UWA presents awards to four outstanding faculty and staff

Angel Jowers

Angel Jowers

LIVINGSTON — The University of West Alabama presented four prestigious awards to members of its faculty and staff during Monday’s UWA Board of Trustees quarterly meeting at Bell Conference Center. The Loraine McIlwain Bell Trustee Awards and the Nellie Rose McCrory Service Excellence Award were presented to distinguished employees.

Candidates for the awards are nominated by the University community, and the winner in each category is selected by a committee of peers.

The Loraine McIlwain Bell Trustee Awards were established in 1996 through an endowment by the late Mrs. Bell’s daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. L.G. Cunningham. UWA’s Bell Conference Center is also named in honor of Mrs. Bell and her husband. The McIlwain Bell Awards are presented annually in three categories: support staff, professional staff, and faculty. Each comes with a plaque and a check for $1,000.

Sharon Harwell, secretary for the Department of Fine Arts, received the 2015 Support Staff Excellence Award. Harwell has served in this position since her hiring in 1999.

Sharon Harwell

Sharon Harwell

Letters of recommendation from her peers point to her work ethic and commitment to the daily tasks of her job and to the students in the department. Among her duties is the responsibility for submitting student scholarships, one that her colleagues say she always does quickly and correctly. Such commitment, her recommendations suggest, has often required that she come to work early or leave late.

Harwell is known in her department for her resourcefulness, decision-making skills, and the ability to carry out her job with grace, professionalism, and humor.

Angel Jowers received the 2015 McIlwain Bell Professional Staff Excellence Award. Jowers joined the staff at UWA in 2008 in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness Today, she is director of institutional effectiveness and serves as assistant to the University Provost.

Among her several recommendation letters are repeated references to Jowers’s resourcefulness and commitment to not only helping others make UWA successful, but to ensure that successes are reported adequately to accrediting organizations.

Dr. Donnie Cobb

Dr. Donnie Cobb

Jowers played an instrumental role in the University’s recent SACS reaffirmation of accreditation. Fellow committee members noted her management skills and attention to detail, as well as her commitment to helping colleagues understand the significance of planning and assessment as vital to the success of the University.

Dr. Donnie Cobb received the 2014 McIlwain Bell Trustee Professor Award. In his current role as associate professor of computer information systems and technology, Cobb also serves as chair of the CIS/Technology Department for the College of Business.

Cobb’s nominations call him a “tireless servant of [the] University and its students,” explaining that he stays in touch on a consistent basis with employers regarding internships and career opportunities for students. Aside from his daily duties in the classroom and as chair of  his academic department, Cobb also spends significant time on the road recruiting students.

He holds a 1985 bachelor of science in technology education from Livingston University (now UWA), a master of science in continuing education from UWA, and earned a doctorate in instructional systems and workforce development at Mississippi State University.

Dr. Alan Brown

Dr. Alan Brown

The McCrory Service Award recognizes commitment to the University community through scholarship and service and is made possible by an endowment by the late Miss McCrory, who earned the B.S. in English and M.Ed. in Secondary Education from UWA and the doctorate from the University of Alabama. The honor includes a plaque and a check for $1,000 for a faculty member chosen by a committee of peers for having demonstrated distinguished service to UWA and the surrounding region.

Dr. Alan Brown received the Nellie Rose McCrory Service Excellence Award. He joined the faculty in 1986 as an assistant professor of English and director of the Department of Languages and Literature’s writing center and has risen to the rank of professor and senior member of the department.

Brown is the author and editor of more than 20 books and has become one of the leading experts in the U.S. on the subject of ghost lore. In addition, he is regarded as an expert on folklore of the Black Belt region and has documented his research for many years. His work often puts him at the forefront of the Alabama Humanities Foundation Speakers Bureau, speaking across the state on both subjects.

Brown holds a bachelor of arts in English from Millikin University in Illinois, a master of arts in education administration from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate of arts in English Arts Comprehensive and American Literature from Illinois State University.

###