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Carson-Newman honors Blevins, Martin and Boyce

(April 26, 2016)— Carson-Newman University honored three outstanding alumni during its annual Alumni Awards Banquet April 22 in Stokely Memorial Cafeteria.

Dr. Bill Blevins, class of 1959, was recognized as Distinguished Alumnus, while pediatric surgeon and 1999 graduate Dr. Colin Martin, of Hoover, Alabama, received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Longtime biology professor Dr. Patsy Boyce was celebrated with the R. R. Turner Spirit of Carson-Newman Award.

“These recipients deserve the esteem and admiration of our University community,” Associate Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Alumni Relations Vickie Butler said. “They have each used their talents and gifts to serve others through remarkable and extraordinary leadership. It is an honor to celebrate their accomplishments together.

Blevins earned the Distinguished Alumnus honor for his work in the professoriate along with his work as a professional counselor and author. The Benham, Kentucky, native graduated with a degree and a sweetheart, the former Carolyn DeArmond, a 1959 classmate and retired University faculty member. He earned the MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the PhD from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Other work includes an EdS from the University of Tennessee and studies at Oxford University.

He joined the Religion faculty in 1966, rising through departmental and divisional ranks before transitioning to Counseling. A founding partner of the Knoxville Counseling Center, he led Jefferson City’s Barnabas House Counseling Center for many years. While he retired from fulltime university service in 2011, he continues to pursue research in neurochemistry while leading the Blevins Institute for Spirituality and Mental Health, which was named in his honor a few years ago.

His honors include Distinguished Professor, Outstanding American Educator and Carson-Newman’s Faculty Research Award. A newspaper columnist and author, his books include several classroom texts and “Your Family – Your Self,” which has been credited with helping a generation of readers better understand themselves in the context of emotional heritage.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Martin has continued professionally the dedication to medicine that he first exhibited as a student. Former Carson-Newman basketball coach and current trustee Dale Clayton championed his friend for his “character” and for the “tremendous impact” he is making in his work. Clayton said Martin’s principles were clear from the start, including his understanding that basketball was the means to an end of a play of diligent study and earning his admission into medical school.

Following medical school at Wayne State University, Martin received post-doctoral training at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital. He joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Division of Pediatric Surgery in 2012 and serves as a pediatric surgeon at Children’s of Alabama Hospital.

He has accumulated numerous honors as a scholar, teacher and researcher. His research focuses on the role of the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor signaling in immune modulated intestinal injury in neonates. Other research features pediatric injury-related topics, including racial disparities in child abuse-related head injuries and in firearm injuries, as well as assessing the role of immune cells in the pathogenesis of Necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants.

Boyce received the University’s Turner Award, reserved for those who cheerfully invest themselves in the work of education while doing likewise in the lives of students and colleagues. A native of Burnsville, North Carolina, the professor of Biology joined the Carson-Newman faculty in 1988, following teaching posts at Walters State Community College, the University of Tennessee and Berea College.

Her classroom excellence and dedication to students has been previously noted with Carson-Newman’s Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award, the Academic Advising Award and her selection as Distinguished Professor in 2000.

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