Ashley Smith '10 and Kaitlyn Allan '10
Students line up for Honors Convocation outside of Blackwell Auditorium
Professors Serge Schreiner, Alva Hughes '81 and Edward Showalter '84
(Not pictured: Professor Benjamin Huff)
President Lindgren, John Ahladas and Interim Provost William Franz
Eddie Thomas and President Lindgren
Professor Joe Mattys presents Christopher Mollen '11 with the
Barbara S. Doggett Music Award
Randolph-Macon College held its annual Honors Convocation Ceremony on Friday, May
14, 2010 in Blackwell Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts. Dozens of students
were presented awards for their academic and co-curricular achievements and contributions
to the college. Additionally, several faculty and staff members were recognized
for their dedication to the college.
To view a photo slideshow of Honors Convocation, click
The Thomas Branch Award, presented by Interim Provost William Franz
Recipients: Benjamin I. Huff, Edward D. Showalter
This award was established by the college in 1969 to recognize excellence in teaching.
The college received a grant of $25,000 from the Cabell Foundation as a memorial
to Thomas Branch, a member of the Board of the College in 1859. The income from
this gift is to be used for the purpose of supplementing the salary of a faculty
member in the hope of attracting and retaining faculty of distinguished ability
and integrity. The Committee on the Faculty recommended that annual awards be granted
by vote of a select panel of students; these are student members of Phi Beta Kappa,
Omicron Delta Kappa and the Honors Program.
Benjamin Huff (assistant professor of philosophy) joined the faculty
at Randolph-Macon College in 2006. He earned his B.A. from Brigham Young University
and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
Huff’s areas of interest include ethics, ancient philosophy, comparative philosophy
and the philosophy of religion. In 2007 and 2009, Huff was the recipient of the
Walter W. Craigie Grant for research. He currently serves as the assistant director
of the Honors Program at Randolph-Macon College. He also serves on R-MC’s Scholarship
Committee, Ethics Council, Environmental Studies Council and Asian Studies Council.
“Professor Huff can frequently be seen holding discussions in a variety of campus
settings – next to the sundial in the Copley courtyard, on the patio outside Fox
Hall, or anyplace that nature might provide a better backdrop to the day’s topic,”
said Franz. “The student selection committee praised him for the genuine care and
respect that he shows to all students. They praised his strong support of the college’s
cultural arts calendar and athletic events, noting that his presence as an audience
member for these events shows students how much he really cares about their intellectual
and personal growth.”
Edward Showalter ’84 (associate professor of business and director
of the Bassett Internship Program) joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon College
in 2001. Showalter earned his B.A. from Randolph-Macon College and his M.B.A. and
Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Showalter’s areas of interest include organizational contentment, relationship of
trust and organizational citizenship to ethical values in business, and multimedia
in business education. Showalter was the recipient of a Rashkind Grant for Sabbatical
Research in 2008 and he was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa National leadership
Society that same year.
“Professor Showalter is a scholar, as well as a teacher, and he is a frequent presenter
at a number of conferences including the Southeast Decision Sciences Institute,
the Society for Advancement of Management, and the Southeast Institute for Operations
Research,” said Franz. “His research is often done in conjunction with other departmental
colleagues and his students. This Randolph-Macon alum has served his alma mater
The Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award, presented by President Robert
Recipient: Serge H.P. Schreiner
This award was established by Mrs. Virginia Clark Gray in memory of her husband,
an alumnus and former trustee of Randolph-Macon College. Although called the Distinguished
Professor Award, this prize was established to honor the faculty member or senior
administrator selected by the president as the person who has made a distinguished
contribution to the college.
Serge Schreiner (professor of chemistry) joined the faculty at
Randolph-Macon College in 1986. He earned his B.S. from Miami University and his
Ph.D. from Clarkson University. Schreiner is the Dudley P. and Patricia C. Jackson
Professor of Chemistry and the co-director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
He is also co-director of the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship program
and the chair of the Department of Chemistry.
Schreiner’s interests include organometallic chemistry and the usage of transition-metal
complexes as anti-cancer drugs. In 1992, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2006 Schreiner was
awarded the R-MC Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching. During his career
at R-MC, Schreiner has received support from a Chenery Research Professorship, the
Walter W. Craigie Teaching Endowment and the Alan Rashkind Endowment Grant.
“Professor Schreiner’s hand is evident in all phases of college life,” said Lindgren.
“I am delighted to recognize him for his dedication to students, for his passion
for bringing chemistry alive and applying its principles to real-world issues, for
his long and distinguished service to the college, and perhaps especially, for his
exceptional role as mentor to student researchers, who hold our future in their
The United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award, presented by President Robert
Recipient: Alva T. Hughes
The Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church, jointly
with the college, recognizes the professor who exemplifies teaching excellence,
civility, concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education,
and service to students, the institution, the community or church.
Alva Hughes '81 (associate professor of psychology) joined the
faculty at Randolph-Macon College in 1991. She earned her B.S. from Randolph-Macon
College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland College Park.
Hughes’ areas of interest include everyday memory, language, culture and cognition.
Passionate about animals, she has also done extensive research into how dogs solve
problems and the impact that humans and dogs have on each other. Throughout her
career at Randolph-Macon College, Hughes has been the recipient of numerous Walter
W. Craigie Faculty Development grants and Rashkind Faculty Development grants.
“Professor Hughes merits the title ‘Master Teacher’ as well as ‘Prolific Scholar,’
said Lindgren. “Her classes, taught with energy and passion, receive universally
high praise. Her philosophy regarding student interaction is unequivocal. ”
Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Administrator Award, presented by President Robert
Recipient: John A. Ahladas
This award was established by Mrs. Virginia Clark Gray in memory of her husband,
an alumnus and former trustee of Randolph-Macon College. This prize was established
to honor the faculty member or senior administrator selected by the president as
the person who has made a distinguished contribution to the college.
John Ahladas has served as vice president of administration and
finance for the college since 1996. He serves as a member of the president’s cabinet
and is the administration liaison to the finance, audit, investment and building
and grounds committees of the Board of Trustees. In addition, he oversees the design
and construction of major renovations and new facilities and ensures that projects
are consistent with the college’s Master Plan.
Ahladas was instrumental in the completion of numerous campus projects to include
the development of the Brock Fitness and Recreation Center and Alumni Memorial Plaza
and the renovations of Pace-Armistead Hall, Old Chapel, Thomas Branch, Estes Dining
Hall and Macon Coffee, Freshman Village residence halls, Blackwell Auditorium and
the adjoining Cobb Theater.
“John has deftly provided leadership, management skills and solid common sense in
financial matters,” said Lindgren. “Within his mini-empire that encompasses the
Business Office, Human Resources, Physical Plant, Bookstore, Information Technology
and Food Services, he oversees a staff of more than 80 who collectively make the
infrastructure of the college run smoothly.”
Marilyn J. Gibbs Dedicated Service Award, presented by John Conkright, executive
assistant to the president
Recipient: Eddie Thomas
This award was created in 2009 by a generous gift from former Dean of Admissions
and Financial Aid, Dr. Steven Nape and his wife Diane. The award is given annually
to a member of the Randolph-Macon College staff for outstanding service to and support
of the mission of the college. The award is named in honor of Dr. Marilyn J. Gibbs,
whose 18 years of dedicated service to the college as assistant professor of sociology
and then registrar exemplified the highest ideals embodied in the college’s mission.
Eddie Thomas (Physical Plant) joined the staff at Randolph-Macon
since 1996. He is one of the most well- known members of the college community and
has been described as “an excellent manager who isn’t afraid to get down in the
trenches and perform the actual work duties in his areas of responsibility.” The
successful behind-the-scenes operations and set-ups for all events at R-MC are due
in a very large part to Thomas’ efforts. He is also responsible for the upkeep of
grounds and landscaping on campus as well as the athletic fields and makes sure
that everything is in top notch condition for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
“Eddie is a team player and departmental co-workers consider him an inspirational
colleague who is comfortable in either a leading role or in a hands-on role – whatever
it takes to make a project go smoothly,” said Lindgren. “He shows a level of confidence
that carries over to others working with him on various projects, functions and
daily operations that encompass all phases of life at Randolph-Macon College.”