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2003 Board of Regents’ Excellence Awards Presented

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Atlanta — March 7, 2003

Six University System of Georgia faculty members and two academic programs have been selected to receive the 2003 Regents Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Research in Undergraduate Education. The winners will be recognized at the Board of Regents’ May meeting.

The awards program recognizes and rewards both individual faculty members and academic programs at the University System’s 34 institutions. It honors outstanding teaching that significantly improves student achievement, as well as commitment to student-focused research on effective teaching.

“Academic excellence is highly valued in the University System,” said Dr. Daniel S. Papp, senior vice chancellor for academics and fiscal affairs with the Board of Regents. “Such recognition strengthens the commitment to student learning and achievement, and we are pleased to salute the USG faculty members and programs that serve as superb role models.”

The following USG faculty received the Board of Regents’ 2003 Teaching Excellence Awards:

Representing Two-Year and State Colleges:

  • Dr. Kristie Kemper, professor of English, Floyd College: Kemper, a member of the Floyd College faculty since 1979, impressed the review panel with her commitment to student success in English and journalism, her work in mentoring non-traditional students, and her sustained efforts to develop the potential of all her students. Her teaching abilities also have included her leadership of the college newspaper, The Six Mile Post, which has won numerous state and national awards.

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Dr. Chellu S. Chetty, professor of biology, Savannah State University: A member of the SSU faculty since 1993, Chetty has won several awards for teaching excellence, including the 2003 National Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teachers and the 2003 Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology from the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. In addition to securing more than $3.5 million in external funding for research on teaching, Chetty has developed 11 new courses and a state-of-the-art biomedical research laboratory where students hone their research skills.

Representing Research Universities:

  • Dr. John T. Benjamin, professor of pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia: Benjamin joined the faculty of MCG in 1994 and has been named the college’s Educator of the Year twice and Teacher of the Year once. He also has won MCG’s Outstanding Teacher and Excellence in Teaching awards. In addition, the Pediatric Continuity Clinic and the Pediatric Outpatient Laboratory that he supervises have received national recognition for innovative teaching and applied learning.

The following USG programs received the Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Awards:

Representing Two-Year and State Colleges:

  • Dental Hygiene Program, Floyd College: This professional program is known for having a strong, student-focused curriculum. In the three years since its establishment as an independent program, its students have had a 100 percent pass rate on the dental hygiene licensure exam, and all have found employment. Program faculty use a wide variety of instructional methods that include a pre-clinic laboratory, computerized instruction, audio/visual aids for clinical cases, and a closely supervised clinical practice. The program also operates a number of community outreach programs, including dental screening at regional health fairs and for students participating in the college’s summer youth camp.

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Education Specialist Program in Teacher Leadership, North Georgia College and State University: Implemented in 2001, this program features close collaboration between the university and the public school community. The curriculum is grounded in best practice and theoretical research and is anchored on three sets of standards: those of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The faculty continue to mentor students after they have completed the program.

The following USG faculty received the Board of Regents’ Research in Undergraduate Education Awards:

Representing Two-Year and State Colleges:

  • Dr. Joseph Mayo, professor of psychology, Gordon College: On the faculty at GC since1989, Mayo is firmly committed to studying the effectiveness of teaching practices. He has achieved national recognition for his work, serving as a reviewer for the Journal of Constructivist Psychology, publishing in national journals, and presenting his research at major conferences. Mayo actively involves students in his research, which is fairly unique for faculty teaching lower division courses.

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Dr. Gail B. Schiffer, professor of biology, Kennesaw State University: Schiffer, on the KSU faculty since1989, demonstrates a knack for bringing varied constituencies together for projects and serving as a highly effective collaborator. Colleagues say her leadership has enhanced teamwork in her department and campuswide. Schiffer has stimulated faculty interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning and in assessment strategies. She received the 2002 Association of General and Liberal Studies Faculty Award and a National Science Foundation grant for an interdisciplinary laboratory program.

Representing Research Universities:

  • Dr. Marie Chisholm, associate professor of clinical and administrative pharmacy, University of Georgia: Chisholm is described by colleagues as “an exemplary model of the scholar teacher.” On the UGA faculty since 1994, she received a Regents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999 and also has received national awards for teaching. Chisholm is a strong national leader in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and has had her work published in national journals numerous times.

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