Each spring, Louisiana State University of Alexandria hosts its annual Employee Recognition Dinner. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration was a little different.
Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil and Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. John Rowan conducted a virtual celebration to honor the hard work and dedication of the LSUA faculty and staff.
“Even though we are all having to work from home due to COVID-19 pandemic, we all wanted to appropriately recognize everyone through an online video awards presentation honoring our outstanding employees,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSUA Chancellor. “This year’s faculty and staff award winners are great examples of the exceptional diversity of talent and dedicated service we are blessed with at LSUA. While all of our LSUA employees are valued and appreciated, the 2020 award winners are especially celebrated because they were nominated by their peers and co-workers for their good work. They all went the extra mile exhibiting exemplary dedication to our students and to our core mission.”
The most prestigious award given out was the Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence. Established in 1989, the estate of Mrs. James C. Bolton provides funds to the University for an award to recognize excellence in teaching at LSUA.
The Bolton Award for Teaching excellence is presented annually to the full-time faculty member who best exemplifies the University’s commitment to teaching, service, and professional development. The recipient of this honor is recognized with a cash award and a plaque for his or her outstanding contributions to the University, which will be distributed at a later date.
The Bolton Award for 2019-2020 was presented to Sarita James. James is Associate Professor of Nursing who received her PhD in nursing from Walden University. The Alexandria native has worked at LSUA since 2015.
“Dr. Sarita James is passionate about nursing and shares that passion with her students. She implements teaching strategies that promote student engagement and fosters lifelong learning. Sarita serves as a mentor to both students and faculty, she is an excellent role model to all of us, and we are truly blessed to have her as a member of our team,” said Dr. Catherine Cormier, Chair and Professor in the Department of Nursing.
Two new awards were created this year to highlight additional faculty members for outstanding work. Those awards are Outstanding Faculty Scholarship and Outstanding Faculty Service.
The Outstanding Faculty Scholarship award is given to a faculty member who exemplifies outstanding research and scholarship. This year’s winner is Dr. Jerry Sanson, Chair and Professor of History and Political Science. Sanson’s award comes just on the heels of the publication of his most recent book, Louisiana During World War II.
The Outstanding Faculty Service award recipient is Dr. Kent Lachney, Assistant Professor of Accounting for his years of service to students and the Central Louisiana business community.
Also, 16 endowed professorships were awarded. The professorships are established through private donations to the LSUA Foundation and matched through the Board of Regents Support Fund to establish a $100,000 professorship endowment. The winners include:
J. H. Johnson Endowed Professorship in Business - Kent Lachney, D.B.A, CPA
Jenkins-Mulder Endowed Professorship in Business - Rafael Romero, LL.M, M.A.
Roy O. Martin, Jr. Endowed Professorship in Business - Beverly Alwell, MBA
Charles Vernon and William Child, Jr. Endowed Professorship - Bob Jones, Ph.D.
F. Hugh Coughlin Endowed Professorship - Mary Treuting, Ph.D.
Robert Rife Saunders Endowed Professorship - Carol Corbat, Ph.D.
Carolyn Cole Saunders Endowed Professorship - Workineh Kite, Ph.D.
Vinita Johnson Martin Endowed Professorship - Guoyi Ke, Ph.D.
Mark Eugene Howard Endowed Professorship in Liberal Arts - Shonu Nangia, Ph.D.
Frances Holt Freedman Endowed Professorship in History - Martha McMillan, MSN-Ed, RNC-EFM
Huie-Dellmon Trust Endowed Professorship in Liberal Arts - Jennifer Innerarity, Ph.D.
Barbara Martin Endowed Professorship in Nursing - Catherine Doyle, MSN
Howard M. and Eloise Ferris Mulder Endowed Professorship - Purujit Gurjar, Ph.D.
Roy and Vinita Martin Endowed Professorship in Math and Sciences - Jessica Ringo, Ph.D.
Joanne Lyles White Endowed Professorship in Education - Tina Hathorn, B.S., M.Ed.
Joanne Lyles White Endowed Professorship in Education - Rhonda Wilson, Ph.D.
Endowed professors receive a salary stipend as well as additional funds for professional development or travel activities. They are usually awarded for a two-year term.
Additionally, Dr. Haywood Joiner, Chair and Associate Professor of Allied Health, received the award for Staff Senate Boss of the Year. The award goes to a LSUA faculty or staff member who is nominated by their direct reports and is awarded to those who exhibit outstanding supervisory skills.
The Outstanding Staff Service Award program began in the 1970-71 academic year as a means of recognizing and rewarding superior performance and outstanding contributions to the University by non-teaching employees. The recipient of this honor receives a plaque and cash award for his or her service to LSUA.
This year’s recipient of the Staff Outstanding Service Award is Laura Fowler. Fowler is the Executive Assistant to the Chancellor. She assists the Chancellor in all day-to-day operations while also providing a support system for all faculty and staff on campus.
The event also included honoring Service Learning employees as well as all employees who have five, 10, 15, 20, or 25 years of service to LSUA. Those who have retired in the previous year are also honored.