John Bird, an English professor at Winthrop University, has earned the highest honor a faculty member can achieve from the university.
The university will present Bird with the Distinguished Professor Award during Saturday’s commencement ceremony, according to a Winthrop release.
Bird joined Winthrop in 1993 as an associate professor of English and was promoted to professor in 2005. Bird is nationally recognized as a Mark Twain scholar, has served as president and vice president of the Mark Twain Circle and has won several teaching awards, the release states.
Recently, Bird discovered the only known Twain bedtime story that exists. He was featured in The Herald, the New York Times and in other regional and national media reports.
Bird also has served at Winthrop as chair of the Faculty Conference and director of the Teaching and Learning Center.
Bird is just one faculty member who will be honored during this year’s ceremonies.
Winthrop President Dan Mahony will give the LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award to associate professor of English Siobhan Brownson during Thursday’s graduate commencement ceremony, the release states.
The award recognizes someone who has made significant contributions to graduate education at Winthrop. Brownson has been with Winthrop since 1997 and has served as the director of composition and as program assessment coordinator for the Department of English.
She was selected as the director of the master of liberal arts program in 2015 “because of her ardent defense of the liberal arts and of learning for its own sake,” the release states.
“With her knowledge of assessment, her vision and her formidable organizational skills, she has made significant contributions to graduate education first in the English master’s program and now in the liberal arts program,” the release says.
The graduate ceremony starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Winthrop Coliseum, where 230 students will receive their master’s or specialist degrees.
On Saturday, the university also will present Adam Glover, assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, with the Outstanding Junior Professor Award.
Glover joined Winthrop in 2013 and has interests in theology literature, 19th and 20th century Latin American literature and Caribbean studies, the release says.
Glover helped form the university’s Global Friends Program, which pairs international students with peers interested in learning a second language or experiencing other cultures.
“His selection indicates a reputation for inspired teaching, research or creative excellence and dedication to the welfare of students,” the release states.
Faculty awards will be presented during the 10 a.m. undergraduate ceremony Saturday at the Winthrop Coliseum. Nearly 400 arts and sciences and visual and performing arts seniors will receive their degrees.
A 3 p.m. ceremony will be held the same day for the nearly 315 business administration and education graduates, the release says.