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2006 Board of Regents’ ‘Excellence Awards’ Announced

Atlanta — September 5, 2006

Four University System of Georgia faculty members and two academic programs have been selected to receive 2006 Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards.

The Board of Regents’ awards program recognizes and rewards both individual faculty members and academic programs. Recipients are selected from nominations submitted annually by the presidents of the University System. The awards honor outstanding teaching that significantly improves student achievement, as well as commitment to student-focused research on effective teaching. Each of the award winners will receive $5,000 and a certificate of achievement.

“Teaching and research represent the key missions of the University System of Georgia,” said Dr. Beheruz Sethna, the University System’s interim chief academic officer and executive vice chancellor. “These awards strengthen the commitment of USG faculty to student learning and achievement. We salute these outstanding faculty members and programs as models of excellence.”

This year, three faculty members and one program have been chosen to receive the Regents Award of Excellence in Teaching, while one faculty member and one program have been tapped to receive the Regents Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Kennesaw State University fared particularly well, winning awards in each of these categories. The recipients are as follows:

2006 Awards for Excellence in Teaching (Faculty):

Representing Two-Year and State Colleges:

  • Dr. Lyndasu Crowe, assistant professor of biology, Darton College. Crowe, who is Darton College’s current Teacher of the Year, groups students by their learning styles and varies her teaching methods to suit their diverse styles. She also designed and taught the college’s first “hybrid” course, which uses distance learning to deliver a portion of the course content, coupled with classroom instruction. She also was instrumental in enabling Darton to become the first USG institution to offer on-line anatomy and physiology courses. In 2004, Crowe was recognized by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) for teaching excellence.

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Dr. Judy Awong-Taylor, associate professor of biology, Armstrong Atlantic State University. Awong-Taylor uses a variety of teaching styles and learning tools to help students get excited about mastering biology. She secured more than $96,000 in grants to equip Armstrong Atlantic’s laboratories and to incorporate computer software into her teachings. Two of her students recently won first place in the prestigious John C. Johnson poster competition for undergraduates, sponsored by Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society. Awong-Taylor also teaches in-service elementary school teachers and organizes an annual statewide State of the Art in Biology Conference for college teachers.

Representing Research Universities:

  • Dr. Peter Lindsay, associate professor of political science and philosophy, Georgia State University. Lindsay has built a focus area of courses in political philosophy at Georgia State University, including developing new upper-division courses that promote critical thinking in the areas of modern political thought, feminist political thought and political theory and economic justice. In 2005, he won Georgia State’s College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, the Georgia State Distinguished Honors Professor Award and the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha Citation award for Outstanding Teaching in Political Science.

2006 Award for Excellence in Teaching (Programs):

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Summer Hill Project, Kennesaw State University. This project, a partnership between Kennesaw State, the Etowah Valley Consolidated Housing Foundation and the Summer Hill Foundation, has enabled a historically African-American neighborhood of Cartersville, Ga., to recover and preserve its history. Partially supported by a grant from the Anheuser Busch Corporation, the Summer Hill Project comprises an oral history, a collection of artifacts and research conducted by Assistant Professor of History LeeAnn Lands and her public history students. The project has brought pride to community residents through the creation of the Summer Hill Museum, a documentary film aired nationally this year on Public Broadcasting Stations, a website and teacher curriculum packages.

2006 Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Faculty):

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Dr. Randolph Smith, professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology, Kennesaw State University. Smith, editor of the journal Teaching in Psychology, is recognized as one of the country’s foremost teachers in his discipline. The American Psychological Foundation has just honored him with the 2006 Charles L. Brewer Award for the Distinguished Teaching of Psychology for the significant contributions of his approach to the scholarship of teaching. In addition to his personal performance in the discipline, Smith also develops professional opportunities that allow faculty to advance and disseminate their teaching-related research.

2006 Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Programs):

Representing Regional and State Universities:

  • Faculty Development Workshop Program, Georgia College & State University. This program is the driving force for the scholarship of teaching and learning at Georgia College & State University (GCSU), providing an opportunity for full-time, tenure-track faculty to examine new teaching and learning attitudes and strategies. This workshop, led by Associate Professor Autumn Grubb, is managed by a team of faculty facilitators who lead participants through self-assessments, goals inventories, identification of their discipline’s national standards, and the correlation of these standards with their intended results. The workshop’s impact has been demonstrated in increased student retention, significant gains in grade point averages and higher levels of student satisfaction.
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