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Three Receive Award for Exemplary Service to Southwestern

  • News Image
    Deb Brown has been chief of police at Southwestern since 1995.
  • News Image
    Bob Mathis, associate vice president for facilities and campus services, stands with students on the patio behind the Campus Center. Mathis has helped students implement lots of projects they wanted to do, such as growing herbs in pots on this patio.
  • News Image
    Sociology professor Ed Kain has also taught a popular dance class for students.

Police chief, sociology professor and facilities manager receive the 2014 Mundy Awards

Three employees have been honored for their exemplary service to Southwestern.

Police chief Deborah Brown, sociology professor Ed Kain, and Bob Mathis, associate vice president for facilities and campus services, received the 2014 Joe S. Mundy Exemplary Service Award, which honors faculty and staff members who have demonstrated exemplary service to Southwestern. The award was created in 2002 as a memorial to the leadership of Joe Mundy, who was a 1964 graduate of Southwestern and long-time trustee.

Brown has been chief of police at Southwestern since 1995.

“Serving as a university police chief is a complex challenge that requires excellent administrative skills, leadership skills, compassion, dedication, diplomacy, public relations ability, professional competence and strong interpersonal skills,” said Jerry Brody, vice president for student life. “Chief Brown has all these and more.”

Brody said Brown is always looking for opportunities to educate students and has been an excellent role model for them. Brown developed a self-defense course for women that she has taught to thousands of Southwestern students, as well as to other women in the community. She also has gone beyond the call of duty to assist victims of hurricanes, floods and other tragedies in Texas and neighboring states.

This is the second award Brown has received this year. In June, she received the 2014 Bill G. Daniels Outstanding Police Administrator award from the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators.

Kain has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1986 and is currently a professor of sociology and University Scholar. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, and is recognized nationally as an expert on the teaching of sociology to undergraduates. In addition to teaching sociology, Kain has taught a popular FRA (Fitness and Recreation) class on ballroom dancing.

Kain has held numerous administrative positions, including chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department on numerous occasions. Most recently, he played a leading role on a task force that was set up to look at possible reforms to Southwestern’s governance structure.

Kain has served as a mentor to many of Southwestern’s younger faculty members, and has organized a monthly “First Thursday” forum that gives faculty members a chance to share their work with each other. He has opened his home to faculty, staff, students and alumni and taken students to conferences across the country.

“We have all benefited from Ed’s enthusiasm, experience and insight,” said Alisa Gaunder, professor of political science and dean of the faculty.

Mathis has worked at Southwestern since 1997. In addition to overseeing the construction of Southwestern’s first two LEED-certified buildings, he served as co-chair of the Talloires Committee, which has been meeting regularly to implement sustainability initiatives on campus.

Mathis has also helped students implement initiatives they were interested in, including a community garden, a rainwater collection system, a chimney swift tower and the environmental studies lounge in Mood-Bridwell Hall.

“Bob’s attention to detail, his ability to gather information and clarify issues, and his willingness to help educate the students both in terms of sustainable initiatives and in ways to go about making effective change, are amazing,” said Laura Hobgood-Oster, a faculty member who co-chaired the Talloires Committee with Mathis. “He is an excellent example of how Southwestern is an entire community dedicated to teaching and learning.”

President Edward Burger announced the 2014 Mundy Award recipients at the annual back-to-school reception Aug. 21. Brown, Kain and Mathis will all be retiring from Southwestern in the coming year.