Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-10-31

By Sarah Waller


Jonathan Davis, associate professor in Samford University's family studies department, has been named a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award by the National Council on Family Relations. He received the award in October at NCFR's national convention.

Presented to no more than five professionals each year, this nationally-recognized award reflects Davis' service to NCFR and his dedication to student research.

The new school year marks Davis' 10th year teaching at Samford, and during his tenure he has served as an active member of NCFR and the advisor for Samford's student affiliate SUNcfr.

Each year, Davis assists family studies majors as they present their research at the Samford Showcase where many are nominated to represent Samford at the national NCFR research competition. In the past ten years, two Samford students have won the Undergraduate Research Award.

Davis said he is a firm believer that every student, whether they continue on to graduate school or not, benefits from doing research. Samford's family studies department requires that all students take part in its research curriculum, a program that includes three courses that span 18 months.

"It is an important process because it gives students confidence," Davis says. "They know they have accomplished something that is a significant challenge."

Though the Meritorious Service Award celebrates his last 10 years of service, Davis says he feels too young to receive such a prestigious award. "I have only been in the field for ten years. I have a ways to go," he said. "But the award is a nice affirmation for the work that happens at Samford, which is focused on teaching and service."


Sarah Waller is a journalism and mass communication major and a writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.

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.