Longwood Honors Five Retiring Faculty Members

Published 5:06 pm Thursday, April 30, 2015

Five retiring Longwood University faculty members—including the university’s senior faculty member and a former vice president for academic affairs—were honored March 26 at a campus reception.

The faculty members (with the years they joined the Longwood faculty noted after their names) are Dr. Donald Fleming (2005), assistant professor of education/counseling; Dr. Rachel Mathews (1994), professor of special education; Dr. Wayne McWee (1984), professor of business; Dr. Manorama “Mano” Talaiver (2005), director of the Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP); and Dr. Robert Webber (1972), professor of mathematics and computer science.

Fleming, who taught graduate students, has co-coordinated the school counseling program since 2012. He has been developing training for students and staff as a result of a Longwood multidisciplinary research project on microaggression by him and two others, the results of which were presented to the 2007 annual meeting of the American College Health Association. A clinical psychologist who is a native of Binghamton, N.Y., he worked previously for the Virginia Department of Education (1990-2005) and as a school psychologist for the Chesterfield County schools (1976-90).

Mathews, who taught mostly graduate courses, served as the special education program coordinator for three years. She also coordinated the graduate certification program in Autism Spectrum Disorders, which she started in 2007 after conducting research during a sabbatical, and led the Blackwell Talk series committee for four years. She organized a support group for families with special needs children in Prince Edward and surrounding counties. Previous teaching positions included the University of Arizona-Tucson, two universities in Canada and schools in her native Malaysia.

McWee has held numerous administrative positions, including provost and vice president for academic affairs (2002-10), special assistant to the president for international affairs (2010-12), interim chair of the Department of Theatre, Art and Graphic & Animation Design (2012-the present), chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and Computer Information Systems (1998-2001) and interim dean of the College of Business and Economics (2001-02). He chaired the Faculty Senate for two terms and was the faculty athletics representative to the NCAA from 1993-98. A native of Yale, Mich., McWee is a recipient of the Maude Glenn Raiford Award (1995), Fuqua Excellence in Teaching Award (1999 and 2001), and the College of Business and Economics Outstanding Faculty Award (1995 and 2000) and Outstanding Advisor Award (1999).

Talaiver, who has been called “the premier leader of educational technology in the United States,” was principal investigator for numerous projects funded by the Virginia and U.S. departments of education, National Science Foundation and HP. She is a recipient of several national awards, including the 2009 Black Engineer of the Year Award, for facilitating K-12 STEM learning projects for underserved and minority students. Through HP funding, she has launched collaborative efforts to facilitate STEM projects in Virginia, Ghana, South Africa, India and New Zealand. Previously, she was director of learning technologies for the Science Museum of Virginia (2000-05), a technology specialist for the Chesterfield County schools (1996-2000) and the Mathematics & Science Center in Richmond (1988-96), and a faculty member and administrator at Lady Doak College in her native India (1970-81).

Webber, Longwood’s senior faculty member, chaired his department from 1998-2001, received the Maria Bristow Starke Award for Professional Excellence in 1993 and is the author of three textbooks: College Algebra and Trigonometry, Precalculus and Business Mathematics. He was president of the Virginia Conference of the American Association of University Professors in 2000-01 and has been treasurer since 2001, and he is currently secretary of Longwood’s AAUP chapter. He was principal investigator for the Longwood portion of the Virginia Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers project (1995-2001), funded by the National Science Foundation, which he described as Longwood’s first major math and science educational grant. The native of Earlysville in Albemarle County has read the names of graduates at Longwood’s commencement ceremony for 25 years.