Three get top faculty awards at commencement

May 23, 2009 | General News

Three Louisiana Tech faculty members received major campus awards during spring quarter commencement exercises Saturday, May 23.

The recipients are:
• University Foundation Professorship Award – Dr. William H. Green, a professor in agricultural sciences,
• Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award – Dr. Mary Livingston, a professor in psychology and behavioral sciences and
• Tech Foundation F. Jay Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award – Dr. Charles Patterson, an instructor in mathematics.

Green”s award, which includes a $2,000 stipend, recognizes extraordinary service and performance in teaching, research, and/or service to the campus community and public sector.

Green holds the McGehee Endowed Professorship in Agriculture. He has been the department”s resident veterinarian since 1994. He came to Tech in 1980 as adjunct assistant professor and veterinarian on call. He received his doctor of veterinary medicine from Auburn University in 1972, his master of science degree in animal science from Louisiana State University in 1968 and his bachelor of science degree in animal science from Tech in 1972.

As a Louisiana-licensed veterinarian, he has attended an average of 31 approved veterinary continuing education hours per year from 1972 to present. A minimum of 20 hours is required to maintain the state license. He has served on 26 master”s thesis committees – 12 as chair.

With this award, he would have received all of the three the university”s top faculty awards. He was named the Outstanding Faculty Advisor at Tech in 2007 and in 2001; he received the F. Jay Taylor Tech Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award. In his 29 years at Tech, he has received 13 awards for excellence in teaching.

His department chair, Dr. Gary A. Kennedy, in his nomination letter wrote this: “Dr. Green is one of those rare faculty members who is well-balanced and highly productive in all three areas of teaching, research and service.”

Green has participated in numerous research grants, made scores of scholarly presentations and is active in local, state and national veterinary service activities.

Other nominees for the University Foundation Professorship Award, listed by college, were Dr. Thomas J. Phillips, professor, business; Dr. Rebecca Smith, associate professor, education; Peter Jones, professor, liberal arts; and Dr. Sheryl Shoemaker, associate professor, liberal arts.

Livingston”s award for advising, sponsored by the Division of Enrollment Management, recognizes a faculty member who has contributed substantially to excellence in undergraduate academic advising. It also carries a $2,000 stipend.

In her 32 years of service at Tech, Livingston has earned the reputation as a caring faculty member involved in many student-oriented projects outside the classroom.

“When looks at the tremendous volume of service that Dr. Livingston provides, it is remarkable that she still places students at the forefront,” said her department head, Dr. Tillman Sheets, in his nomination letter. “Her unrelenting advocacy and advising of students can be seen on a daily basis.”

Sheets listed 16 specific services she has provided to students through the years. Among them are: revived the Psychology Club and advised it for 15 years, volunteered and advised Tulane transfer students after Hurricane Katrina, volunteers for Time Out for Tech (recruiting) and actively participates in summer orientation.

One student recalled Livingston”s caring attitude both as a teacher in University Seminar and as academic advisor: “She found comfortable places for me to get advised since my walker could not fit in many places and did not just sign the paper and send me on my way. She spent 20 to 30 minutes helping me pick out appropriate classes and just talking to me to see how I was doing and how everything was going.”

Livingston received her bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and her master”s and Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.

Other finalists for the advising award, listed by college, were Carol Shaver, business; Anita Pumphrey, applied and natural sciences, Dr. David Hall, engineering and science; and Dr. Gary Hauser, liberal arts.

Patterson, recipient of the undergraduate teaching award, is an instructor of mathematics. He has been at Tech since 1998 and teaches freshman and sophomore math. His award includes a $1,500 check.

In his capacity as the department”s Math 100-101 course coordinator, he counsels many students on a daily basis.

“In this capacity, I have the responsibility of counseling every student who desires to withdraw from Math 100,” he wrote in his nomination package. “I take these brief encounters very seriously. I try to take the time to visit with each student in an effort to see exactly why these students are having difficulty in math.”

He received the college of engineering and science Outstanding Teaching Award both in 2002 and 2006.

His method of teaching is to use real-world examples and problems to show how math is applied to day-to-day situations.

“I hate math!” one student wrote in the nomination packet. “I really stink at it, but I loved Dr. Patterson”s class. He is so helpful and will go above and beyond to make sure that you understand the material.”

Another student wrote: “Great teacher, always willing to help after class or during office hours. I was horrible at algebra until taking his class. He offers very thorough explanations, goes through every step.”

Patterson received his Ed.D. (2002), master”s (1990) and bachelor”s (1989) degrees from Tech.

Other F. Jay Taylor award nominees were Marie Bukowski, associate professor of art; Dr. Stan Cronk, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Norlyn Hyde, professor, nursing and Dr. Charles Patterson instructor of mathematics.

Written by Reginald Owens