news-category: Faculty

Gardner-Webb President Presents Grant-Seeking Reassignment Awards for 2021-22

Flag Pole on Gardner-Webb Campus

Proposals Enhance Programs in School of Divinity and Department of Music

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University President Dr. William M. Downs recently presented two Grant-Seeking Reassignment Awards for academic year 2021-22. This honor provides recipients the time to prepare and submit a proposal for extramural funding in support of scholarly activities and program enhancement. This year’s winners are Dr. Steven Harmon, professor of historical theology, and Dr. Patricia Sparti, professor of music.

Dr. Steven Harmon

“From the Gardner-Webb perspective, there is a vast untapped world of funding opportunities out there that can transform student success and program quality at our University,” attested Downs. “Sources of support may be found at state and federal agencies, and there are scores of private foundations with resources that can enhance what we do at GWU. We are committed to building an infrastructure to facilitate grant-seeking, and I am excited that Drs. Harmon and Sparti are on the forefront of this important effort.”

Dr. Patricia Sparti

Harmon’s proposal is titled, “Launching a Center for Black Church Life in the School of Divinity of Gardner-Webb University.” Harmon envisions that the Center would strengthen the life of predominately African American churches in the ecclesial constituency of Gardner-Webb and its School of Divinity. The School would provide a theological education for their current and future ministers that grounds them in the traditions of these churches through curricular attention and faculty representation.

Sparti’s project, “Bringing Music to the Piedmont, Educational Concerts in High Schools, and outdoor Orchestra Pops Concerts to the Region,” is a plan to educate 11th grade students and the entire community on the joys of orchestral music and benefits of the arts. Sparti will write two new shows, one to perform for 11th graders in Cleveland, Rutherford, and Gaston counties. Outdoor pops concerts will bring music to the public.

Dr. Stefka Eddins

For the academic year 2020-2021, Dr. Stefka Eddins, professor of chemistry and department chair, received an award and has used her time to create a proposal for “A Research-Based Learning Initiative to Strengthen Undergraduate Science Education at a Liberal Arts Institution.” Her proposal seeks to adapt Research-Based Learning (RBL) to undergraduate learning. The RBL approach aims to merge research and instruction within established undergraduate curricula.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at 

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