The close of the academic year is a time for celebration and reflection. Commencement takes center stage during this time of year, signifying a new beginning for recent graduates. But this is also a time when some of the University’s 1,000 faculty elect to retire.
As these individuals begin new adventures of their own, we wish them well — and we want to give you an opportunity to do so, too. The list below includes 11 retirees who have a combined 309 years of service on the UNC Charlotte campus, for an average of more than 28 years each. Their service ranges from five years to 42 years.
These faculty members have witnessed amazing change on the UNC Charlotte campus, and they have worked diligently to ensure the University’s growth. Their research has contributed to UNC Charlotte’s ascendance as the state’s urban research university, and they have taught and touched the lives of thousands of students.
Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of faculty retirees (some have not yet declared their intent to retire).
- Mary Rose Adkins, associate professor and librarian for the J. Murrey Atkins Library since 2006, came to UNC Charlotte as a graduate student working on her master of library science degree. Most recently, Adkins was head of library technical services.
- Dr. Kenneth Godwin served as the Marshall Rauch Distinguished Professor of Political Science since 2001. Godwin’s research interests have spanned the impact of fundraising techniques on public policy to his most current study of the impact of recent court decisions on the re-segregation of public schools and how re-segregation affects academic outcomes.
- Dr. Maria Yon, associate professor of reading and elementary education, and Faculty Fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning, taught and modeled the foundations of effective teaching and assessment at UNC Charlotte since 1987. Maria helped to plan and implement the College of Education’s Peer Teaching Observation process.
- Dr. Louise Baucom, clinical assistant professor of reading and elementary education, joined UNC Charlotte in 1986. Baucom served as the college’s first elementary education undergraduate program coordinator. She also supervised student teachers for the Office of Field Experiences and participated in important accreditation work.
- Dr. Richard White joined UNC Charlotte in 1983 as professor of special education and child development in the College of Education. During his tenure, White provided leadership both at UNC Charlotte and beyond the campus community. He served as president of the UNC Charlotte faculty, and as chair of the Department of Special Education & Child Development. In 2010, he was appointed president of the national Council for Children with Behavior Disorders.
- Dr. Steffy Robbins, professor of business information systems and operations management, joined the Belk College of Business faculty in 1981. When Robbins came on board, registration was held in the gym with computer cards. It then was moved to the colleges, and she gained fame as the faculty member who, with her expertise in Management Information Systems, organized the registration system and literally kept the students and faculty members in line.
- Dr. Walter Martin, associate chair and associate professor of geography and earth sciences, joined UNC Charlotte in 1979. Martin taught thousands of students at every level of earth sciences, from the introductory course to the upper division and graduate level, and was a 2005 finalist for the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence. He is well-known professionally for his work in atmospheric research in applied climatology with an emphasis on air quality. Martin also is known as one of the “Fathers” of the climatology and meterology programs at UNC Charlotte.
- Dr. Thomas Stevenson, the Cullen Professor of Marketing, joined the Belk College of Business in 1976. Stevenson was known within the college as an excellent teacher, a prolific researcher and highly competent administrator. He is a two-time finalist for the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence and the two-time recipient of the Belk College teaching award. He also won the Belk College research award for best paper published in 2008.
- Dr. Nicolas Stavrakas, professor of mathematics, joined the University in 1973. For many years Stavrakas served as associate chair of the mathematics department. He is also a proud UNC Charlotte alumnus. Stavrakas earned his undergraduate degree from the University and was a member of the men’s basketball team.
- Dr. Joseph Quinn, professor of mathematics, joined UNC Charlotte in 1971. Former students praised him for his dedication to their success. Quinn spent countless hours meeting with students and explaining the material to them both within and outside of designated office hours. In 1985 he was appointed Chair of the Department of Mathematics and in 1994 he became chair of the Department of Computer Science.
- Dr. Thomas Lucas, professor of mathematics, joined the University in 1969, just four years after the University was created and the first year UNC Charlotte offered master’s degrees. Throughout his tenure Lucas was involved in research projects with a variety of organizations, including the United States Navy, and published actively on a number of topics. He was a member of the interdisciplinary Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications, as well as the Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computation group in the Department of Mathematics. Lucas’ shared his passion for undergraduate research with students in math and physics.
Pictured: Dr. Thomas Lucas with Provost Joan Lorden