Skip to main content

University Awards of Excellence

Join your campus community as we celebrate our recipients!

University Awards of Excellence and Years of Service Recognition

Friday, April 28, 2023
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Statesboro Campus, Performing Arts Center

Lunch following in the Nessmith-Lane Ballroom

About the University Awards of Excellence

The University’s Awards of Excellence for Faculty and Staff are aligned with the University’s Strategic Pillars and Values and are designed to identify and celebrate individuals that make outstanding contributions to the success of Georgia Southern University.

Under each recipient’s name and title, you will see an excerpt from their letters of recommendation that encapsulates their exemplary achievements and impact on our students, colleagues, and community. 

A total of 26 awards are available annually. This year the review committees awarded 16 recipients. Recipients will receive a University Medallion and $1000 to be used for professional development.

A wheel-shaped illustration of Georgia Southern's strategic plan. The outer rim includes our institutional values. The spokes are the strategic pillars. The hub states our mission… people, purpose, action: growing ourselves to grow others.

2022 – 2023
University Awards of Excellence

Student Success

The Student Success award is designed to promote and reward those who have demonstrated outstanding efforts to increase student success.

Sevki Cesmeci

Sevki Cesmeci, Ph.D.

Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing

Student Success Award

“Dr. Cesmeci has shown great dedication to student success . . . in his first three years and under one of the most challenging times, during the pandemic.”

– Mohammad Hassan and Prakashbhai Bhoi

Jasmine Brown

First- & Second-Year Experience

Student Success Award

“Jasmine Brown is an excellent candidate for the Student Success Award. The way her work impacts student success is from her meetings and interactions with her Peer Leaders. Peer Leaders are one of the first faces a new student becomes familiar with when starting their first semester at Georgia Southern University. Under her coaching, the Peer Leaders flourished. In every meeting Jasmine comes up with brilliant and direct ways to teach what are often subtle but very important skills. Personally, I think the ways she has taught communication was by far the most valuable. Through us, Jasmine effectively helps guide every new student and provides resources for them to succeed. The training in effective communication, how to run a classroom, the benefits of certain games/activities, trickle into each recitation session and make a huge impact on the development of our freshman. Previously, Jasmine was an academic advisor who was loved by her students and many of my friends wish they still had her as their advisor. Jasmine Brown will continue to excel in developing her students and I anticipate that the First and Second Year Experience will shine a little brighter each year she is able to share her expertise in Student Success.”

– Joseph Vitiello

Teaching and Academic Excellence

The Teaching award acknowledges those that improve student learning and prepare students to compete in the global marketplace.

Tanesha Osborne, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science and Mathematics

Teaching Award

“Dr. Osborne has an exemplary teacher who is now using her knowledge and skillsets to foster other exemplary teachers at Georgia Southern University.”

– Karelle Aiken

The Academic Excellence award recognizes those individuals who provide or promote educational opportunities or resources that stimulate students’ academic progression and graduation.

Karin Fisher

Karin Fisher, Ph.D.

Elementary & Special Education, College of Education

Academic Excellence Award

“Dr. Fisher challenges her students but also provides support both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, she promotes critical thinking by asking open-ended questions and encouraging discourse.”

– Heidi Eisenreich

Research and Discovery & Innovation

The staff award for Research recognizes one staff member for outstanding support in the conduct of research or who have advanced processes, methods and systems through research.

The faculty award for Research recognizes a faculty member for excellence in research and/ or creative scholarly activity.

Kaina Greer

Kania Greer, Ed.D.

Center for STEM Education

Research Award

“Kania has achieved excellence in supporting my research through collaboration. With her significant involvement, we recruited an interdisciplinary research team, submitted, and were awarded grants, and conducted two mixed methods research projects related to my research agenda. We published our research in two peer-reviewed journals, two peer-reviewed book chapters, and a technical report. We presented our research together at three international and national conferences. Additionally, we were invited to present our research twice internationally. Kania continually develops and broadens her expertise in supporting the conduct of research by keeping up to date on the current research trends and sharing them with faculty. She regularly attends research webinars and shares what she learns with her collaborators. She has written a book chapter with another faculty member on how making small changes to teaching practice can have big impacts on students. Most recently, she worked with the faculty to secure a $298,000 NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant where reviewers spotlighted her work as a key component in their decision to fund the grant. I am also aware of work research she conducted with Biology faculty and students in their efforts to identify flea borne pathogens in feral cats. She worked with local veterinarians to collect samples and it has since been published in a peer-reviewed journal. She is always willing to share her research expertise with faculty. Kania’s research support excels in relation to her coordinator responsibilities in the Center for STEM Education. She is available to provide advice and is responsive to my research questions. When we collaborate, she always completes her research tasks first and then offers to support others with theirs.”

– Karin Fisher

Bettye Apenteng, Ph.D.

Department of Health Policy and Community Health, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Research Award

“Dr. Bettye Apenteng works to optimize health systems and improve health care access and health outcomes for rural and underserved populations. Her scholarship and meaningful community engagement advances the mission of JPHCOPH and the University and has had direct impacts on state and federal policies related to rural healthcare.”

– Kelly Sullivan

The Discovery & Innovation award recognizes those individuals that promote creative scholarly activities, technologies and/ or environments that encourage innovative and problem-solving research collaboratives.

Rafael Quirino

Rafael Quirino, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science and Mathematics

Discovery & Innovation Award

“Dr. Rafael Quirino is committed to research and student success by continually carving out opportunities for collaborations both nationally and internationally.  His research group is constantly focused on researching new materials for a more sustainable world, and better skill and process development for less waste generation and production maximization. . . and aim to bridge the gap between industry and academia.”

– Shainaz Landge

Inclusive Excellence

The Inclusive Excellence award recognizes those individuals who generated valuable ideas that have helped to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems, programs or services for their team, their department, our University or the external community.

Melvin Lamboy-Ruiz

Melvin Lamboy Ruiz, Ph.D.

School of Accountancy, Parker College of Business

Inclusive Excellence Award

“Melvin has contributed to DEI in a number of ways. . ., [including] not only writes the Diversity Section Newsletter for the American Accounting Association but is the Chair of the AAA Committee on DEI Resources.”

– Andrea Scheetz
Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia

Office of Advising

Inclusive Excellence Award

“Cate is currently in her second year of chairing the Advising DEI committee. Additionally she serves as a leader on the Jewish EWG and on the CBSS Diversity committee. She works across the institution to make sure that Georgia Southern is a more accepting and inclusive place. She is actively engaging in conversations to help educate herself and others. During her time as DEI Chair, Cate helped the advising team develop advising competencies focused specifically on DEI to add to the national advising competencies set up through our professional advising organization NACADA. Additionally, Cate actively recommends DEI related content, areas of study, and opportunities for growth. She seeks opportunities to teach others (including her lecture on her family’s holocaust experience). She consistently plays an active part in developing training, table talks, and more for the advising community. She is a strong advocate for equity within the Georgia Southern Community and a great example of living up to this institutional pillar.”

– Jennifer Syno

Operational Efficiency, Effectiveness and Sustainability

The Operational Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Sustainability Award was designed to recognize those with a commitment increase operational efficiency and effectiveness while maximizing financial capital and human resources to ensure the University’s long-term sustainability–investing in our people and processes to grow others.

Rita Haddad

Parker’s College of Business Dean’s Office

Operational Efficiency, Effectiveness and Sustainability Award

“Rita Haddad is Executive Assistant to the Dean and supervisor of operations in the Dean’s Office, in the Parker College. Her efforts to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the College have been extraordinary, improving cycle times, minimizing space requirements, and enabling the College to respond more quickly and with greater clarity to requests. From our P&T processes, to annual merit reviews, to personnel and financial record keeping, and building maintenance and improvement, Rita’s work to digitize and streamline our processes, to provide faster and more personal service, to create a better environment for our faculty and students and to promote a culture of professionalism and customer service has not only improved the operations of the office, it has also increased the effectiveness and reputation of the College overall.”

– Allen Amason

Community Engagement and Collaboration

The Community Engagement award was designed to give recognition to those who display outstanding community engagement in support of the University.

Hal Wilson

Hal Wilson, Ph.D.

Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology, Waters College of Health Professions

Community Engagement Award

“Dr. Wilson has consistently and creatively leveraged his position at Georgia Southern to engage our local, university, regional, and national communities, to create new partnerships with tangible benefits to both students and community partners, and to do so above and beyond what his job requires.”

– Jeffrey Ward
allison rainey

Allison Rainey

Head Administrative Assistant, Department of Military Science

Community Engagement Award

“As the Department of Military Science’s head administrative assistant, Mrs. Rainey is responsible for the entire department’s social media platform and all major events that the ROTC department does with the local community. There are countless examples (Freedom 5K, Feed the Boro Initiative, and ROTC Blood Drive to name a few) of the amazing events that Mrs. Rainey has directly supported to aid the local Statesboro community. As the Statesboro community continues to expand, Mrs. Rainey is actively looking for new ways to engage with the local community to sponsor events and ensure that the University (specifically our ROTC program) has remained tied in with all major events/efforts in the local area. I can think of no one more deserving of this award and I offer my highest endorsement for the amazing work accomplished by Mrs. Rainey.”

– Sean Hollars

The Collaboration Award recognizes and promotes those who are dedicated to service to their departments, students, faculty, other departments on campus, and/ or the surrounding community through communication, innovation, integrity and inclusion.

Tamara Hunt

Tamerah Hunt, Ph.D

Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology, Waters College of Health Professions

Collaboration Award

“Dr. Hunt has dedicated a substantial amount of her time and energy to assisting and improving the lives of those around her.”

– John Dobson
Amy Rowell

Amy Rowell

Career and Professional Development

Collaboration Award

“Amy’s energy and ideas are among the freshest on our team. Not only is she our most reliable and knowledgeable staff member, but she is also one of our most willing to find new ways to connect with our various stakeholders. The structure of our department for Amy’s Career & Internship Advisor (CIA) position is such that she serves the students and faculty in a specific college or colleges. Amy is currently the CIA for the College of Education and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. I’m certain that if you asked anyone in either of those colleges what Amy is best known for, it would be her willingness to collaborate.”

– Caitlyn Cofer


The Integrity Award honors those who practice ethical awareness in decision making and demonstrate an on-going commitment to integral ethical behavior and practices.

ed mondor headshot

Ed Mondor, Ph.D.

Department of Biology, College of Science and Mathematics

Integrity Award

“Ed Mondor is exactly the type of person, and professional attitude, that students should be exposed to during their college career.”

– John Harrison

“Ed continues to develop his expertise in this area, as each year he incorporates new information (and new scenarios) into. . . training. This allows TAs to keep abreast on new issues and ethical considerations as they arise.”

– Michelle Tremblay

Leadership Award

This award recognizes administrator-level employees (e.g. Program Directors, Assistant/Associate Department Chairs, Department Chair, Directors, Executive Directors, Managers) who, through their extraordinary leadership over the last year, demonstrated exemplary responsive leadership to students, colleagues and other customers of Georgia Southern University.  The award recognizes leaders who, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity, demonstrate vision and an outstanding commitment to excellence. Nominations should describe specific actions taken by this leader and how these actions benefited faculty, staff, students and/or the surrounding community. The actions by the nominee must reflect the following six values of Georgia Southern: Collaboration, Academic Excellence, Discovery and Innovation, Integrity, Openness and Inclusion and Sustainability. 

Beth Myers

Beth Myers, Ph.D.

School of Human Ecology, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Leadership Award

“I am impressed with Dr. Myers’ leadership, vision, compassion, and accomplishments. She fully demonstrates the six values of Georgia Southern University. She is the kind of leader who will help GSU continue to be an excellent university.”

– Carol Herringer

Always supportive, genuinely honest and empathetic! Is a natural leader, her door is always open for all staff, faculty & more importantly GS students. She handles a lot but handles it all with such grace and kindness and love.

– Sharon Wilson
Gemma Skuraton

Gemma Skuraton, DrPH

Director, Student Wellness and Health Promotion

Leadership Award

“In the world of limited resources, Dr. Skuraton has brought innovation to her office and reached thousands of students in her work as Director of Student Wellness and Health Promotion. She is a triple Eagle and she is passionate about stepping beyond her administrative and managerial roles to provide the institution with best-practice initiatives, to name a few the Period Equity Movement, Peer Body Project, Binge Thinking, Health at Every Size, and much more. Dr. Skuraton is dedicated to ensuring a culture of wellness permeates into the backbone of Georgia Southern and allows students, faculty and staff to think about their entire wellness journey. The work done by Dr. Skuraton as a leader has addressed the barriers that students face and assists in eliminating barriers outside the classroom that have an upstream impact on in-class learning. It is my belief that she has excelled in leadership, has a proven commitment to diversity, and is committed to the students at Georgia Southern University through her work establishing a public health program that reduces barriers for a diverse population of students.”

– Jackie Mesenbrink

Team Award

The Team Award recognizes a group of individuals comprised of three or more employees (staff and/or faculty) that contribute to one of the five strategic imperatives while demonstrating one of the six core values to help the University be the best place to work, learn, and succeed.

Members will receive a certificate, team photo with the President and a crystal plaque to be displayed in the office of the team leader.  

Americans & Holocaust Program

The American and the Holocaust (AATH) Program Team at Georgia Southern Libraries

“The American and the Holocaust (AATH) Program Team at Georgia Southern Libraries hosted “Americans and the Holocaust,” a traveling exhibition at Henderson Library from January through February 2022. Over 700 visitors participated in related community workshops and events at both the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses.”

– John Schlipp
Americans & Holocaust Program Members
  • Autumn Johnson
    Librarian Assistant Professor
  • Nikki Cannon-Rech
    Librarian Associate Professor
  • Willow Farmer
    Special Collections Assistant
  • Dan Skidmore-Hess
    Professor and Interim Associate Dean, Department of Political Science and International Studies
  • Caroline Hopkinson
    Librarian Assistant Professor
  • Rose Schaffer
    Library Assistant
  • Alison Darby
    Library Assistant
  • Rebecca Hobbs
    Library Technical Assistant
  • Erin Patterson
    Project Archivist
  • Barry Balleck
    Dept Chair-Professor, Department of Political Science and International Studies
  • Lisa Costello
    Professor, Department of Writing and Linguistics
  • Brian Feltman
    Associate Professor, Department of History
  • Morgan Rempel
    Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies

Years of Service

Years of Service recipients will receive a service year certificate and a service year lapel pin. 

35 Years

  • Suzanne Carpenter
  • Shirley Colbert
  • Chris Geyerman
  • Zandra Young

30 Years

  • Sharon Barrs
  • Nathan Brinkman
  • Charles Champ
  • Kevin Cook
  • Alan Downs
  • Jennifer Gerrald
  • Bryan Griffin
  • Marlynn Griffin
  • Steven Hein
  • Barry Joyner
  • Patricia Knight
  • Jessica Orvis
  • Nancy Remler

25 Years

  • Tabitha Atmore West
  • James Brawner
  • Carolyn Bryan
  • Jonathan Courdin
  • Jamie Ellis
  • Valerie Garrison
  • Michael Hall
  • Maria Hernandez
  • Sabrina Hessinger
  • June Joyner
  • Richard McGrath
  • Robert Pirro
  • Stephen Primatic
  • William Reynolds
  • Yvonne Roach
  • William Smith III
  • Michael Toma
  • Brian Vlcek
  • Pidi Zhang

20 Years

  • Robert Batchelor
  • Natalie Beth Burnett
  • Rosalind Calles
  • Rhonda Castro
  • Sonya Conner
  • John Davis
  • Julie Douberly
  • Paul Hadavas
  • Ebonee Jarrett
  • Frank Katz
  • Amanda King
  • John King
  • Angela Lang
  • Floyd Leach
  • Lili Li
  • Aniruddha Mitra
  • Thomas Murphy
  • Darlene Rawls
  • Joseph Reeves
  • Karla Rocker
  • Gerald Rogers
  • Vickie Lynn Shaw
  • Janice Skinner
  • Willette Stevens
  • Irene Stewart
  • Gregory Surrette
  • Ray Tyler-Hashemi
  • Jennifer Zettler

15 Years

  • Karelle Aiken
  • Holly Berry
  • Jeffrey Blythe
  • Janet Buelow
  • Daphne Burch
  • Esma Campbell
  • Daniel Chapman
  • Erica Colbert
  • Maura Copeland
  • Lisa Costello
  • Toni Davis
  • Trenton Davis
  • Melissia Deal
  • Maria Graham
  • Anne-Marie Grayson
  • Mikah Green
  • Arikka Gregory
  • Sharon Hendrix
  • Daisy Hunter
  • Alina Iacob
  • Ionut Iacob
  • Joette Jones
  • Christopher Kadlec
  • Geri Kilmer
  • Jackie Kim
  • David Kipkemboi
  • America Lavender
  • Tina Leggett
  • Cynthia Lonon
  • Doris Mack
  • Britton McKay
  • Anna Miller
  • Erica Minc
  • Coco Mincey
  • Heidi Moye
  • Deborah Mulford
  • Michael Murphy Jr
  • Ronald Murphy
  • David Murray
  • Karen Naufel
  • Samantha Nesmith
  • Keri Olmstead
  • Joseph Pellegrino
  • Juanjuan Peng
  • Luzviminda Quirimit
  • Jahmal Rainey
  • Cammie Ramos
  • Rebecca Riggs
  • Fernando Rios
  • Haresh Rochani
  • Elizabeth Sammons
  • Melanie Shipmon
  • Andrew Sills
  • Brian Simpson
  • Amy Smith
  • Rebecca Smith
  • Ricardo Strickland
  • Bradley Sturz
  • Jason Tatlock
  • John Thompson
  • Grant Turner
  • Jeffrey Tysinger
  • Perri Dawn Tysinger
  • Carroll Waldhour
  • Deborah Walker
  • Lori Ann Wiggins
  • John Womble
  • Lili Yu
  • Shijun Zheng

10 Years

  • Tina Adams
  • Neelam Aggarwal
  • Sandra Alderman
  • Sirkendrick Alston
  • Cheryl Ambrose
  • Beom Bae
  • Ruth Baker
  • Bulah Mae Ball McGee
  • Joshua Barker
  • Carol Baughan
  • William Belford
  • Sandra Bennett
  • Charles Bowen
  • Ty Boyer
  • Whitney Boykin
  • Christopher Brunt
  • Doy Cave III
  • Arpita Chatterjee
  • Marilyn Childers
  • Demetrious Childs
  • Philip Cary Christian
  • Cheryl Ciucevich
  • Alba Cobos
  • Brandon Costlow
  • Tiffany Courdin
  • Kevin Cowart
  • Misty Crockett
  • Jamie Cromley
  • Carlotta Davis
  • Dana Dreger
  • Todd Edwards
  • Jamie Elliott
  • Brian Feltman
  • Alejandro Gallard
  • Richard Garrick
  • Jill Gerig
  • Marc Gignac
  • John Golden Jr
  • Kania Greer
  • Charles Hendrix
  • Kyle Herman
  • Robert Hisey
  • Michael Jeong
  • Mary Jernigan
  • Robert Johnson
  • James Kaigler
  • Jacque Kelly
  • Mujibur Khan
  • Brian Lang
  • Mary Ann Lawton
  • Katherine Lewis
  • Derrick Lester
  • Li Li
  • Rafael Quirino
  • Jacek Lubecki
  • Sherry  McBride
  • Azure McDaniel
  • Katrina McNair
  • Jerome McNeil
  • Aditi Mitra
  • Erica Mobley
  • Brett Monroe
  • Elizabeth Mullins
  • Mary Elizabeth Myers
  • Joanna Odoms
  • Wilbert Oliver
  • Todd Olsen
  • Brittany Parham
  • Steven Patterson
  • Malerie Payne
  • McKenzie Peterman
  • Angela Pinilla-Herrera
  • Tangie Johnson
  • Matthew Reynolds
  • Marcela Funes
  • Raymond Rushing
  • Youssef Salhi
  • Jeffrey Schmuki
  • Aaron Schrey
  • Vinoth Sittaramane
  • Ernie Smith
  • Randolph Smith
  • Lashonda Spann
  • Christopher Spell
  • Mollie Stambaugh
  • Errol Stewart
  • Marion Stewart
  • Timothy Stillwell
  • Roxanne Sullivan
  • Yelena Tarasenko
  • Zachary Teter
  • Rechel Thomas
  • Linda Thompson
  • Michael Van Wagenen
  • Stephen Warner
  • Amanda White
  • Lauren White
  • Tommie Williams
  • Amy Winskie
  • Malcolm Wood
  • Danny Woodard
  • Ji Wu
  • Arda Yenipazarli

5 Years

  • Amelia Adkins
  • Tuyin An
  • Yoris Au
  • Nathan Banks Jr.
  • Elizabeth Barrow
  • Lauren Bayliss
  • Tanya Benjamin
  • Mary Bester
  • Prakashbhai Bhoi
  • Catherine Bishop
  • Lonnie Brogdon
  • Johnny Brown
  • Alicia Brunson
  • Andrew Bulla
  • Matthew Callaway
  • Shelli Casler-Failing
  • Martin Causer
  • Jonathan Chick
  • Maria Cole
  • Monica Cooper
  • Valerie Cote
  • Logan Cowan
  • Cara Cowart
  • Holly Cowart
  • Kevin Creasy
  • Yvette Crick
  • Masoud Davari
  • Sue Ellen DeChenne-Peters
  • Dawit Denu
  • Samuel Derr
  • Doria Douglas
  • Christion Doyle
  • Kerry Dunn
  • Tracy Edwards
  • Justin Evans
  • Jackie Everett
  • Sandra Ferguson
  • Andrew Flatt
  • Alexis Fletcher
  • Raymond Gaddy
  • Diane Gantt
  • Christopher Garland
  • Joshua Gibson
  • Russell Glorieux
  • Kenneth Glover
  • John Goshorn
  • Chianti Grant-Culver
  • Laura Griffiths
  • Vladimir Gurau
  • Clayton Hackle
  • Michelle Hall
  • John Harris
  • Stanley Harris
  • Saman Hedjazi
  • Alejandro Hernandez
  • Jonathan Hill
  • Tonya Hogue
  • Clinton Holloway III
  • Lauren Holmen
  • Precious Bing Howell
  • Rebecca Hunnicutt
  • Kirsten Hutchinson
  • Sterling Ives
  • Natasha Jackson
  • Dongyu Jia
  • Aliyah Johnson
  • Seungmo Kim
  • Thomas Knoerl
  • Abbie Lacienski
  • Amber Lamb
  • Dillian Lawrence
  • Yongki Lee
  • Tammelar Lemon
  • Hau Liu
  • Marylou Machingura
  • Eryn Maher
  • Addie Martindale
  • Tilicia Mayo-Gamble
  • Sean McCaffrey
  • Jonathan McCollar
  • Lindsey Michaud
  • Brian Mizeski
  • Catherine Morgan
  • Marcus Mosley
  • Norman Moss
  • Jason Murdock
  • Soonkie Nam
  • Katie Norwood
  • Adam O’Neal
  • Katharine Ours
  • Jonathan Overstreet
  • Lauren Patterson
  • Douglas Paulk
  • Duong Pham
  • Alena Pirok
  • Leo Polk
  • Kelsey Reeves
  • Jeffrey Riley
  • Whittney Riner
  • Calvin Robbins
  • Baker Rogers
  • Russell Rushing
  • Jessica Schwind
  • Chrystle Scott
  • Marina Shade
  • Peggy Shannon-Baker
  • William Slayton
  • LaQuite Smith
  • Ryan Smith
  • Dean Snelling Jr.
  • Carl Sorgen IV
  • Tanya Southerlin
  • Jennifer Sowell
  • Karen Spears
  • Curtis Sproul
  • Issac Taylor
  • Maranda Thomas
  • Kathy Thompson
  • Paula Tillman
  • Courtney Toledo
  • Steven Tolman
  • Kathleen Tremblay
  • Christopher Ulmer
  • Tanika Valentine
  • Brian Varner
  • Calvin Walton
  • Brandi Waters
  • Jennifer Wertalik
  • J Ben Wicker II
  • Karine Wooten
  • Joanne Zanetos

Committee Review

A total of 10 committees reviewed the Faculty, Staff and Team awards. Six of the committees provided a peer-review process for the applicants and four committees were joint committees. The joint committees consisted of members from both the faculty and staff with equal representation. The charge to the following committees was to review application packets and decide on the Awards of Excellence winners. Each committee evaluated the applicants based upon a set criterion and rubric. Rubrics were designed per award.

University Awards Committee

Patricia HoltCo-Chair, Professor, College of Education

DeAnn Lewis, Co-Chair, Accounting Information Analyst, University Budget Office/Staff Council Past Chair

Charles Bowen, Police Lieutenant & Training Coordinator, Business and Finance

Vivian Bynoe, Head, Reference & Instruction, University Libraries

Cary Christian, Associate Professor, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Anoop Desai, Professor, College of Engineering and Computing

Francis Desiderio, Associate Dean, Honors College

William Eaton, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Humanities

Mark Hanna, Professor, Parker College of Business

Mallory McLendon, Graphic Designer, University Communications and Marketing

Catherine MacGowan, Associate Professor, College of Science and Mathematics

Melanie Miller, Associate Vice President for Student Success, Division of Student Affairs

Miranda Ross, Admissions Advisor, College of Arts and Humanities, Academic Affairs

Stephen Rossi, Associate Dean, College of Health Professions

Hani Samawi, Professor & Interim Department Chair, Jiann-Ping HSU College of Public Health

David Simpson, Director of Student Media Administration, Student Affairs

Kip Sorgen, Associate Professor, College of Education

Scott Taylor, Coordinator of Academic Intervention & Outreach, Academic Affairs, Chair, Staff Council

Kesha Ward, Auditor, Office of the President


Separate Committees

Faculty Peer-Review Process; Staff Peer-Review Process

  1. Teaching (Pillar) and Academic Excellence (Value)
    Faculty: Faculty Senate Development Committee 
    Staff: Staff Council Committee for Teaching/Academic Excellence Awards
  2. Research (Pillar) and Discovery and Innovation (Value)
    Faculty: Faculty Senate Research Committee 
    Staff: Staff Council Committee for Research/Discovery and Innovation Awards
  3. Community Engagement (also known as Service) (Pillar) and Collaboration (Value)
    Faculty: Faculty Senate Service Committee
    Staff: Staff Council Committee for Community Engagement/Collaboration Awards

Joint Committees of Faculty/Staff

5 Committees

  1. Inclusive Excellence (Pillar) and Openness and Inclusiveness (Value)
    Counsel Review was conducted by the President’s Diversity Advisory Counsel.
  2. Operational EE&S (Pillar) and Sustainability (Value)
    Committee Review was conducted under the direction of the AVP for Planning and Analysis in conjunction with the Director of the Center for Sustainability. These leaders identified individuals that have expertise in operational efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability that can ascertain the contributions of the applicants. The committee structure was a cross-section of faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
  3. Student Success (Pillar)
    Committee Review was conducted by the Student Success Institutional Committee with representation from the Faculty Senate Student Success Committee. 
  4. Integrity (Value)
    Committee Review was conducted by the University Awards of Excellence Committee.
  5. Team Award 
    Committee Review was conducted by the University Strategic Planning Committee.


To be eligible to receive an Award of Excellence, an employee must be employed by the Georgia Southern University or the former Armstrong University for a minimum of three years at (the nomination period of August 1st) and must have received a rating of meets expectations or higher on the previous 2 performance evaluations.

All personnel up to, but not including, Directors and Chairs are eligible for nominations for Awards of Excellence. Directors in this instance does not infer to Academic Program directors, rather Directors within Divisional units.

An employee who has won a particular award in the past 3 years is not eligible to compete for that exact same award. 

Certain Award Review Committees may have eligibility criteria that supersede these criteria, these are set as a minimum.