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Press Releases

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Eight Retiring from Salisbury University This Spring, Summer

SALISBURY, MD---The co-founder and driving force behind an internationally known film journal; a long-time academic leader who founded the Eastern Shore Senior Games; a professor who was instrumental in founding Salisbury University’s Psychology Master’s Program; a former SU president’s executive administrative assistant who found joy in a second career helping match students with the right employers; a professor dedicated to cultivating the benefits and pleasures of reading in the young; an administrative assistant who helped share the pleasures of gourmet food with the community; another administrative assistant so well-known she is recognized on campus by first name alone; and a cook with a head for business—all are retiring from SU. Combined, they represent some 189 years of service. They are: Dr. Amy Meekins, professor of education—15 years; Pat McGlothlin, administrative assistant with University Dining Services—16 years; Helga Aikins, administrative assistant with the Social Work Department—17 years; Olivia Henderson, cook with University Dining Services—17 years; Dr. K. Nelson Butler, professor of health, physical education and human performance—30 years; Dr. Robert Graff, professor of psychology—30 years; Patsy Somers, program management specialist in Career Services—30 years; and Dr. James Welsh, professor of English—34 years. "As those who are retiring move forward to a new stage in their lives, I wish each good health and happiness," said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. "The University community and I are grateful for their contributions to the growth of our institution.  Yet change is mingled with sadness. They will be missed." Meekins earned her Master of Education from SU in 1982 and her Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland College Park in 1987. A native of Cambridge, MD, she taught at elementary schools in Dorchester County for 12 1/2 years before joining SU’s Education Department in 1989. An advocate of reading, she has presented at reading association conferences in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. She also has published several articles on the subject, most recently “Formula Fiction: Seldom Recommended—Widely Read” with Dr. John T. Wolinski, also of the Education Department, in a juried journal, The Dragon Lode. She also has overseen a mentoring program in Dorchester County. In addition, Meekins was named an Outstanding Faculty Advisor at SU in 1996, earning a Certificate of Merit that year from the National Academic Advising Association. She has authored several materials for faculty advisors within the Education Department including the handbook On Becoming a Teacher. McGlothlin has served as administrative assistant for Dining Services since 1988, managing marketing, personnel and office functions. She took a special interest in planning and organizing SU’s Gourmet Dinner Series, which invited community members onto campus to sample fine cuisine. “She always has been friendly, efficient and kind,” said Jane Fandray, director of Dining Services. “Pat’s smiling face and gentle ways will be greatly missed.” Aikins spent most of her career at SU as an administrative assistant in the Social Work Department. Starting in 1987, she has become such a well-known person on campus that she has acquired a trait reserved mostly for rock stars. “Helga is known campuswide,” said Dr. Marvin Tossey, chair of the Social Work Department. “She, like Madonna and Prince, is known only by one name. She can call anyone from the President’s Office to the Maintenance Department and say ‘This is Helga,’ and they know who she is.” He added Aikins would be missed throughout the department, including its faculty, staff, students and field work coordinators. Henderson is best known on campus as “Miss Libby,” a cook who came to SU from former Salisbury restaurant Dockside Murphy in 1987. Prior to the opening of the Commons, she was the University’s head chef, supervising as many as four cooks. She also spent a year as morning manager of the Gull’s Nest where she worked with students. Originally from Somerset County, MD, she has traveled throughout the region seeking new ideas for Dining Services, attending classes twice in Baltimore and once in Richmond, VA. “She takes special pride in the products she prepares each day,” Fandray said. “She is a great role model and teacher for production assistants who work under her direction.” Butler earned his Master of Arts from Appalachian State University and doctorate from the University of Tennessee following undergraduate study at the University of Tampa. He came to SU as a professor in 1974, going on to chair the Health, Physical Education and Human Performance Department. In 1984 he was appointed dean of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies, one of the first two schools established at SU. He became the University’s vice president of academic affairs two years later. In 1994 he was named provost at SU. From 1995-1996 he served as interim president of SU. He has served as a consultant to private and public agencies on planning and education, and presented papers on the subject throughout the United States, as well as Germany, Sweden, England and Canada. Locally, he has been active as chairperson and founder of the Eastern Shore Senior Games, which attracts hundreds of senior citizens from the Mid-Atlantic Region to campus each spring. Graff earned his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Master of Arts from Ohio University. He came to SU in 1974 from Southern Illinois University, where he was an associate professor and director of clinical training. A native of Avalon, PA, he has published more than 35 articles in nationally recognized journals and presented more than 50 presentations or workshops at national or international conventions. He has written one book on the subject of career counseling, Self-Help Career Counseling. For one of his research articles, he received a meritorious research award from the National Group Work Association. A great deal of his research focused on testing the effectiveness of treatment modalities with different types of client populations. Graff was instrumental in developing the Psychology Masters Program and served as the director of graduate studies in psychology from 1976-1980 and then again from 1986-1989.  Besides his academic interests, he also worked with the dying and bereaved survivors of the deceased. Somers began her career at the Holly Center in 1974, transferring to the SU Institutional Research Office in 1978. After leaving the University in 1986, she returned in 1988 to become the executive administrative assistant for President Thomas Bellavance. In 1992 she transferred to the Career Services Office where she has organized each of the University’s growing job fairs and matched employers with perspective student and graduating employees as a program management specialist. “She’s a great advocate for SU and the students,” said Dr. Rebecca Emery, director of Career Services. “She has been our employer relations guru.” Welsh earned his Bachelor of Arts at Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1963, and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in film from the University of Kansas. He joined SU’s English Department in 1970 following an assistant professorship in English at the University of Kansas. The host and moderator of Films of the Gatsby Era, a series presented by the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting, he became a driving force behind Literature/Film Quarterly, an SU publication that, in the past 30 years, has become one of the leading journals on literature and film, read around the world. Joining with Dr. Thomas Erskine of SU’s English Department in 1973, Welsh co-founded the journal and continues to serve as its editor. With issues featuring international scholars, the Quarterly may be found in libraries at Harvard, Yale, UCLA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, among others. In all, circulation includes more than 30 countries. During the past three decades, the publication has offered real-world business and publishing experience for SU students who interned with the journal. An authority on film, Welsh has edited, authored and co-authored more than a dozen books on the medium including Abel Gance with Steven Philip Kramer; The Cinema of Tony Richardson, The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Film and The Encyclopedia of Filmmakers with John Tibbetts; Shakespeare Into Film with Richard Vela;  and The Encyclopedia of Orson Welles with Thomas Erskine and Charles Berg. He also has presented at national and international film conferences and authored numerous articles on film studies. For years he organized an acclaimed literature and film conference and with his wife, Anne, was a popular travel trip leader abroad. He was twice a Fullbright scholar to Romania where he helped students earn scholarships to SU. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at

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