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History Professor Terry Alford Receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Terry Alford, professor at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), has received the 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion. Twelve faculty members from Virginia’s public and private colleges were chosen out of 117 nominees, as the highest honor bestowed upon faculty in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These awards recognize superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

Alford is a professor of history at NOVA, where he teaches survey courses in U.S. history. He also helped found NOVA’s Honors Program and continues to teach honors students in 19th century American history each semester.

NOVA President Robert G. Templin, Jr. congratulated Alford on behalf of the College. “We are very pleased that Dr. Alford was selected for this prestigious award. Dr. Alford has been sharing his love of American history with NOVA students since 1972.  They have responded enthusiastically to his passion, energy, wit and consummate ability to illuminate historical significance through exploring the lives of individual persons. He has also been very dedicated in the life of the college, serving on and chairing various committees, and being elected as a member of Campus Council and the College Senate. Please join me in congratulating our good colleague Terry Alford for this well-deserved recognition as one of Virginia's outstanding faculty members.”

Alford is also the recipient of various teaching awards from the Educational Foundation, Student Government Association and Alumni Federation. He was a founding member of the Northern Virginia Review and serves on its board of directors. He is the long-standing chair of the Leonard J. Mills Memorial Lecture Series and the Annandale Campus Lyceum Committee, bringing many distinguished speakers, artists and performers to the College.

Alford is the author of the award-winning book Prince Among Slaves (1978), the celebrated story of an African royal enslaved in the antebellum south. The book was turned into a documentary shown on PBS in 2008 that attracted a national audience of more than three million viewers.

Alford is a nationally recognized scholar on John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln assassination. He has appeared on “20/20,” ABC News, the History Channel, the Discovery Network, and PBS. Fortune’s Fool, Alford’s biography of Booth, is scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press in 2011.

“I strive in my classes and my scholarship to make history relevant to my students,” writes Alford. “Historical figures were actual people. Some were extraordinary, some just got caught up in extraordinary times, but they were all flesh and blood - like you and I. If you can convince your students of that, you’re halfway home.”

Alford holds a doctorate in history from Mississippi State University and also studied family history at the University of California at Davis. He currently resides in Annandale with his family.

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.