UWA inducts three members into Society of the Golden Key

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

LIVINGSTON — The University of West Alabama honored its top students for their academic achievement and leadership Wednesday, March 20, during the institution’s annual Honors Day convocation. In addition to recognizing student honorees, the University inducted three alumni into the Society of the Golden Key, the highest honor bestowed upon a UWA graduate.

Sylvia Burkhalter Homan of Demopolis earned the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alabama in 1969 and the Master of Science degree from the University of West Alabama in 1977. She continued her professional training at the Mississippi University for Women, earning the Master of Science in Nursing in 1984.

After five years in the field, working as both a nurse and shift supervisor at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis, Homan began her teaching career at UWA in 1974 as an Instructor of Adult Health. Within four years, she attained the status of Assistant Professor of Nursing, and in 1984, she was named Chairperson of the Pruitt Division of Nursing, a post she held until her retirement from UWA in 2008. Upon her retirement, Homan was granted Professor Emeritus status.

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During her tenure as Chairperson, Homan initiated the Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) collaborative model with the University of Alabama, which enables UWA’s associate degree graduates to pursue the BSN. As chair of the Steering Committee for the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission, Homan led the Division through three successful accreditation processes. She also served on the SACS Accreditation Steering Committee, Deans’ Council, Institutional Effectiveness Council, Academic Council, University Senate, and a number of search committees for University positions.

In 2004, Governor Bob Riley appointed Homan to a four-year term on the Alabama Board of Nursing. More recently, she served on the Item Review Committee of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. She is the Continuing Education Chairperson for the Marengo County Nurses’ Association, Past Chair of the Alabama Committee of Administrators of Associate Degree Nursing Programs and a past member of the Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital Board of Directors.

While at UWA, Homan was honored by students and colleagues alike. In 1995, she received the William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching and she was recognized by the UWA National Alumni Association with the Faculty Loyalty Award in 1996. Among her many honors, she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honorary, Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

She is also a member of the American and Alabama Nurses’ Associations, the Alabama Higher Education Partnership and the American and Alabama Heart Associations. She is actively involved with the First United Methodist Church, where she has served as Chairperson of College Outreach and as a member of the Administrative Board, the Council on Ministries and Wesley Foundation Service Group.

She and her husband, Dan, live in Demopolis and are the parents of three children, Danna, Melanie, and Matt.

Glenda Sue Moore of Choctaw County received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of West Alabama in 1984 and 1986, respectively, before receiving Administrative Leadership Certification from the University of Alabama in 1994. Along the way, Moore reached and inspired countless students during her service as a teacher at Southern Choctaw High School, Shady Grove Jr. High School, and Choctaw County High School between 1985 and 1992 and as an Upward Bound instructor and adjunct English instructor at Alabama Southern Community College from 1996 to 2006. Moore began her service in administration and educational leadership as Principal of Southern Choctaw Middle School in 1994, followed by ten years as Principal of Southern Choctaw Elementary School, beginning in 1996.

In 2007, Moore was elected Superintendent of Education in Choctaw County, a position in which she remains as of her re-election in 2011. In Choctaw County’s relatively small school system, Superintendent Moore is often seen wearing many hats, including adult education advocate, legislative partner, leadership training facilitator, and public relations specialist, among other things. As Superintendent, she has been particularly successful in forming system partnerships with a number of public and private entities, including the University Council on Teacher Education and the Black Belt Economic Forum, Workforce Development Region 9, the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, and Georgia Pacific (Koch Industries).

Moore enjoys working with community agencies such as the Distinguished Young Woman Program, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Heritage Fest. As a breast cancer survivor, she advocates breast cancer awareness by speaking to various church and community groups and organizing events.

Dr. Charles C. Woods of Alabaster received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the University of West Alabama in 1987 and 1992, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in environmental microbiology at Alabama A&M University in 1996 and accepted an Assistant Professorship in biology at Miles College in 1995. Over the next eight years, Woods achieved the rank of Professor, while teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses, and maintaining a significant and rigorous research portfolio.

Woods’ courses and special research interests include general and honors biology, environmental science, honors research, soil science, scientific writing, geology, embryology, bioremediation, and phytoremediation. His publications and manuscripts include topics such as the microbiological characteristics of mine spoils in Alabama and Tennessee and the relationship between soil enzyme activity, viable plate count, and respiration, biomass and soil properties on microbial proliferation and wetland soils. He has presented on topics such as environmental sustainability, environmental justice, and African-Americans and science at several regional and national conferences and programs.

A few of Woods’ personal accolades include Miles College’s Teacher of the Year, AAMU National Needs Scholarship Recipient, Patricia Robert-Harris Fellow and recipient of the 2001 UWA Alumni Achievement Award. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Soil Science Association, the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the Agronomy Society of America.