UGA to recognize top students, faculty at Honors Day April 22; Beck, Ellington and Rutledge among the honorees

Monday, April 13, 2009

Writer:  Larry B. Dendy, 706/542-8078, ldendy@uga.edu
Contact:  Tommy Altman, 706/542-0306, taltman@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia will recognize top student scholars, superior teachers and outstanding faculty advisors and mentors at the annual Honors Day program April 22.

The program will be in Hugh Hodgson Hall in the UGA Performing Arts Center beginning at 2 p.m.  Undergraduate classes scheduled for sixth, seventh and eighth periods (1:25-4:25 p.m.) will be dismissed so students and faculty can attend. The East Campus parking deck (E04) will be open without charge for public parking for the ceremony.

The program will be televised live on UGA cable channel 15 and will be streamed live on the Internet.

Charles Atwood, professor of chemistry and coordinator of freshman chemistry, will be the Honors Day speaker.  Atwood has been named a  Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor for this year.  He also received the 2009 University System of Georgia Board of Regents' Teaching Excellence and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.   

Several hundred students will be recognized for academic excellence. They include 25 First Honor Graduates who have maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average, and students who rank in the top five percent of their schools and colleges. Four recipients of special national scholarships also will be recognized.

Honors Day also recognizes faculty members who are receiving awards for teaching excellence; faculty and staff who are being recognized as outstanding advisors and mentors; and graduate students who are receiving awards for teaching.

In addition to Atwood, two other faculty members will be presented as Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors, UGA's highest recognition of superior instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  They are  Mark Compton, poultry science, and Michael Wetzstein, agricultural and applied economics.

Recipients of the Richard B. Russell Award, which recognizes junior faculty for outstanding teaching, will be presented.  They are Lance Palmer, housing and consumer economics; Richard Menke, English; and Gayle Andrews, elementary and social studies education.

In addition, Monique Leclerc, professor of crop and soil sciences, will be recognized as a Regents Professor.

Atwood, the Honors Day speaker, joined UGA in 1995 and is credited with revamping and rejuvenating freshman chemistry with technology and innovative teaching techniques.  He enhanced the traditional lecture format with PowerPoint and other multi-media presentations, and increased students' understanding of material with a computerized testing and homework system.

He was among the first teachers at UGA to use "clickers" in the classroom and he now gives students wireless instant messaging devices so they can text-message questions in class.  He also installed an information management system in all freshman chemistry labs and developed a manual to use the system.

The following faculty members will be recognized as outstanding teachers in the schools and colleges:

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences: Valery Alexeev, mathematics; Anna Karls, microbiology; Dwight Manning, Hugh Hodgson School of Music; Ben Reynolds, Lamar Dodd School of Art; Jeremy Reynolds, sociology; George Contini, theatre and film studies; Thomas McCutchen, Hugh Hodgson School of Music; J. P. Caillault, physics; Jonathan Evans, English; Richard Neupert, theatre and film studies

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: Don Shurley, agricultural and applied economics; Dennis Duncan, agricultural leadership and communication; Joseph McHugh, entomology; Robert Shewfelt, food science and technology; Anish Malladi, horticulture; Mark Compton, poultry science

School of Law: C. Ronald Ellington, J. Randy Beck, Peter Rutledge

College of Pharmacy: Robin Southwood, clinical and administrative pharmacy

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources: John Maerz, Dale Greene

College of Education: Melissa Freeman, lifelong education, administration and policy; Kevin Ayres, communication sciences and special education

Terry College of Business: Andrew Call, J. M. Tull School of Accounting; Linda Bamber, J. M. Tull School of Accounting; Matej Blasko, banking and finance; Bob Bostrom, management information systems; Santanu Chatterjee, economics; Kevin Ellis, marketing; Roberto Friedman, marketing; Charles Lankau III, insurance, legal studies and real estate; William Lastrapes, economics; Richard Martin, risk management and insurance; Karen Napoleon, management; Craig Piercy, management information systems; Tao Shu, banking and finance

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication: Betty Jones, advertising and public relations; Leonard Reid, advertising and public relations; Bill Lee, telecommunications; Mark Johnson, journalism

College of Family and Consumer Sciences: Charlotte Wallinga, child and family development; Joan Fischer, food and nutrition; Joseph Goetz, housing and consumer economics; Jose Blanco, textiles, merchandising and interiors

College of Veterinary Medicine: Cherlyn Roberts, anatomy and radiology

School of Social Work: Stephanie Swann, Rufus Larkin, Larry Nackerud, Michelle Carney, Tom Artelt

College of Environment and Design: Jose Buitrago, Georgia Harrison, David Spooner, Robert Vick

School of Public and International Affairs: Brock Tessman, international affairs

College of Public Health: Jessica Muilenburg, health promotion and behavior

Odum School of Ecology: Ron Carroll, Whit Gibbons

Division of Academic Enhancement: John Riggott, mathematics

Jan Davis Barham will be recognized as the Student Affairs Outstanding Adjunct Faculty  Member.

Several faculty members will be honored for teaching excellence in the Honors Program. Winners of the J. Hatten Howard Award, which recognizes faculty who exhibit special promise in teaching Honors courses during their first term as an Honors Program instructor, are Jamie Carson, political science, and Rouslan Elistratov, religion.

The Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor Award is given to Honors faculty based on course evaluations.  This year = s recipients are Scott Belville, Lamar Dodd School of Art; Richard Morrison, chemistry; Melenie Lankau, management; and Fran Teague, English.

Virginia Nazarea, professor of anthropology, will be recognized as recipient of the Scholarship of Engagement Award.

Winners of the university's annual award to a faculty and a staff member for excellence in academic advising and mentoring are Wendy Dustman, microbiology, and Rebecca Baggett, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The university recognizes outstanding efforts to involve undergraduate students in research with the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award.  This year's winners are Brian Cummings, pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences; Anna Karls, microbiology; and Dawn Robinson, sociology.

The Graduate School also recognizes faculty members with the Graduate School Outstanding Mentoring Award.  The recipients are Andrew Zawacki, English, and Joseph McHugh, entomology.

Graduate teaching assistants are recognized for outstanding teaching performance with the Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award.  The winners are Daniel Bulger, geology; Caran Cagle, microbiology; Daleah Goodwin, Institute for Women's Studies; Cara Gormally, plant biology; and Steven Nash, history.

Students who have received special national scholarships this year are Christina Faust, George  Mitchell Postgraduate Scholarship; Muktha Natrajan, Barry Goldwater Scholarship; and Ashley Dronenburg and Mark Milby, Morris Udall Scholarship.

UGA began recognizing First Honor Graduates in 1978 instead of designating a graduating senior as valedictorian.  This year's First Honor Graduates and their majors are:

Christopher T. Adams, Spanish; George F. Akers, theatre; Carrie A. Anderson, accounting; Tracy C. Bialis, psychology;  Kevin P. Carpenter, social studies education; Kevin K. Chang, biology and religion; Andrew C. Clark, Latin;

Amy K. Conway, landscape architecture; Elizabeth J. Daigle, Spanish and foreign language education; Daniel I. Hanna, economics and English; Morai Helfen, landscape architecture; Chandler P. Holbrook, international affairs and history; John H. Jennings, finance; Samantha K. Knoll, linguistics; Alexander B. Mayberry, accounting; Ryan J. Mullins, biology;

Tulsi Patel, genetics; Neil T. Pfister, biochemistry and molecular biology, and genetics; Mary M. Powers, art/art history and theatre; Mark A. Rabideau, religion; Mary F. Reagin, middle school education; Robert M. Reed, finance; Selena M. Robinson, public relations; Julia B. Sauer, psychology; and Julia R. Schuchard, psychology.

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