Posted by Philip Poole on 2011-12-07

Samford University’s board of trustees elected new faculty members and new officers at their regular meeting Dec. 6 in Birmingham.

New faculty members include:

Grace L. Anderson, assistant professor of communication studies. Anderson earned three degrees, including the doctor of philosophy, from the University of California-Santa Barbara, where she had been a teaching assistant.

Bernadette D’Souza, assistant professor of pharmaceutics. She has a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from Mercer University, Atlanta, Ga., where she was a research and teaching assistant.

Robin C. Duncan, assistant professor of teacher education. Duncan is a three-time Samford graduate, including a doctor of education degree. She had been a part-time instructor at Samford and coordinated the student essay program for the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame.

Lindsey Kay Elmore, assistant professor of pharmacy practice. Most recently, she was an ambulatory care pharmacy resident at new Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, N.C. She has a doctor of pharmacy degree in chemistry from the University of California-San Francisco.

Aundrea Kay Guess, assistant professor of accounting. Guess earned a doctorate in accounting from the University of North Texas, Denton. Previously she was professor and chair of accounting at St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas.

Christina Villaverde-Camara, assistant professor of music. She has a doctor of music degree in voice performance from Florida State University, where she had been serving as a graduate assistant.

William A. Walsh, visiting professor of economics. He earned both a law degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Alabama, where he had been serving as an instructor.

Elizabeth G. (Betsy) Dobbins, associate professor of biology, was named as the inaugural Paul N. Propst Professor of Natural Sciences, effective with the 2012-13 academic year. Dobbins has taught at Samford since 1999. The endowed professorship was funded by Samford alumnus and Huntsville, Ala., pharmacy and real estate executive William S. Propst in memory of his father.

Trustees gave tentative approval to the list of December graduates, pending completion of all graduation requirements. “This is the reason we do what we do,” said academic affairs committee chairman Buddy Champion of Trussville, Ala. “They represent the ‘salt and light’ going out into the world.”

Trustees approved a resolution commending Samford psychology professor Stephen Chew, who recently was named a national professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Chew was honored at a Nov. 17 event in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

William J. Stevens, CEO of Birmingham-based Motion Industries, was elected board chairman. Stevens, a 1970 Samford graduate, previously served as chair from 2005-09.

Other officers are Huntsville, Ala., attorney Rod Steakley, vice chairman; Birmingham physician Lev H. Bragg, secretary; and Birmingham banking executive Victor E. Nichol Jr., assistant secretary.

In a series of regular reports, trustees heard that gifts and pledges to “A Campaign for Samford” now total more than $130 million. Applications for fall 2012 admission are running ahead of the same period last year.

Lisa Imbragulio, Samford’s investment officer, reported that the university’s endowment totaled about $238 million as of close of business on Dec. 5.

Attending their first meeting were new trustees Thomas T. Lamberth of Alexander City, Ala., Tim Vines of Birmingham; and Rhonda C. Witcher of Cullman, Ala. Birmingham businessman John Bell and Huntsville, Ala., businessman C. Thomas Houser returned to the board. Both had served previously.

Recognized for completing their trustee service were Selma, Ala. dentist Gerald Anderson; Wynema Lowery, a Cullman, Ala. businesswoman, and Dale Splawn, a Birmingham businessman.

In his report, Samford President Andrew Westmoreland reflected on several significant achievements in recent weeks, including Chew’s selection.

“I want to underscore what a tremendous accomplishment this is. We are blessed to have Dr. Chew here. He is representative of what you find on our faculty.”

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.