Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2006-08-30

Samford University exercise science and sports medicine (ESSM) professor Dr. Charles D. Sands IV has received the school's 2006 Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.

Sands, who has served as ESSM department chair since 2004, was recognized during the opening convocation of the fall semester on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

Candidates for the Buchanan Award, one of Samford's top faculty honors, are nominated by members of last spring's graduating class.

Students who nominated Dr. Sands for the award describe him as having a passion for learning that kindles excellence from them, said Samford Provost Dr. Brad Creed in making the presentation.

"He accepts nothing but the best, making himself easily accessible to lend whatever guidance is needed," said Creed, noting a nominator's comment that Sands inspires students to do their best and to do it for the right reasons.

"His entire life reflects genuine concern for the welfare of others, academically, socially and spiritually," said Creed of Sands.

A 1993 Samford graduate, Sands holds a master's degree in sport administration and a Ph.D. in public health, both from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sands has held teaching posts at Samford since 1994, when he worked as a graduate assistant. He joined the faculty fulltime in 1999. He is a former manager of the fitness and wellness center at St. Vincent's Hospital's Bruno Rehabilitation Center.

During the Buchanan Award presentation, Sands was cited for his volunteer service in Perry County, where he has initiated health screenings and weight management programs, and in China, where he has led research in solutions to childhood obesity.

Sands and his wife, Jennifer, have four children. They are active at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, where he is a Sunday School teacher and ordained deacon. He was raised in South Korea, where his parents, Elizabeth and Dr. Charles D. Sands III, were longtime Southern Baptist missionaries.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.