By Ariel C. Emberton, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “I never intended to teach. I think God did,” Joe Foster, assistant professor of business and economics, said at Campbellsville University’s 36th Annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Service.
Foster was recognized for 35 years of service to the institution and spoke about his time at Campbellsville College and University. He thanked the students, faculty, staff and his wife of 53 years, Margie, who he refers to as his “girlfriend since first grade.” Mrs. Foster previously ran the university’s bookstore, post office and print shop.
Foster’s son, Joey, and daughter, Lisa, both went to Campbellsville University and between the four of them, Foster said his family has over 60 combined years at Campbellsville.
Foster has his undergraduate degree in business as well as a Master’s in Business Administration.
He had planned to work in business and owned and operated his own business. As a favor to the local school system, Foster would occasionally substitute teach. A customer of Foster’s, Sister Catharine, president of St. Catharine College, persuaded him to teach a class at the college and assured Foster he would enjoy it. “I did. I still do,” Foster said.
During his lunch hour and at night, Foster would teach classes for St. Catharine. His business closed, and he began working for Campbellsville College. “Some would call it a career change. I call it divine intervention,” Foster said. Foster was hired to teach and worked on his master’s degree at the same time.
“I studied along with my students. I also learned a lot from them,” he said.
Foster’s first semester at the university showcased an enrollment of 600 students with 204 enrolled in his classes. Foster said, “For years I was the only teacher in economics, and everyone had to have one of my classes. They could not avoid me.”
Foster was the first to teach a distance learning course at Campbellsville College for a maximum-security prison out west. He was also sent into prisons to teach. “I taught inmates about economics, and they taught me a lot about life.”
Over the years, Foster has walked over 1,000,000 steps in the Administration Building, had over 12,000 students in class and taught approximately 18 different classes.
“I tell my students that I can’t think of anything more fun than giving them a hard time, and that I hope to stay in the classroom until I fall over. When I do, class is dismissed, but I will still have someone take up their assignments.”
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, also spoke at the service. Carter said he was humbled at the hard work and dedication from the faculty, staff, coaches and administration. Campbellsville University has 12,209 students enrolled for this semester, and Carter said, “It wouldn’t happen if there weren’t collegiality and teamwork.”
Carter’s goal is to move forward to assuredness and continue to diversify. In the next year, Campbellsville University will be adding e-Sports and, finishing as well as beginning, major construction projects. A culinary program is planned to begin, housing is going to be expanded on the main campus and at Conover Education Center in Harrodsburg and a School of Medicine is in the works.
Carter complimented the faculty and staff for the work they do, and the Christian lives they continue to influence.
The following faculty and staff were recognized at the service:
Thirty-five years – Joe Foster, assistant professor of business and economics;
Thirty years – Dr. Damon Eubank, chair of the Division of Social Studies and professor of history;
Twenty-five years – Dr. Dottie Davis, associate professor of education; Dr. Darlene Eastridge, professor of social work; the Rev. Ed Pavy, director of campus ministries; Jill Roberts, assistant professor of accounting; and Dr. G. Ted Taylor, vice president for university outreach;
Twenty years – Jack Beard, landscape team leader; Debbie Carter, Carver School of Social Work director of recruitment and community relations and assistant professor of social work and assistant to the president for development; Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University; Sheila Douglas, secretary to the vice president for communication; Benji Kelly, vice president for development; and Christy Spurling, graduate students/student loan coordinator;
Fifteen years – Lori England, custodian; Rollin Gentry, serviceman; Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Alvin Humphress, maintenance supervisor; Franky James, men’s wrestling head coach; Dr. Richie Kessler, associate professor of biology and instructor in environmental studies; Scott Necessary, director of dual credit; Brenda Porter, custodian; Dr. Billy Stout, professor of special education; and Dr. Scott Wigginton, professor of pastoral ministries and counseling and associate director of Marriage and Family Therapy program
Ten years – Natalie Burdette, director of annual giving; Bill Cassell, assistant professor of criminal justice; Chris Davis, director of grounds and landscape development; Dr. Joseph Early Jr., associate professor of theology and QEP director; Andrew Franklin, director of residence life and assistant director of summer camps; Dale Furkin, instructor in English; Todd Gupton, groundskeeper; Venita Hooper, secretary for the Office of Academic Affairs; Dr. Thomas Jeffrey, associate professor of business; Ashlee Matney, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Matthew Oliver, associate professor of English; Davie Reneau, associate professor of art; Dr. H. Keith Spears, vice president for communication and assistant to the president; Terry VanMeter, director of personnel services; and Nancy Walters, assistant to development.
Five years – Nathan Allen, assistant professor of theater; Mi Hyun “Kay” Bell, international student advisor; Amy Berry, instructor in environmental sciences and Clay Hill Memorial Forest educator; Corey Bonds, instructor in music and assistant director of bands; Elijah Coffey, resident director; Josh Fuqua, executive director enrollment operations; Allison Garrett, allied health secretary; Tim Heilman, director of development; Dr. Ken Hollis, associate professor and director of Marriage and Family Therapy; Kelly Joplin, associate professor of social work; Mark Lancaster, network support analyst; William Morse, chair and associate professor of art and design; Anna Marie Pavy, director of institutional research; Matt Payton, radio program/production director; Jonathan Pufal, database support analyst; Colleen Reminsky, assistant athletic trainer; Lacey Rodriguez, lead cosmetology instructor; Angela Russell, postmaster; Kaitlyn Sanfilippo, assistant athletic trainer; Justin Watson, instructor in Christian studies; and Dr. Dale Wilson, associate professor of criminal justice.
The following individuals are retiring or have retired from Campbellsville University: Larry D. Creason, assistant professor of criminal justice and archery head coach, (2005-2019); Dr. Linda J. Cundiff, chair of the Department of Art and Design and professor of art, (1982-2018); Dr. Janet L. Miller, chair of the Department of math/computer science and professor
of mathematics, (1987-2019), and Connie P. Wilson, academic coordinator, (1973-85 and 1987-2018).
Hedgepath gave the welcome at the event; Davis gave the invocation, and Eubank gave the closing prayer.
The Faculty and Staff Recognition Program was established in 1984 as a way to publicly recognize those who have served Campbellsville University.
The committee planning the event were as follows: Mr. Terry VanMeter, director of personnel services, chair; Janet Blakeman, personnel assistant; Venita Hooper, secretary for the Office of Academic Affairs; Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications; Bruce Singleton, assistant professor of business; Steve Skaggs, director of the Cheatham Center for Teaching and Learning; and Kellie Vaughn, assistant to the president, major events coordinator and Presidential Ambassador coordinator.