The Centennial Professorship is bestowed by the Clemson University faculty upon an outstanding colleague who is tenured or has a tenure-track appointment with demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following areas: undergraduate and/or graduate teaching, applied and/or basic research, public/extension service, and librarianship. The award will be approximately $12,000 per year, which can be used at the recipient’s discretion for a salary supplement, travel, supplies, equipment, and/or graduate student support. The Centennial Professorship is for a non-renewable two-year term. Recipients are recognized at the General Faculty Meeting in May. Caricatures by Kate Salley Palmer of award recipients are placed in the Madren Center.
The Centennial Professorship was established by the Faculty Senate in 1988. In 1987, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution concerning establishing a named professorship to honor excellence in teaching. The Centennial Professorship is the professorship created from that initiative. The faculty of Clemson University and their friends raised funds, and the Commission of Higher Education rewarded a matching grant to Clemson University for the creation of the Centennial Professorship fund. Since 1992, the Centennial Professorship Award has promoted excellence in teaching, research, service, and librarianship.
A call for nominations with details is sent from the Faculty Senate Office to all faculty every odd year, early in the spring semester. A set colleges is eligible every other year: AAH, BSHS, and University Libraries (2025), ECAS and Business (2027), and AFLS, Education, and Science (2029). The Faculty Senate President chairs the selection committee of one administrator, one endowed/titled chair, and two faculty-at-large (not from that year’s eligible colleges) who are selected by the Senate, by secret ballot.
2023 - Joe Ryan
Dr. Joseph Ryan is the Sue Stanzione Distinguished Professor of ClemsonLIFE. He is the founder and Executive Director of the LIFE (Learning is for Everyone) program, a nationally recognized post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Ryan has over 100 publications and has served as Editor of the journal Beyond Behavior for the past decade. His research interests focus on behavioral interventions and enhancing post-school outcomes for individuals with disabilities. He has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper, CNN, Headline News, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and other leading periodicals and given several U.S. Congressional Briefings on crisis interventions in schools. Dr. Ryan is also the founder and Director of several adaptive sports programs (baseball, soccer) that serve youth with disabilities throughout the tri-county area, and volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care who have experienced abuse or neglect. He is a retired Captain in the United States Navy Reserve, and was recently selected for a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award to Ireland for 2023-24.
2019 - Robin Kowalski
Dr. Robin Kowalski is a professor of psychology at Clemson University. She obtained her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research interests focus primarily on aversive interpersonal behaviors, most notably complaining, teasing and bullying, with a particular focus on cyberbullying. Her research on cyberbullying has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. She is the author or co-author of several books including Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors, Social Anxiety, Aversive Interpersonal Behaviors, Behaving Badly, The Social Psychology of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age.Her research on complaining brought her international attention, including an appearance on NBC’s “Today Show.” Dr. Kowalski has received several awards including Clemson University’s Award of Distinction, Clemson University’s College of Business and Behavioral Science Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Phil Prince Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Classroom, Clemson University’s College of Business and Behavioral Science Senior Research Award, Clemson Women’s Commission Outstanding Female Faculty Member, and the Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Collaboration. She was also inducted into the inaugural class of recipients of the University Research, Scholarship, and Artistic Achievement Award. She was named by Princeton Review as one of the best 300 professors in the nation, and was selected as a finalist for the 2013 and 2014 South Carolina Governor’s Professor of the Year Awards. She was also named a Trevillian Professor by the Clemson University College of Business and Behavioral Science.
Other past award winners include:
- Guido Schnabel (2017)
- Richard Figliola (2015)
- Laura Olson (2013)
- Roger Grant (2004)
- Sid Gauthreaux (2002)
- Darren Dawson (2000)
- Don Clayton (1996)
- Fran McGuire (1994)
- Jim Goree (1992)
Other past award winners include: David C. Guynn (2008), Murray Daw (2006) and Ray Sawyer (1998).
Caricatures of Award Recipients are by Kate Salley Palmer, a cartoonist, writer, and illustrator who lives in Clemson.