Reba Davis wins Vergil Parks McKinley Award
Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2016
TROY – Reba Davis, director of the South Regional Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide (ACCESS) Center at Troy University, has won the University’s Vergil Parks McKinley Award.
Davis, who has been employed by the University since 1995 and served in her current role since 2006, received the award from Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, during a ceremony on Tuesday in the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor on the Troy Campus. She was nominated by Dr. Kathy Hildebrand, dean of the University’s College of Education.
The McKinley Award is the highest honor that Troy University gives to a non-faculty staff member. It is presented quarterly to an employee who has demonstrated outstanding attitude, innovation and work ethic. The award was established by the late John McKinley, former Texaco CEO, in honor of his father, Vergil Parks McKinley, who was a Troy University professor during the early 20th century and was key to the development of the University’s athletic program. Winners of this award receive an engraved clock and a $1,000 stipend.
The ACCESS Center at TROY provides quality distance education courses to secondary students who would otherwise be unable to take them, including classes in subjects for which schools cannot hire a specific teacher such as foreign languages or Advanced Placement courses. The ACCESS program provides classes for students of military families when they move and change school systems, and also provides credit-recovery classes for students who fall behind the graduation timeline for course completion.
The TROY ACCESS Center serves 200 schools each semester. Since 2006, the center has delivered classes for 135,266 enrollments, outnumbering the combined total produced by the state’s other two ACCESS support centers.
“It might be said that through her leadership and direction of the TROY ACCESS Center, Ms. Davis has done more to facilitate secondary education in south Alabama than any other single person,” Dr. Hildebrand said. “Although Ms. Davis has done much to advance secondary students’ access to quality education, she continues to search for new innovations. Through ACCESS’ delivery of quality education under the direction of Ms. Davis, she, as well as Troy University has become well known and greatly respected by secondary education entities throughout Alabama. The work and person of Reba Davis have been a great inspiration to me, and I look forward to yet more exciting initiatives she will undertake.”
Davis said she was surprised to be honored with the McKinley Award.
“Oh my goodness, this means so much,” Davis said. “I love Troy University. I have always loved my job. It’s the best of both worlds because I love education and working with this program, I get to work with the school systems of Alabama while working for the university.”