March 29, 2022

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Kasmira Smith, Student Intern

VSU Selects Dr. Christine James as First Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair

Dr. Christine James

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University has selected Dr. Christine James as its first Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies honoree.

“I was genuinely surprised, honored, and humbled. It is always wonderful to receive an award, but you don’t do the work you do every day to receive awards,” she said. “You do it because you love the work. You care about the students and about how universities can change their lives. If you love it and you care about it, you feel that the award is motivation. It makes me want to keep going and do even more in the future.”

James joined VSU in the summer of 2002 as an assistant professor of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and was later promoted to associate professor in 2006. She earned tenure in 2007 and became a full professor in 2011. She has also served as the interim coordinator of the university’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

The Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair supports VSU’s efforts to recruit and retain highly talented and dedicated faculty. It is a lifelong position supported by the Callaway Foundation Inc. Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair endowment.

James’s favorite courses to teach are PHIL 2010: Fundamentals of Philosophy, PHIL 2020: Principles of Logic and Argumentation, and HONS 3999 Introduction to Honors Research. She said these courses allow students to get excited about philosophy and provide students the opportunity to conduct research, get published, and present at conferences.

James is an active scholar with two published textbooks, an edited collection, and a series of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and professional presentations on a wide range of topics. She is a tireless mentor for undergraduate students; she is actively involved in campus life and culture.

“Faculty members who receive these honors are able to use their time and resources to benefit the campus through new initiatives, grants, donations, and experiential learning connections in the community,” she said. “It opens the door to take new chances and begin new projects that students can participate in. This will mean new opportunities for VSU students for years to come.”

This summer James will lead VSU’s inaugural College Readiness Through Civic Engagement Initiative, which is funded through the Teagle Foundation’s Knowledge for Freedom Initiative.

“It is a program for high school students to discuss theories of government and ethics before they come to college,” she said. “They will be able to come to VSU and see the campus and participate in a series of talks and discussions like a college class, so we can also recruit them to come to VSU for college while they are here.”

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