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Drs. Vanlandingham, Boyce, recognized during Honors Convocation

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Drs. Beth Vanlandingham, left center, and Patsy Boyce, right center, are congratulated by Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien, and Executive Vice President and Provost Kina Mallard following C-N’s Honors Convocation.  Vanlandingham was recipient of C-N’s Distinguished Faculty Award, while Boyce earned the University’s Community Service Award.

Drs. Beth Vanlandingham, left center, and Patsy Boyce, right center, are congratulated by Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien, and Executive Vice President and Provost Kina Mallard following C-N’s Honors Convocation. Vanlandingham was recipient of C-N’s Distinguished Faculty Award, while Boyce earned the University’s Community Service Award.

“Distinction” and “honor” were the focus of Carson-Newman University’s April 11 Honors Convocation. The event recognized recipients of the Distinguished Faculty Award and Community Service Award for 2013.

Dr. Beth Vanlandingham was named recipient of this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest honor given to a Carson-Newman faculty member. Dr. Patsy Boyce received C-N’s Community Service Award.

Vanlandingham serves as an associate professor of history. She has been described by colleagues as always putting the education and needs of students first. Her students have touted her devotion of pushing them to “think more deeply, to consider more viewpoints, and to challenge assumptions and biases.”

Vanlandingham joined the faculty in 1994. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University, where she also received her master’s degree before coming to East Tennessee and earning her doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Her work at Carson-Newman, as well as the way she lives her life, exemplifies a commitment to both learning and service. Her tireless work with colleague Dr. Larry Osborne helped to strengthen C-N’s Bonner Program. Vanlandingham, who was also recipient of C-N’s Community Service Award in 2007, has served as a faculty advisor to the University’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. She is also involved in the Change Isn’t Worthless campaign on campus, which seeks to collect pennies for International Justice Mission in an effort to raise awareness about sex trafficking.

“Dr. Vanlandingham cares about students and about making a difference here on the C-N campus and around the world,” said 2007 alumna Lara Garner. “She is an amazing woman who has a heart for others, especially those who are the underprivileged or the downtrodden of society… She has my utmost respect and admiration.”

Though active on campus, her drive to help open windows onto the world for her students has led the Salzburg Seminar Fellow to make observatory visits to a hospital in Kenya, lead a pair of summer terms in London, accompany students to China on Appalachian College Association study trips, and visit Botswana and South Africa. She also secured a grant from ACA last year to explore a student trip to Germany with colleague Dr. Andrea Menz.

Vanlandingham’s master’s thesis, “In Pursuit of a Changing Dream: Spelman College Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1955-1962,” helped serve as a foundation for a recent research collaboration with the African American Heritage Alliance of East Tennessee, examining Nelson Merry School and Jefferson County’s African American community before segregation. And her doctoral work on Anglo-American relations in mid-19th century Shanghai has helped foster many classes, projects and lectures.

“This is just one example,” said Dr. Kina Mallard, C-N’s executive vice president and provost, “of a faculty member who cares deeply – cares about her students, cares about her colleagues, cares about her neighbors, cares about her world.”

Dr. Patsy Boyce was recognized as this year’s Community Service Award winner, being championed for exemplifying the spirit of the award through her service on and off campus.

Boyce received her undergraduate degree from Berea College before earning both her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Tennessee. She joined C-N’s faculty in 1988.

“Beyond her splendid reputation as a professor,” said C-N President Randall O’Brien, “Dr. Boyce has amassed an impressive record of selfless service.”

Although Beta Beta Beta’s mission is to improve the “understanding and appreciation of human knowledge and scientific research,” Boyce has instilled in C-N Tri-Beta chapter an additional vision and heart for general community service.

In her role as chapter advisor, the professor of biology plays an integral part in each of the honor society’s projects. Tri-Beta cleans a two-mile stretch of highway, 11E through the Tennessee Department Of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway program. The Chapter also serves New Market’s Senior Citizen Center by helping maintain its property, as well as organizing yard sales. Tri-Beta members facilitate musical instrument donations to an after school program, as well as offering transportation and bikes for students to enjoy the Virginia Creeper Trail.

Boyce has a passion for assisting students pursuing specialties in biology and medicine, even introducing high school students to the University’s gross anatomy lab. Her servant’s heart has also led her to help others abroad, as she has volunteered for mission trips to Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Belize.

“[Dr. Boyce does] these things above and beyond what is expected, or asked,” concluded O’Brien, “showing others how to give selflessly as well.”

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