fall 2013 / 9
Harrison receives 2013 faculty
Dr. Mary Harrison, assistant professor of marketing at
Birmingham-Southern, has been named this year’s recipient of
the Bob Whetstone Faculty Development Award, given by the
Provost’s Office. The announcement was made at the opening-of-
school faculty and staff assembly in August.
Named for the professor emeritus, college alumnus, and former
longtime chair of the education division at BSC, the annual award
goes to a non-tenured faculty member for excellence in teaching.
The cash component of the award is for professional development
In addition to teaching marketing, Harrison has presented her research in services and retailing at numerous
national and international conferences. Her work can be found in the
Journal of Service Research
, and the
Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice
“I am honored to receive this award,” said Harrison. “Birmingham-Southern has amazing students who make
teaching a rewarding experience.”
Harrison joined the Birmingham-Southern faculty in 2011. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi
College and her MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.
Read more about the award on page 36.
Styers receives grant, buys specialized microscope equipment
BSC Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Melanie Styers ’99 has been
awarded a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation that
will give Birmingham-Southern students hands-on lab experience.
The $164,250 grant runs three years, but it will benefit BSC for far
longer, because Styers was able to use it to purchase a high-tech confocal
fluorescence microscope—a piece of equipment few undergraduates ever
get to use.
“This is a great opportunity,” Styers said. “Not only will we be able to
use it in our lab and in biology courses, but other faculty members are
discovering ways they can apply it to their research.”
With four lasers and the ability to create 3D images, confocal
microscopes cost as much as $300,000. But Styers found a gently used
one that didn’t sell in an Atlanta auction, and the firm agreed to sell it for
the reserve price of just $20,000.
The grant covered the microscope, but Styers still had to get the massive
and delicate piece of equipment home. She hired a specialty firm from
Philadelphia at a hefty cost. To her own money, she added a generous
donation from her parents, David and Kathy Styers of Decatur. (Styers’
sister is Hartselle physician Dr. Sarah Styers ’03.)
The microscope and other equipment purchased by the grant will
help Styers’ research into membrane trafficking, which she describes as
“the cellular postal system.” Her work focuses on understanding how
pathways in cells are co-opted by viruses for their own replication.
Harrison (center) with Dr. Bob Whetstone ‘55 and his