91短视频

Randolph-Macon Honors Retiring Faculty Members with Bruce M. Unger Awards

Each spring, Randolph-Macon College honors the contributions of retiring faculty with more than 10 years of service to the College with the Bruce M. Unger Award presented at Commencement.

Dr. Bruce M. Unger was a political science professor at Randolph-Macon College for 40 years. Unger planned to retire in 2008 but lost his courageous fight against cancer before his retirement was official.

During Commencement for the Class of 2024, Randolph-Macon will honor six faculty members who are set to retire at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. Together, their enormous contributions represent a combined 167 years of service at Randolph-Macon College. 

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Dr. Michael S. Fenster, Professor of Environmental Studies, joined the 91短视频 faculty in 1999. He earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. from Boston University. He held the Stephen H. Watts Professorship in Physical Sciences from 2012鈥2022 and served as the Director of the Environmental Studies program from 2006鈥2023. Fenster was honored with the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award in 2008, the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award in 2024, and was twice a finalist for the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award. His research focuses on the morphodynamic changes to barrier island-tidal inlet systems from storms, sea-level rise, climate change and humans.

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Dr. Alva T. Hughes 鈥81, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, joined the Randolph-Macon faculty in 1991. Hughes earned her B.S. from 91短视频 as a National Merit Scholar before earning an M.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. She held the Macon and Joan Brock Professorship in Psychology from 2017鈥2024 and was honored with the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award in 2010. Hughes has taught many psychology courses at 91短视频, especially in the areas of cognitive psychology and the animal mind. Her research specializes in cognition in college students, human-animal interactions, and cognition in dogs.

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Dr. Mark G. Malvasi, the Issac Newton Vaughan Professor of History, joined the Randolph-Macon faculty in 1992. He earned a B.A. from Hiram College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. In addition to teaching a wide variety of history courses, Malvasi鈥檚 intellectual pursuits are eclectic and wide-ranging. He is the author or editor of nine books, the subjects of which include the Southern Agrarians, slavery, American religious history, American economic history, and the nature of historical thought. He has also published a novel, two volumes of poetry, and a memoir.

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Dr. Debra H. Rodman, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women鈥檚 Studies, joined the Randolph-Macon faculty in 2004. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Miami and her Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Rodman served as the Director of the Women鈥檚 Studies program from 2011鈥2018. A former Fulbright Scholar, her research interests include race and ethnicity, gender studies, gender and development, and more specifically the impact of migration on gender and ethnic relations among Ladinos and Maya in Eastern Guatemala. 

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Dr. Catherine L. Staples, Professor of Accounting, joined the Randolph-Macon faculty in 1995 and was critical to the development of the popular accounting major at the College. She earned a B.B.A. from the College of William & Mary and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in addition to being a certified public accountant. Staples served two stints as Chair of the Department of Economics, Business, and Accounting. She has been recognized with the Thomas Branch Excellence in Teaching Award, the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award, and the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award.

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Dr. Brian C. Turner, Professor of Political Science, joined the Randolph-Macon faculty in 1996. He earned a B.A. from the University of South Carolina, an M.A. from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. from Tulane University. A specialist in Latin American politics, especially the politics and culture of Paraguay, he is the author of Community Politics and Peasant-State Relations in Paraguay. Turner was the Chair of the Department of Political Science for more than 20 years and was honored with the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award in 2020. Additionally, the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies recognized him with the Judy B. McInnis Distinguished Service Award.