wins Outstanding Faculty Award
Steel Wills, associate professor of history at the University
of Virginia's College at Wise, was among the group of 11 college
professors recognized March 2 with Outstanding Faculty Awards
from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The awards
are the commonwealth's highest honor for professors at Virginia's
public and private colleges and universities.
a ceremony at the State Capitol, the faculty members were recognized
at the General Assembly for their teaching, research and public
Wills is truly a great treasure for our college and our students,"
said U.Va.-Wise Chancellor L. Jay Lemons. "I'm delighted
his work has been recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia."
41, came to U.Va.-Wise in 1992 and has been chair of the department
of history and philosophy since 1997. A noted Civil War scholar
and author, he is known as a dynamic classroom instructor who
has succeeded in passing his love for history along to countless
U.Va.-Wise students. Wills has also taken students on week-long
research expeditions to Civil War battle sites throughout the
in Suffolk County, Wills, the son of a peanut farmer and a fourth-
grade teacher, grew up reading books about great American figures
like George Washington and Robert E. Lee. "History is something
that grabbed my interest from as far back as I can remember,"
graduating from the University of Richmond, Wills earned an M.A.
and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. His second book, The
War Hits Home, a study of the Civil War's impact on Suffolk County,
is almost finished and should be published by year's end. Among
his many ideas for future books is writing about his great-great-grandfather,
Charles Hasker, a lieutenant in the Confederate Navy who served
on the infamous Merrimack.