursued doctoral studies at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and earned the Ph.D. in social work in 2000. Dr. Crawley-Woods feels privileged to have served the distinguished Social Work Program as a member of the undergraduate teaching faculty for 44 years. She was also director of field education for much of that time and, more recently, served as department chair. Among the many committees on which she has served and chaired, the one that organizes the McMurran Convocation has been her favorite, and she was pleased to be asked to deliver the “Last Lecture” by her esteemed colleagues.

Last year she was delighted to be nominated by students to receive the Mentzer Award for Inspirational Teaching. She has received the Shepherd University Outstanding Faculty Award for Service for her work locally and regionally. In addition to her contributions as a social work educator, she is a licensed clinician and has been part of private and pastoral therapy practices for many years. She has also worked as a community organizer and social activist.

Upon first moving to West Virginia, Dr. Crawley-Woods was instrumental in the establishment of the Congregational Cooperative Action Project (C-CAP) in Martinsburg and has provided leadership in many community action efforts since that time, including Friends-in-Action of the Eastern Panhandle, and currently in the Promise Neighborhood Burke Street School Initiative, sponsored by the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and Shepherd University. She has directed community-based research and service, involving social work majors and other students, as part of this program. She has also published and presented research related to poverty, social welfare policy, and curriculum development. She currently serves as the regional director of the PRIDE program, which has trained prospective foster and adoptive parents across a 17-county area from the Eastern Panhandle to the Western part of the state for 16 years. She has been the principal and co-principal investigator for a Title-IV-E federal grant which has also supported the training of public child welfare workers for 26 years.

Upon retirement this year, Dr. Crawley-Woods plans to continue working in the Burke Street School Promise Neighborhood Initiative and to launch an online self-care and mindfulness service for Shepherd students. She will also continue in her most prized role as a grandmother to four young grandchildren.

2019 Last Lecture
Georgiann Toole, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
Dr. Georgiann Hinchcliffe Toole is a West Virginia native. Following graduation from Brooke High School in the northern panhandle of the state, she first came to Shepherdstown to attend Shepherd College (this was somewhat of a happy accident,
but that’s a story for another day). After completing her B.A. in music education and social studies education at Shepherd (where she was a McMurran Scholar), she taught music in public and private schools in Berkeley and Jefferson counties while completing the Master of Music in conducting from Shenandoah University. She earned a Ph.D. in music education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and joined the Shepherd University education faculty in 2007, specializing in teaching instructional methods and graduate education research. For a number of years, she directed the Master of Arts in Teaching and the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and served as coordinator of the undergraduate social studies education program. Shepherd University has granted her the Distinguished Graduate Faculty award, as well as the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching. Recently, she has presented research related to teacher education to the International Society for Music Education in Scotland, and she has provided arts integration workshops to the National Council for Social Studies. She served as composer and clinician for Community Access Unlimited, a New Jersey nonprofit for adults with disabilities, and was invited to present reflections on this experience at the 2018 International Centre for Community Music Research Symposium at the teacher’s college of Columbia University, New York City. Dr. Toole has studied choral composition with Pulitzer Prize recipient Steven Stucky, and she was a 2013 winner of the New Voices competition at Catholic University, Washington, D.C. Her work has been performed by the American Guild of Organists, the Princeton Singers, Winchester Musica Viva chamber choir, and Shenandoah University ensembles. In 2015, her Evensong was composed at the request of thePiedmont Singers (Middletown, Virginia) for their residencies at York Minster Cathedral and Christ Church (Oxford), England. A setting of Emily Dickinson poems, Bee Songs, was selected for performance by the Irish women’s ensemble Dulciana, following a worldwide competition. In 2018, Dr. Toole’s arrangements of Scottish folk songs were performed by Shepherd University music students as part of the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence events. Her works are published by St. James Music Press. Following retirement from Shepherd University in August 2018, Dr. Toole has continued to supervise Shepherd University student teachers and to teach professional development courses for public school educators. As a proponent of lifelong learning and arts involvement for people of all ages and experience levels, she is active in music and history organizations in the Shepherdstown community. She is deeply honored to be invited to speak today.

2018 Last Lecture
Kathleen Corpus, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences
Dr. Kathleen Kolb Corpus, associate professor and chair of Family and ConsumerSciences, was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Southern California. She earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, a master’s  degree at Washington State University, and a doctorate in family and consumer economics at Kansas State University. Her dissertation was titled “Contributions to Retirement: A Comparison of One-Earner and Two-Earner Families.” Dr. Corpus began her 31-year career in higher education as a faculty member in consumer economics at Mississippi State University, and as a member of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station where she researched family decision making, consumer knowledge of Mississippi families, money management use by Mississippi students, and implementation of a student money management center on the  MSU campus. In addition to her academic duties, she provided expert witness testimony regarding the valuation of life for family advocacy court cases. A family move placed Dr. Corpus in Dodge City, Kansas, where she administered an adult education program, procuring nearly $1.1 million in funds through the U.S. Workforce Investment Act and Kansas Department of Adult Education. She became a volunteer with the National Park Service at Fort Larned National Historic Site, and expanded her research to include family sustainability and the role of women on frontier military posts. She was the recipient of the 2006 Volunteer of the Year award at Fort Larned National Historic Site. In 2008, Dr. Corpus joined the Shepherd University faculty in the Family and Consumer Sciences program. Dr. Corpus was instrumental in writing two successful program reviews for the FACS program, and was a major contributor to theInternationalAssembly for Collegiate Business Education Accreditation Self-Report, which resulted in a 10-year accreditation of the Shepherd business program. Dr. Corpus has been recognized by her peers as a recipient of the Outstanding Advisor Award and Outstanding Service Award, and she has maintained a professional credential through the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences as a CertifiedPersonal and Family Finance Educator. Dr. Corpus was influential in updating the food science and technology lab, which included acquiring state-of-the-art industrial equipment, and the apparel construction lab, for which she wrote a technology grant to purchase computerized sewing machines. She is a member of many university committees, and currently serves as chair of the Admissions and Credits Committee. She advises all FACS majors and served as an advisor to business administration students while department chair of  the Department of Business Administration and FACS. She was instrumental in bringing Tuba Christmas to Shepherdstown as an annual event. Dr. Corpus has served as an officer of the West Virginia Association of Family and Consumer Sciences as well as a senator to the national AAFCS. Dr. Corpus has been active in the Shepherd student study abroad program having traveled to14 countries as both a leader and faculty participant, and she was involved in establishing the current student and faculty exchange program with the University of Anáhuac located in Puebla, Mexico.

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.