Young Professor of Chemistry Dr. Howard Thomas was among the 20 professors from member colleges honored at the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) 10th Annual Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner April 14.
Each year, a member of the faculty from each of the 20 SCICU institutions is nominated for the teaching award according to rigorous SCICU guidelines. Recipients are honored at the annual dinner and awarded a $3,000 professional development grant.
Thomas, a native of Wales, has taught at Erskine College since 1976 and has served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics since 1984. He was named the Dr. and Mrs. James Rogers Young Professor of Chemistry in 2006.
While he teaches a variety of courses in chemistry, his own research specialty is gas-solid chromatography. Since 1981 he has collaborated with advanced chemistry students at Erskine, conducting summer research at Furman University. His biography is published on the SCICU website here.
SCICU sponsors State House Day, held April 15 this year. During the lead-up to SCICU Day at the State House, students representing all 20 member schools sent more than 8,000 letters expressing gratitude to legislators for their support of the state’s Tuition Grant program. More than 100 students and staff members from 17 SCICU schools, including Erskine College, traveled to Columbia to thank legislators in person.
Also at State House Day, Speaker Jay Lucas was honored as the 2015 SCICU Legislative Champion. Lucas presented the Concurrent Resolution passed by the Senate and House, which recognizes outstanding contributions made by independent colleges and universities to the State of South Carolina. He joined Gov. Nikki Hayley in recognizing April 13-17 as Independent College and University Week and April 15 as Independent College and University Day.
SCICU was established in 1953 with the primary mission of promoting independent higher education in South Carolina. SCICU seeks to advance independent higher education through fund-raising, scholarships, research, and by facilitating collaborative activities among the 20 member institutions, which educate some 34,000 students each year.