Drinko Fellows gather to celebrate Marshall’s commitment to research

DrinkoFellows_Feb2013_croppedOnce a Drinko Fellow, always a Drinko Fellow.

It has been seven years since Dr. Linda Spatig was named a Drinko Fellow at Marshall, but her gratitude for the fellowship has not slipped in the least. Nor has it dwindled for 12 other Drinko Fellows, who attended a luncheon in their honor last week, in the Memorial Student Center’s Shawkey Room .

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” said Spatig, a professor in the College of Education. “The most exciting thing for me continues to be that we got an opportunity beyond the usual kinds of resources to help with our research. To me, to be lucky enough to be named one of the fellows and get that year of support was a tremendous boost.”

The current Drinko Fellow, Dr. F. Robin O’Keefe, an associate professor of biological sciences, is the 19th fellow. No. 20 will be announced during the annual Drinko Symposium April 13. O’Keefe, known internationally for his work as a paleobiologist, will present the results of his work to the university community at that time.

“I am very grateful to have received the fellowship,” O’Keefe said. “The resources the Drinko Fellowship made available clearly made a big difference. I’ll have a couple of interesting stories from Chile and a couple of other places in April.”

Appointed annually, the fellow receives a generous stipend, a reduced teaching load, and other financial and clerical support for two academic years to undertake research projects and other scholarly pursuits.

Dr. Alan Gould, executive director of the Drinko Academy, said the late John Drinko established the fellowship for Marshall’s faculty because he was impressed by its quality.

“In giving back to the institution, one of the things he wanted to do was to honor our outstanding faculty, particularly those who stayed with the institution through thick and thin,” Gould said. “He appreciated them for the work they have done. The Drinko Fellows are great teachers and researchers, actively involved in committee work at the institution and equally engaged in activities in the community.”

He said that while grateful for the stipend they receive, the fellows also appreciate the importance of the fellowship.

“They understand how significant it is that the institution, through the Drinko Academy, thinks enough of its teachers to do something to acknowledge that they are pretty remarkable people,” Gould said. “They appreciate the honor but also appreciate being recognized for what they do. They’re accomplished individuals and I’m proud of all of them.”

Thirteen of the 19 fellows attended the luncheon. They were Dr. Robert Alexander, Dr. Mack Gillenwater, Dr. Edwina Pendarvis, Dr. Montserrat Miller, Dr. Mary Beth Reynolds, Dr. Bill Denman, Dr. Shirley Lumpkin,Dr. Simon Perry, Dr. Dan Evans, Dr. Mike Little, Dr. Chuck Somerville, O’Keefe and Spatig.

Spatig recently finished writing a book that she began working on when she received her fellowship. It is titled Thinking Outside the Girl Box; Teaming Up With Resilient Youth in Appalachia. She said it will be released this spring.

For more information on the Drinko Academy, call ext.6-3183.


Photo: Thirteen of the 19 Drinko Fellows attended a luncheon in their honor Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Memorial Student Center’s Shawkey Room. Front row, left to right, are: Dr. Linda Spatig; Dr. Montserrat Miller; Dr. Alan Gould, executive director of the Drinko Academy; Dr. Mary Beth Reynolds, Dr. Robert Alexander and Dr. Chuck Somerville. Back row, left to right, are: Dr. Dan Evans; Dr. Edwina Pendarvis; Dr. Bill Denman; Dr. Shirley Lumpkin; Dr. Mike Little; Dr. Simon Perry, Dr. Mack Gillenwater and Dr. Robin O’Keefe. Photo by Rick Haye.