News & Events


Carol Boggess, Professor of English & Regional Studies Coordinator (retired, 2016), received the Stephen L. Fisher Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, held in March 2016, in Shepherdstown, WV. Boggess was nominated for the honor by colleagues and former students at Mars Hill University. The award is sponsored by the Robinson Scholars Program at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Ron Collins, associate professor of business, has authored a chapter in a textbook for K-12 teachers, titled Teaching ELLS Across Content Areas: Issues and Strategies. (ELLs are "English Language Learners.")The chapter Collins wrote is titled "Motivating ELLs using a psychological approach." The book was published in July 2016, by Information Age Publishing (IAP).

A documentary directed by Hannah Furgiuele, Ramsey Center program coordinator and director of the Bascom Lamar Lunsford "Minstrel of Appalachia" Festival, has received a gold award from Spotlight Documentary Film Awards. (See related magazine article on page 11) The documentary, “A Mighty Fine Memory: Stories and Tunes from the Fiddler of Banjo Branch,” tells the story of Mars Hill master fiddler Roger Howell and his music.

Dr. Heather Hawn, assistant professor of political science, has received the G. MacLeod Caring Award. (See related magazine article on pg. 12) The Bryan Awards are given annually at Mars Hill University in honor of the late Dr. G. McLeod (“Mac”) Bryan, a member of the MHU class of ’39, and a professor at Wake Forest University. Bryan worked tirelessly for the cause of peace and justice, and influenced countless others to do the same.

Dr. Ethan Mannon, assistant professor of English, authored an article in the Spring 2014 issue of Mississippi Quarterly (which was published in 2016). The title of the article is: “Labor and Technology in Port William: The Revelatory Value of Wendell Berry’s Fiction.” Mississippi Quarterly 67.2 (Spring 2014): 171-92.​

Dr. Hal McDonald, professor of English, has been writing a blog of Psychology Today magazine online since December. It's called Time Traveling with Apollo: Literature, Neuroscience, and the Constructive Brain. The link to the blog is:

So far, McDonald has written sixteen posts. One of those posts was featured as an article in the May/June 2016 print issue of Psychology Today magazine. The title of the article is: "The thrill of the throwback." Psychology Today, 49, 12.

Jane Renfroe, associate professor of art, has received the 2016 Snow Award from her fellow faculty members. The award was established in 1999 by A.C. and Nancy Snow in memory of their daughter Melinda Jean Snow, a 1988 graduate of Mars Hill College. Its focus is the personal concern and mentorship shown to students by the recipient, both in and out of the classroom.

Michael L. Robinson, director of bands, has received the 2016 Gibbs Outstanding Teaching Award. This recognition is given by the faculty of Mars Hill University to encourage and reward a member of the faculty who has exhibited: outstanding performance as a classroom teacher, outstanding development of teaching methods and materials, and a positive influence on students and other teachers. The Gibbs Award was established in 1970 in memory of Robert S. Gibbs, Sr., who served on the Board of Trustees at Mars Hill College from 1903-1943.

Allen Shelley, head athletic trainer and assistant professor of athletic training, and the staff of the MHU Athletic Training Department, have been named the 2015-16 Athletic Training Staff of the Year by The South Atlantic Conference Athletic Trainers Committee. Members of the staff are Kelly Ottie, Program Director; Danielle Voss, Clinical Education Coordinator; Chelsea Lawing, Recruiting and Retention Coordinator; Che Gothard, Assistant Athletic Trainer; Amy Humphries, Assistant Athletic Trainer; and Caleb Strother, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Athletic training staff members Che Gothard, Amy Humphries, Chelsea Lawing, Kelly Ottie, and Danielle Voss also received the Above and Beyond award, from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) College and University Athletic Trainers Committee (CUATC) in June 2016. The Above and Beyond Award recognizes care in the collegiate setting for exceptional performance in athletic training or non-athletic training activities occurring in the past year.

Dr. Adrienne Akins Warfield, associate professor of English, authored an article in Renascence, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Marquette University English Department. The article is titled "Sunday School Books and Twain's Joan of Arc". Renascence, Volume 67 Issue 4 (Journal), Fall 2015.

Warfield also presented a paper titled “Humor and Empathy in Edson’s W;t” at the American Literature Association Annual Conference in San Francisco, California, May 26-29, 2016.