NEWS

Faculty members honored during spring commencement

May 21, 2011 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Education

Three Louisiana Tech faculty members received major campus awards during spring quarter commencement exercises Saturday, May 21.
The recipients are:

  • University Foundation Professorship Award – Dr. Gary Kennedy, department head and professor of agriculture sciences;
  • Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award – Anita Pumphrey, an instructor of human ecology; and
  • Tech Foundation F. Jay Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award – Rhonda Boyd, director of the adult fitness program and an instructor of kinesiology.

The University Foundation Professorship Award is given to a faculty member who has excelled in teaching, research and service to the campus community. The award comes with a $3,000 stipend and a plaque.
Dr. Gary Kennedy, the recipient of the University Foundation Professorship Award, has presented research at multiple conferences and written many publications, as well as receiving several honors, including the Outstanding Academic Alumnus from the department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness from Louisiana State University in 2005.
Kennedy is active at Tech as well, serving on the Athletics Council Personnel Subcommittee, the Intellectual Property Committee and as the university representative on the Sparta Groundwater Commission. Dr. James Liberatos, dean of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, said that Kennedy is an active grant writer with numerous funded grants designed to assist with various agriculture programs.
Dr. William Green, a professor in agriculture sciences, wrote in his nomination letter that Kennedy is more than willing to help students or his fellow faculty members in their work, stating that, “Kennedy continually gives unselfishly of his time and efforts for the university, college, department and public…He has an open door policy with his students and all the personnel in this department. Communication is one of his strengths in this department. He goes to great lengths to be sure he is communicating with each individual in such a very diverse department so as to better understand how he can be a better administrator, teacher and colleague.”
Other nominees included Dr. Mel Corley from the College of Engineering and Science, Dr. Carrice Cummins from the College of Education, Mark Guinn from the College of Liberal Arts and Dr. Tommy Phillips from the College of Business. 
Anita Pumphrey received the honor of Outstanding Faculty Adviser. Pumphrey has developed the Child Life Student Association and has served as faculty adviser since 1997 and has presented information relating to generational differences in students at a workshop in Boston and to new faculty and university seminar educators at Tech.
In her nomination packet, Dr. Amy Yates, director of the School of Human Ecology, said that, “Pumphrey has been honored by the students of the School of Human Ecology three times with the Mary Belle Tuten Award of Outstanding Adviser/Mentor. This award, voted only by the students, is given to the faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to the academic and professional advancement of the students through active advising and mentoring relationships.”
One of Pumphrey’s advisees, Rabia Hastey, said Pumphrey has been an excellent mentor to her throughout her college career, stating, “She has counseled me through my classes…and has helped me in deciding what I want to do after I graduate. She has provided hands-on experience and even field trips to allow students to explore their chosen professions.”
Other nominees included Dr. Davis Harbour from the College of Engineering and Science, Dr. Dawn Basinger from the College of Education, Paul Crook from the College of Liberal Arts and Larry Jarrell from the College of Business.
Rhonda Boyd was chosen as the F.J. Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award recipient. Boyd has presented research at a number of conferences and is the director of the Adult Fitness Program, which allows students to receive hands-on experience to assist community members with fitness testing.
Boyd has also received a number of awards, including the 2010 College of Education Adviser of the Year, the 2009 Kinesiology Outstanding Teaching Award and the Kinesiology Outstanding Service Award in 2004, 2007 and 2008.
In her nomination packet, Boyd said that she likes to think outside the box, stating, “These future professionals need to be exposed to as much as possible in class, through hands-on activities, field trips and service learning projects. When they have had these experiences and listened to a variety of view points and theories, then they can best decide what they believe and how they can implement what they have learned giving it their own unique twists as they grow into professionals.”
Other nominees included Dr. David Anderson from the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Mark Barker from the College of Engineering and Science, Dr. Rob Blackstock from the College of Business, Peter Jones from the College of Liberal Arts and Dr. Dave Meng from the College of Engineering and Science.
Written by Judith Roberts – jroberts@latech.edu