Lt. Col. Dan Simonsen, Tech’s AFROTC commander and professor of aerospace studies, has been named Holm Center 2008 Air Education and Training Command Educator of the Year.

The national award honors one officer, one enlisted airman and one civilian who exemplify the AETC’s education mission through classroom teaching and professionalism. Instructors at 144 universities that have an AFROTC program were eligible for the award, chosen by the Holm Officer Accession and Citizen Development Center.

‘As a proud member of the Louisiana Tech University faculty and family, I want to provide Tech students and AFROTC cadets the very best educational experience and opportunities,’ Simonsen said.

Simonsen was chosen for increasing AFROTC educational opportunities in Northern Louisiana with the establishment of the AFROTC at Tech and a cross-town agreement with University of Louisiana-Monroe. He also participated in the Bossier Parish AFROTC Summer Leadership School and provides continuous assistance to students on scholarships and other resources available to them.

Simonsen, who joined the Tech faculty in June 2006 after 21 years of military service, was recognized by the Freedom Foundation for his essay on freedom and was named the recipient of the 2007 Air Force Association’s ROTC Curriculum Development Award for his original curriculum program ‘Cyberspace and the Air Force Mission.’

‘When you look at the distinguished accomplishments of the Louisiana Tech faculty,’ Simonsen said of his lengthy list of accolades, ‘I’m just trying to keep up.’

Written by Elizabeth Christian