SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference named its All-Southern Conference Faculty and Staff Team on Friday, with two representatives each from all 10 member schools being recognized by the league.
While the selections were left up to each institution’s discretion, the recipients all shared the common characteristics of demonstrated service to the institution and contributions to campus life and the local community. Faculty members selected have demonstrated strong contributions to teaching, research and/or service, while staff members are being recognized for bringing out the best in others and creating conditions for success.
The faculty and staff recipients include: The Citadel’s Dr. James Bezjian and Stanton Adams; ETSU’s Dr. Joe D. Moore and Jay Seehorn; Furman’s Dr. Virginia W. Gerde and Elaine Baker; Mercer’s Dr. Sybil Keesbury and Myra Cameron; UNC Greensboro’s Tom Martinek and John Chapman; Samford’s Dr. Emily Hynds and Theresa Kanute; Chattanooga’s Dr. Debbie Ingram and Terry Denniston; VMI’s Col. Jack B. “Jay” Johnson Jr. and Col. Sarah L. Jones; Western Carolina’s Dr. Channa De Silva and Dr. Lowell K. Davis; and Wofford’s Dr. Dan Mathewson and Curt McPhail.
Each member of the All-SoCon Faculty and Staff Team will be presented a plaque and honored at a home basketball game at his or her institution. WCU's honorees will be recognized during the Catamount basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 22 during the men's game vs. The Citadel (7:30 pm start).
Dr. Channa De Silva, Western Carolina
Dr. Channa De Silva is an associate professor of chemistry at Western Carolina. After earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry in Sri Lanka, De Silva came to America to complete his doctoral studies, doing so in chemistry at the University of Arizona before working at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington as a post-doctoral research associate. De Silva, who started at WCU in August 2010, teaches chemistry and carries out research in the areas of nanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and computational chemistry. His passion is to support the academic success of the students by carrying out discovery-based research projects with WCU students and engaging K-12 students with science activities in the region.
Dr. Lowell K. Davis, Western Carolina
Dr. Lowell K. Davis serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success at Western Carolina and heads the logistical planning of important university events including Spring and Fall Commencement and New Student Convocation. He came to WCU from the University of Alabama, where he founded Alabama Reach, an office serving the needs of students coming to the institution from the foster care system, homelessness, or parental emancipation. Davis has continued to focus on supporting these populations and has established partnerships at WCU to provide emergency housing, domestic services and other resources through its on-campus center, Home Base. Davis serves as the Polemarch/President of the Asheville Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, and recently completed an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship for 2018-19 academic year at University of California Davis. Additionally, he is a Paul Harris Fellow for Rotary International, serves as a member on the Board of Visitors for the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina, is President-Elect for the North American Association of Summer Sessions and is involved in several other social and civic organizations.