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Ten Hendrix Faculty Members Receive Odyssey Professorships

Odyssey Professorships awarded to increase engaged learning opportunities for students

CONWAY, Ark. (January 20, 2023) — Ten Hendrix College professors have been awarded Odyssey Professorships to fund specific projects that will engage students in active learning.

Each Odyssey Professorship carries an endowment to support two- or three-year faculty projects that create new engaged learning opportunities, such as internships and undergraduate research, for students. The professorships are an extension of the Hendrix Odyssey Program, the College’s nationally recognized engaged learning initiative. Individual faculty members or small groups of faculty members may apply on a competitive basis, and proposals are recommended by the Committee on Faculty. 

The new Odyssey Professorship recipients and their projects are:

  • Dr. Gabe Ferrer, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, was awarded the Dr. Brad P. Baltz & Reverend William B. Smith Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2025 for his project Computing Beyond Computers: Fine Arts and Robotics.
  • Dr. David Hales, Professor of Chemistry, was awarded the Thomas E. Goodwin Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2026 for his project Bio-Physical-Analytical Chemistry Research for Discovery and Discernment.
  • Dr. Courtney Hatch, Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Brett Hill, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, were awarded the Nancy and Craig Wood Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2026 for their project Leadership in Environmental Analysis for the People (LEAP).
  • Dr. Ty Jaeger, Professor of English, and Maxine Payne, Professor of Art, were awarded the Isabelle Peregrin Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2024 for their project Audiovisual Arkansas: Citizen Storytellers.
  • Dr. Kim Maslin, Professor of Politics, was awarded the Bill and Connie Bowen Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2026 for her project Discovering First Ladies and Reconsidering Power.
  • Dr. Stacey Schwartzkopf, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, was awarded the Margaret Berry Hutton Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2026 for his project Empire’s Legacies – Peoples, Places, and Things in the Americas.
  • Dr. Andrew Schurko, Associate Professor of Biology, was awarded the Morris and Ann Henry Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2026 for his project Friend or Foe? Exploring the Dynamic Role of Microbes on Campus and in Our Lives.
  • Dr. Damon Spayde, Professor of Physics, was awarded the Julia Mobley Odyssey Professorship from 2023 to 2026 for his project Nuclear Physics at Hendrix.

“The eight awarded professorships represent an annual commitment of about $200,000. Furthermore, they continue Hendrix’s well-established tradition of providing out-of-the-classroom and out-of-the-box experiential learning opportunities to students across the academic disciplines,” said Dr. Kiril Kolev, associate provost for engaged learning. “We are fortunate to have faculty-designed projects that build bridges between the classroom and the broader local and global community, enrich life on campus, and contribute significantly to student readiness for life after college.”

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit