Four Awarded Wake Forest Professorships

Four faculty members have been awarded Wake Forest Professorships for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Receiving the honors, effective July 1, are: John Baxley, Wake Forest Professor of Mathematics; Deborah Best, Wake Forest Professor of Psychology; Willie Pearson Jr., Wake Forest Professor of Sociology; and W. Jack Rejeski Jr., Wake Forest Professor of Health and Exercise Science.

Baxley, who joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1968, earned his bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics in 1961 and his master’s in applied mathematics from Georgia Tech in 1963. He earned his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 1966.

Best, who joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1972 and is the current chair of the psychology department, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1970 and her master’s in 1972 from Wake Forest before earning her doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina in 1981.

Pearson, who joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1980, earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology at Wiley College in 1968 and his master’s degree in sociology at Atlanta University in 1971. He received his doctorate in sociology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1981.

Rejeski, who joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1978, earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Norwich University in 1970 and his master’s in sport science from the University of Connecticut in 1975. He earned his doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1978.

The four new Wake Forest Professors join nine faculty previously receiving the endowed awards, supported by a gift from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. The endowed professorships were created in 1989 to recognize faculty who exemplify Wake Forest’s teacher/scholar ideal in their teaching and research contributions to their fields.

Winners are selected from among nominees by a committee comprised of the provost and distinguished faculty.

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