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Monday, June 22, 2009

Presbyterian Association honors Dr. Ezell with national award

UNC Pembroke biology professor Dr. Wm. Bruce Ezell Jr. is the recipient of the 2009 Daniel W. Martin Science as Christian Vocation Award from the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith (PASTCF).

Bruce EzellIt is a national award from PASTCF whose mission is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information and to develop programs for members and the needs of the church.

Dr. Ezell is a 10-year member of UNCP’s faculty and a lifelong Presbyterian. Both his father and maternal grandfather served as elders in Presbyterian congregations, and Dr. Ezell was ordained an elder at the First (Scots) Presbyterian Church in Charleston, S.C.

“This award was a surprise and a delight,” Dr. Ezell said. “I am sincerely honored.

“It is gratifying to be recognized by a national organization,” he continued. “The Presbyterian Church has nurtured my family and we are grateful.”

Dr. Ezell will travel to Richmond, VA, in November 2009 to accept the award.

“Today, scientists and engineers are seldom recognized by the church for their professions,” according to a PASTCF statement. “Yet workers in science, engineering and science education not only lead others to a deeper understanding of the physical and biological universe, but they also empower humankind in ways that transform the earth and the human community.

“The Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith recognizes scientific and technological professionals who demonstrate in their lives that scientific endeavor, science teaching, and technological development are all part of God's calling,” the statement continued.  “Science as Christian Vocation” recognizes contributions to science, technology or science education and to the Christian community.

“Persons so recognized have demonstrated that their professional scientific, technical, or educational work is clearly part of their calling to serve God’s people and the world,” the statement concluded.

Dr. William Gash, associate provost, recommended Dr. Ezell for the award.

“I have attended several of his seminars and have been impressed with his breadth of knowledge, ability to assimilate both religion and science into a comprehensive explanation, and his ability to relate to all groups,” Dr. Gash said.  “Dr. Ezell is an excellent candidate for the Daniel W. Martin Program Science as a Christian Vocation award.

“This is a deserved recognition for Bruce’s many years of service to the University, the church and to education,” Dr. Gash concluded.

The award originated in 1998 as the Science as Christian Vocation Award. It is named in memory of the late Daniel W. Martin, an acoustical physicist and the first vice president of PASTCF.

A native of Ninety Six, S.C., Dr. Ezell graduated from Lander University and received the Master of Science in 1965 and Ph.D. degrees in 1970 from Clemson University. His research endeavors have been conducted in medical entomology.  These research efforts have been supported by the National Sea Grant Program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Several years ago, Dr. Ezell and Dr. David Nikkel, the chair and a professor in UNCP’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, developed and subsequently team-taught a course entitled “Science and Religion” at UNCP.

Dr. Ezell is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Highlands Biological Station. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Graduate Schools (PAGS) and the Conservation Educator of the Year by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.

He is married to the former Nancy Ellen Johnson of Ninety Six, S.C., and they reside in Maxton. He and his family are members of the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church.

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