FLORENCE – Dorothy Harris, professor of education and coordinator of the early childhood education program, was named to the Joseph Walker Coleman, Sr. Chair in Elementary Education at Francis Marion University during a luncheon held recently.
The chair was established by the John W. Sparrow Family of Scranton in memory of their friend and his dedication to Scranton High School as a superintendent and math teacher. The purpose of the chair is to honor a member of the faculty of the FMU School of Education for academic excellence, integrity and professionalism in their field.
“On behalf of all students, including myself, I want to say thank you to those of you who have devoted your lives to students,” said Sparrow. “Your impact is more long-lasting and far reaching than you ever thought it would be.”
Harris has had a profound effect on FMU since 1985 when she became a faculty member, said Ron Faulkenberry, dean of the School of Education. As coordinator of FMU’s early childhood education program, she schedules classes and works with faculty concerning course development, enrollment, student progress and program evaluation.
At FMU, she has taught introduction to early childhood, early childhood methods and materials, directed teaching and curriculum design for early childhood programs.
“During her tenure at the university, Dorothy has been the force behind a consistently strong program for preparing early childhood teachers,” said FMU president Fred Carter. “The Coleman Chair will support her teaching, service and research efforts in the area of early childhood education. We are indebted to the Sparrow family for their continued generosity and support of Francis Marion University.”
This honor comes on the heels of Harris also receiving the First Steps Early Care and Education Advocate Award. This award is given to an individual or organization that has consistently demonstrated support for quality early care and education.
“Nothing in my life told me that I would be here on such a great occasion. I thank everyone who contributed,” said Harris. “To the Sparrow family, you are giving to education, to all of us, at a time when teaching sometimes seems to be a thankless job.”
Harris received the B.A. degree from Johnson C. Smith University, the M.A. degree from Atlanta University, and the Ed.D. degree from the University of Georgia. Before joining FMU, Harris taught in the Georgia public school system, at Fort Valley State College in Georgia and in the Virgin Islands.
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