Emmanuel Recognizes Award Recipients

Each year, Emmanuel College recognizes faculty and staff members who have gone above and beyond their call of duty for the betterment of the college. 

Faculty awards include the Firebaugh Award, Vulcan Award, and the inaugural Thomas L. Aaron Award.

The Firebaugh Award recipients are to exhibit the following characteristics: 

  1. Teaching and/or administrative excellence.
  2. Commitment to professional growth.
  3. Effectiveness in carrying out committee responsibilities, academic advising, sponsorship assignments and administrative duties where applicable.
  4. Willingness to respond to student needs outside the classroom.
  5. Commitment to Christian values and modeling as evidenced by chapel attendance, church participation and Christian service.
  6. Promptness in carrying out responsibilities and attendance in the classroom and/or scheduled meetings applicable to one’s position.
  7. Involvement in the total College program.

This year, two professors were awarded the Firebaugh Award, Dr. William (Danny) Bird and Dr. Jonathan Howell. 

Dr. William Bird 

Dr. Bird teaches in Emmanuel’s Psychology program where he oversees the counseling program of the college. 

Says Blake Rackley, his colleague: “Danny is probably one of the hardest working, most dedicated professors I know. He tries to give his students and patients 150% while balancing a baby on his hips and a two-year-old running around his legs. He is patient, kind, snarky, loving and consistent. He gives faithfully of his time and energy in all areas of his life. “

Dr. Jonathan Howell

Dr. Howell has served as an Assistant Professor in the Natural Sciences Department since Fall 2016. Immediately upon joining the department, Jonathan integrated himself into his role as a professor and eagerly began to add more roles on campus. He can always be seen at EC Athletic events, supporting students who have taken very well to him. He has a joyful and encouraging attitude with both his students and peers. Jonathan sees new challenges as opportunities to do what he can. 

The Vulcan Award is a relatively new award sponsored by the Vulcan Materials Company, a corporate sponsor and supporter of the Georgia Independent College Association (GICA), of which Emmanuel is a member. This award recognizes an outstanding faculty member who demonstrates strong academic skills in the classroom and provides leadership and support in other areas of campus life. This person is also someone who assists the college in nurturing an academic climate that fosters teaching and who provides leadership to enhance the campus community. 

The 2020 Vulcan Award was awarded to Dr. Sharon Synan – Emmanuel College Foundations Faculty Mentor and Director of Distance Learning! 

This year, especially the last few months, Dr. Synan has played an integral role in keeping the campus running as she led the charge helping faculty members convert to online teaching. 

One faculty member had this to say about Sharon – 

“Sharon has gone above and beyond what is expected to help everyone convert to online teaching. I am pretty sure that the large state university professors did not receive the same personalized assistance in converting their classes to online that we here at EC have received from Sharon.”

Congratulations, Sharon! 

The inaugural President Thomas L. Aaron Faculty Award is an award in memory of one of Emmanuel’s outstanding Presidents.  President Aaron was a president, perhaps more than any other who demonstrated the meaning of making personal sacrifices to advance the Kingdom of God here at Emmanuel.  In that spirit, the recipient of this award is someone who exhibits:

  1. Commitment to Christian values and modeling as evidenced by chapel attendance, church participation, and Christian service.
  2. Willingness to go above and beyond one’s normal schedule of responsibilities with a positive can-do attitude.
  3. Involvement in the total College program.
  4. Exemplary commitment and actions in responding to students outside the classroom.
  5. Effectiveness in carrying out one’s duties, including, but not limited to, the following:  teaching, academic administration, academic advising, and sponsorship assignments.

The inaugural President Thomas L. Aaron Faculty Award is presented to, April James! 

President Ron White had this to say about April – 

“When I think of the attributes of President Aaron, April exemplifies them to a “T”.  April as you know is our QEP Freshman Year Experience Director, and Bridge Director as well.  She has poured countless hours into making each of these programs work and then going way above and beyond in tracking students down, meeting with them one on one, anything she can do to help them succeed.  Not only that, but she also volunteers her time in Student Development with Career Development, and she is an adjunct in two of our School of Business departments, teaching with excellence.  And she supports her husband Brian in many of his Advancement activities.  She does all of this with kindness, good cheer, patience, and with a can-do attitude.  

Each year, Emmanuel honors a non-faculty employee who has gone above and beyond, with the Lorraine Wells Melton Support Staff Award. Mrs. Melton served Emmanuel College faithfully as the first-lady of the College when her husband was president, and as a long-time employee of the College, serving in the Business department for over 30 years. 

The criteria for the Lorraine Wells Melton Support Staff award include: 

  • Effective execution of duties
  • Commitment to professional growth
  • Responsiveness to students
  • Commitment to Christian values
  • Overall impact on the campus community. 

This year’s Lorraine Wells Melton Support Staff Award is presented to Emmanuel Head Baseball Coach, Jeff Kilgore! 

Jeff, a 2004 graduate of Emmanuel has served as the Lion’s Head Baseball coach for seven years. He has gone above and beyond in his efforts to recruit students to Emmanuel and to improve our baseball facilities. As a result, numerous improvements have been made to the facilities almost all of it from fundraised dollars! Also, Jeff has guided a team of 70 plus athletes to a 3.0 and higher team GPA. He works tirelessly to mentor our baseball players into incredible young men who have a relationship with Christ and leave Emmanuel to make an impact on the world. 

Emmanuel Athletic Director, Nate Moorman had this to say about Coach Kilgore – 

“Jeff is not just an amazing leader on the baseball field, but a leader in the Athletic Department. His friendship, his passion for mentoring young men, and his deep love for Emmanuel College are evident in all he does. We’re more than blessed to have him on staff and are deeply appreciative of his continued sacrifice and leadership.”

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Faculty and Staff Award Winners! Thank you for all that you do for Emmanuel College!