Faculty Features

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Faculty Award Recipients

McDowell Columns Scholar Prize

I am thrilled to be a part of the Chowan University religious studies department. I enjoy passing on my enthusiasm for religious studies and especially the History of Christianity to Chowan students both in the classroom and in the cafeteria!


PhD, University of Edinburgh
MA, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
MDiv, Gardner-Webb University
BA, Gardner-Webb University

Courses Taught

Understanding the Bible: Texts and Contexts
Christianity in the Roman Empire
Studies in Early Church History
History of Christianity
Baptist Life and Thought
World Religions

Academic & Scholarly Achievements

McDowell Columns Scholar Prize - 2016
Visiting Scholar, Cambridge University - Summer 2015 
Recipient of a "Small Research Grant" from The North American Patristics Society - Summer 2015


Ignatius of Antioch and the Arian Controversy - Forthcoming in Brill's Vigiliae Christianae Supplements Series (May 2017)

“Ignatius of Antioch: The Road to Chalcedon?”, Studia Patristica LXXV (Forthcoming 2017)

"William Whiston: No Longer an Arian", The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 66, no.4 (October 2015): 755-771.

"William Whiston: Was He or Wasn't He?" Baptist History and Heritage 47, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 19-33. 

"The Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John: Complementary Christological Compositions," Thinking About Religion 6, (2006). 

Book Chapters 
“Heterodoxy, Church History, and Biblical Exegesis in Newton’s General Scholium” in Isaac Newton’s General Scholium to the Principia: Science, Religion and Metaphysics; Edited by: Steffen Ducheyne, Scott Mandelbrote, and Stephen D. Snobelen – Forthcoming

Works in Progress
William Whiston and the Apostolic Constitutions: Completing the Reformation – this book narrates the story of William Whiston’s (1667-1752) relationship with the Apostolic Constitutions (a fourth-century Christian forgery) – his denial of their authenticity, his conversion to their authenticity, his defense of the authenticity of the Apostolic Constitutions, and the response of his contemporaries to his zealous defense of the Apostolic Constitutions. 

Book Reviews and Reference Works
"Perpetua" in The Encyclopedia of World Religious Figures, ABC-CLIO Press, Forthcoming.

Adam C. English, The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2012) in Perspectives in Religious Studies 40, no.4 (Winter 2013).

Darrell L. Brock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007) in The Expository Times 120, no.4 (January 2009).

Francis J. Moloney, Mark: Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) in Review and Expositor 104, no. 2 (Spring 2007).

"Ignatius of Antioch: The Road to Chalcedon?," Oxford Seventeenth International Conference on Patristic Studies, August 11, 2015.

"William Whiston and the the Apostolic Constitutions: Completing the Reformation," American Society of Church History Spring Meeting, April 17, 2015.

"The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas: A Misogynistic Text?" Chowan University Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium: Thinking Gender, April 21, 2014. 

"What on Earth is Religious Studies?" Chowan University Salon Lecture Series, April 12, 2013.  

“Bully Bishops, the New Testament, and Eusebius of Caesarea: A Gentle Corrective to Popular Culture," Chowan University Academic Forum, April 16, 2012.

"William Whiston and Ignatius of Antioch: Scholarly Recognition," North American Patristics Society Annual Meeting, May 23, 2009.

“Baptists and the Patristic Era: The Arian and Southern Baptist Controversies,” Scottish Baptist Theological Society, April 2, 2009.

"The Arian Controversy and the ‘Authentic’ Letters of Ignatius of Antioch," Scottish Universities Staff/Student Church History Conference, February 16, 2008.

"Translating Galatians 4:4 in Light of Paul’s Christology," North Carolina Religious Studies Association Annual Meeting, October 6, 2006.

"Nicaea’s Legacy, Johannine Christology, and Modern Scholarship: Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Origen Speak," Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, July 3, 2006.  


Trey Gilliam

Assistant Professor of Religion

Excellence in Community Service Award

My favorite thing about working at Chowan is that it provides me with the opportunity to get to know my students well due to the small class size. Charles Silberman said it best, "Education should prepare people not just to earn a living, but to live a life—a creative, humane, and sensitive life."


BS, Home Economics, Radford College
MS, Diagnostic and Remedial Reading, Virginia State University
EdS, Educational Administration, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
EdD, Educational Administration, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Courses Taught

Introduction to Teaching
Introduction to Special Education
Analysis of Research in Teaching
Educational Psychology
Learning Disabilities
Children’s Literature
Teaching Reading in the Elementary School
Reading Practicum

Carolyn Modlin

Professor of Education
Disability Services Coordinator

Excellence in Community Service Award

I enjoy teaching at Chowan University, because the school’s mission is to provide the “average” student an opportunity to earn a college degree in a Christ-centered setting. Chowan gives me the freedom to interject life skill subjects, such as, morality, integrity and ethics, into my teaching. I also appreciate the fact that Chowan is meeting the needs of an underserved and often overlooked population. This environment provides me an opportunity to teach culturally diverse students. With that in mind, I try to be an example and a role model while encouraging all students to be prosperous and successful, regardless of their individual backgrounds or socioeconomic underpinnings.


ABD, American Studies, College of William and Mary
MA, Administration of Justice, Webster University
BS, Public Administration, concentration in Law Enforcement, University of Arizona
AS, Police Science, El Paso Community College

Courses Taught

Introduction to Criminal Justice
Juvenile Delinquency
American Judicial Systems
Practical and Theoretical Criminal Investigations
Crime and Violence in America
Criminal Justice Administration and Organizations
Introduction to Sociology
Marriage and Family Living
Political and Sociological Thought of Washington and DuBois
The Hobson Course (with Dr. Cynthia S. Nicholson)

Academic & Scholarly Achievements

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Community Service Award in HIV/AIDS Prevention, Eastern Virginia Regional AIDS Coalition, 2008
Vivian C. Mason National Urban League Award, 2001
Outstanding Community Service Award, Black Business and Professional Women Newport News, 2000
Outstanding Community Service Award, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, 1997
Newport News Outstanding Youth Advocate Honoree, Peninsula Service Systems Forum, 1991, 1993, 1995
Outstanding Volunteerism Certificate of Merit, 7th District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, 1991 -1995

Virginia Peninsula HIV/AIDS Support Group, Founder, 2007 (Partnership with Eastern Virginia Medical School HIV/AIDS Resource Center)
American Diabetes Association Volunteer, 2007
American Cancer Society Volunteer, (Relay for Life) 2005 – present

Minetti, P. G., and Nicholson, Lewis, “Planning and Analysis of a Physical Fitness Program,” Law and Order, January 1987 p 245 - 248.
Nicholson, Lewis, “Hampton Police Take Home Car Program Pays Off," Virginia Police Journal, Summer 1986, Vol. 21, No 2, p 69.

Professional Organizations and Honor Societies
NAACP, Life Member
Omicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honor Society
Pi Gamma Mu
Alpha Phi Sigma


Lewis Nicholson

Chair, Department of Criminal Justice
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Alpha Chi Teacher of the Year Award



PhD, History, University of Minnesota
MA, History, University of Minnesota
BA, History, German, Canisius College

Courses Taught

Discovering the World
Modern Europe
History of the Reformation
History of the Crusades
History of the Holocaust
Nazi Germany

Academic & Scholarly Achievements

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Research Grant
Central European History Society, Summer Research Grant
Fulbright Research Fellowship, University of Bielefeld (Germany)

“Friedrich von Bodelschwingh and the Vagabond Question: A Trancontinental Examination of German Protestant Attitudes towards Poverty and Deviancy, 1880-1933,” At the Margins of the Welfare State: Changing Patterns of Including and Excluding the Deviant Poor in Europe 1870-1933, eds. Beate Althammer, Andreas Gestrich, Jens Gründler (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

“Eugenics and Conservative Social Policy in the Weimar Republic,” The German Right in the Weimar Republic:  Studies in the History of German Conservatism, Nationalism, and Antisemitism from 1918 to 1933, ed. Larry Jones (Berghan Press, 2014).

Bruckmüller, Ernst, ed.  Armut und Reichtum in der Geschichte Österreichs.  Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 2010. Austrian History Yearbook 45 (Spring, 2014).

Heim, Susanne, Carola Sachse, and Mark Walker, eds. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society under National Socialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.  Austrian History Yearbook 43 (Spring, 2012).

“A Hollywood Take on the German Resistance.” Film Review of Valkyrie, Director Bryan Singer. H-German Reviews (October, 2009).

“Regional Patriotism and Resistance:  The Case of Friedl Volgger.”  Review of Widerstand hinter dem Stacheldraht: Der Südtiroler Friedl Volgger als “Schutzhaftgefangener Nr. 66166'' im Konzentrationslager Dachau, by Hans-Gunther Richardi. H-German Reviews (April, 2009).

“A Novel Approach to History.” Review of Hammerstein oder der Eigensinn:  Eine deutsche Geschichte, by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. H-German Reviews (April, 2009).

 “Joachim Kuhn: A Tragic Hero.” Review of Stauffenbergs Freund: Die tragische Geschichte des Widerstandskämpfers Joachim Kuhn, by Peter Hoffman. H-German Reviews (February, 2008).

“The July 1944 Conspiracy, Sixty Years Later.” Review of Der 20. Juli 1944: Eine Replik, by Manfred Zeidler. H-German Reviews (February, 2008).

Selected Conferences
“Working Toward The Nation:  The Bethel Mission to East Africa and Protestant Social Welfare, 1890-1933” American Historical Association, 128th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. (January, 2014).

“Working Toward the Nation: Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, Arbeitserziehung, and  German National Identity in East Africa, 1890-1918” German Studies Association, 34th Annual Conference, Louisville, KY (October, 2011).

“Friedrich von Bodelschwingh and the Vagabond Question: A Transnational Examination of German Protestant Attitudes Towards Poverty and Deviancy,1880-1923”  “At the Margins of the Welfare State. Changing Patterns of    including and excluding the »deviant« poor in Europe 1870-1933” jointly organized by the German Historical Institute London and the Collaborative Research Centre “Strangers and Poor People. Changing Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion from Classical Antiquity to the Present Day” at Trier University, London (February, 2010).

“Work instead of Alms:” A Transnational Look at Protestant Social Work and the shaping of German National Identity, 1870-1914” German Studies Association, 32nd Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., (October, 2009).

“The Bethel Mission to East Africa and the Development of Protestant Social Welfare:1890-1923” German Studies Association, 31st Annual Conference, St. Paul, MN (October, 2008).

 “Arbeit statt Almosen: die transnationale Entwicklung protestantischer Sozialwohlfahrt, 1860-1923“ Normen & Devianzen: 3. Internationale Doktorandenkonferenz der vom DAAD gefördertenZentren für Deutschland- und Europastudien, Centre interdisciplinaire d’études et de recherches sur l’Allemagne, Paris (2.-5. July, 2008).

Ed Snyder

Assistant Professor of History

Excellence in Teaching Award

Small classes and one-on-one advising make Chowan unique and a place where students and professors enjoy successful teaching and learning experiences. University sponsored events such as sports, theater, concerts, art exhibits, the Hobson Lecture and Award, and others allow students and faculty to get to know one another and appreciate similar interests.


MEd, Old Dominion University
BA, Education, Guilford College

Courses Taught

Introduction to Teaching
Reading in the Elementary School
Children’s Literature
Multicultural Education
Directed Student Teaching
Methods and Materials for Language Arts and Social Studies in the Elementary Grades

Academic & Scholarly Achievements

2011 Alpha Chi Teacher of the Year
2010 Excellence in Teaching Award


Excellence in Teaching Award

Chair, Department of Teacher Education
Assistant Professor of Education
Fieldwork Coordinator

Faculty Advisor of the Year Award -

I really enjoy how the small class sizes at Chowan allow me to get to know my students and work with them one-on-one.


PhD, Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University
MS, Applied Mathematics, Western Carolina University
BS, Mathematics and Computer Science, Garner-Webb University

Courses Taught

Mathematics for Liberal Arts Students
Linear Algebra
Foundations of Mathematics

Tom Whitaker

Chair, Department of Mathematics
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Director of the Honors College

Excellence in Leadership - Club Advisor Award

My goal as a professor is not simply to teach, but to inspire students to learn.


PhD, Human Factors Psychology, Old Dominion University
MS, Experimental Psychology, Old Dominion University
BA, Psychology, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College

Courses Taught

General Psychology
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Research Methods
Sensation and Perception
Physiological Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Social Psychology
Psychology of Women

Academic & Scholarly Achievements

Professional Organizations
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; Virginia Academy of Science

Journal Publications
Phillips, R. R., & Madhavan, P. (2011). The effect of distractor modality and processing code on human-automation interaction. Cognition, Technology & Work, 13, 233-244. doi: 10.1007/s10111-010-0163-2

Madhavan, P., & Phillips, R. R. (2010). Effects of computer self-efficacy and system reliability on user interaction with decision support systems. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 199-204.

Selected Conference Presentations and Publications
Phillips, R. R., & Madhavan, P. (2013). The role of affective valence and task uncertainty on human-automation interaction. Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica: CA.

Phillips, R. R. & Madhavan, P. (2012). The effect of simulation style on performance. Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica: CA.

Phillips, R., Nash, C., & Madhavan, P. (2012). Does simulation style matter? Influences of simulation style on luggage screening performance. Presented atVirginia Academy of Science Conference, May. Norfolk, VA.

Picot, C. D., Phillips, R., & Madhavan, P. (2011). The influence of simulation style on performance. Poster presented at Virginia Academy of Science Conference, May. Richmond, VA.

Phillips, R. R., & Madhavan, P. (2010). Effects of secondary task modality and processing code on automation trust and utilization during simulated airline luggage screening. NASA Conference Publication (CP).

Phillips, R., Brown, J., Madhavan, P., & Liechty, M. (2010). Human factors studies in threat detection. Poster presented at Show of Pride, September. Virginia Beach, VA.

Phillips, R. R., & Madhavan, P. (2009). Effects of secondary task processing code on human-automation interaction in a cross-modal experimental paradigm.Proceedings of the 53nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica: CA.

Phillips, R. R., & Madhavan, P. (2008). The relationship between computer self-efficacy and human-automation integrated performance. Proceedings of the 52ndAnnual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, pp. 985-989. Santa Monica: CA.

Rachel Phillips