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Tami Blumenfield, an assistant professor of Asian Studies at Furman University, has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the rapid expansion of material wealth in rural China and Bangladesh. For the proposal, “Collaborative Research: A multidimensional investigation of the dynamics of market transition and social change in rural China and Bangladesh,” the research team was awarded a total of more than $415,000 from the NSF.
Furman’s Riley Institute and South Carolina Future Minds have announced the finalists for the 2015 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence. Presented in conjunction with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina State Board of Education, the award highlights innovative educational initiatives throughout the state. The winner of the award will be announced at a luncheon Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Furman University will celebrate the beginning of the 2015-16 school year with its fall convocation Thursday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. in McAlister Auditorium. Furman president Elizabeth Davis will preside as the university welcomes the freshman class and presents a number of major honors and awards. The convocation address, “Aspects of Transformation,” will be delivered by Dr. Scott Henderson, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Education at Furman. The public is invited to attend.
Paintings by Sarah Nguyen will be on display Aug. 28-Sept. 28 in Thompson Gallery of the Roe Art Building on campus. Restless Shadows is comprised of paintings created using modern mediums and techniques. In a statement Nguyen says, “I render each subject then allow forces such as gravity, chemical interaction, and random chance to take over and dissolve the forms, reflecting the occasional dissolving of boundaries between dreams and waking life, and between self and other …”
A framed picture of an iconic campus scene has pride of place in the president’s hallway at Furman. On the white mat that surrounds the painting are hundreds of student signatures captured in the days before Elizabeth Davis’ inauguration. “As I said in my inaugural address, students are a true source of joy for me,” she says. President Davis talked about her first year as Furman’s president in an interview for The Duke Endowment E-Newsletter.
Lesley Quast, Professor of Education Emerita at Furman, served as speaker when Furman held its summer commencement exercises earlier this month in Daniel Recital Hall. The university awarded 66 undergraduate and graduate degrees during commencement. Quast, who joined Furman in 1976, retired from the faculty at the conclusion of the 2014-15 academic year.
Furman has awarded major scholarships to 14 graduates of Greenville County high schools for the 2015-16 academic year. Established in fall 2012, the $20,000 scholarship is available yearly to one student at each of the 18 Greenville County high schools. The goal of the scholarship is to encourage talented local students to remain in the area and strengthen their commitment to the Upstate. The Heller Community Scholarship is named in honor of the late Max Heller, former mayor of Greenville and Furman trustee who was well known for his exemplary work in the Greenville community.
Furman has announced that four faculty members—Leslie Hicken, Jonis Tevis, Lisa Knight and Nathaniel Cook—have been appointed to endowed professorships at the university. Two of the new professorships are lifetime appointments, while the other two are for limited terms. “These outstanding professors were selected in recognition of their record of teaching, scholarship and service to Furman,” said Dr. John Beckford, Furman’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean.
The Travelers Rest birthplace and boyhood home of former Furman president Dr. John L. Plyler has been recognized with a South Carolina Historical Marker. The house is located at 302 N. Main Street in Travelers Rest, and the marker is located across the street on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Plyler, a 1913 Furman graduate who served as the university’s president from 1939 to 1964, was born in Travelers Rest on Jan. 12, 1894.
Furman University Education Professors Paul Thomas, Ed.D. and Scott Henderson, Ph.D., have collaborated on a new book, Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect (Peter Lang USA). Thomas co-edited the book with Paul Carr, Julie Gorlewski and Brad Porfilio. Henderson provided the cover artwork and authored a chapter in the book. Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect presents a wide variety of concepts from scholars and practitioners who discuss pedagogies of kindness, an alternative to the “no excuses” ideology now dominating the way that children are raised and educated in the United States today.