Tag Archives: Faculty Achievement

Kevin Kleine has spent the last 30 years losing sleep as Berry’s student publications adviser. Now his work with the Campus Carrier, Ramifications, Valkyrie and Cabin Log has earned him national acclaim as a “Distinguished Adviser” by the College Media Association. He received his award at the CMA national convention in October.

Kleine’s achievements can be measured in awards won and careers inspired. Grateful alumni flocked to a special Mountain Day reception in his honor. Many also supported a successful crowdfunding effort to raise $5,000 in seed funding for a study abroad scholarship that will bear his name.

“Kevin always made us feel like we were part of a family,” said Randee Walters-Paraskevopoulos (92C), a former Campus Carrier editor who flew in from Texas to attend the Mountain Day reception. “More than a teacher, Kevin was a mentor, a friend and a big brother. He brought the Carrier staff together and made it so we could depend on each other in all things.”

Under Kleine’s direction, Berry’s student publications have earned recognition from such notable organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the College Media Association and the Georgia College Press Association. Previous honors for him include two Presidential Citations for Service from College Media Advisers, Inc., and the 2008 Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring, one of Berry’s most notable honors.

“Week after week, he saved us from our own inexperience with his seasoned advice and somehow turned any mishaps into learning opportunities for us,” praised another former Carrier editor, Bonny Harper Dixon (13C).

Gifts to the Kevin Kleine Study Abroad Scholarship are still being accepted with the eventual goal of raising $25,000 to permanently endow the award. Click here if you wish to honor Kleine with a gift.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Frank Stephenson Portrait

Dr. Frank Stephenson

Gund Professor of Economics Dr. Frank Stephenson was a featured voice in a recent New York Times article on the economics of the Super Bowl. Stephenson’s insights were born out of a long-running research agenda rooted in his analysis of hotel occupancy data for cities hosting major events. He has worked with several co-authors during that time, including Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Lauren Heller. She wrote a 2016 op-ed for the Cleveland Plain Dealer questioning the economic impact of political conventions based on that same body of research. Berry students, including Richards Scholar Clay Collins (16C), also have been involved in the work.

 

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Chris Mowry sets up a trail camera on the Berry campus.

Chris Mowry sets up a trail camera on the Berry campus.

January brought national recognition for one faculty member in Berry’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences and notable media attention for another.

Professor Ron Taylor is a 2018 recipient of the nation’s top prize in college mathematics education, the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Presented annually by the Mathematical Association of America, the award honors those “who have been widely recognized as extraordinarily successful and whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have influence beyond their own institutions.”

“On the list of people who have won are some very famous people in the mathematical community, lots of whom I look up to as mentors,” Taylor marveled in a Campus Carrier story. “It’s just amazing that I’m on the list with them.”

Taylor is one of three honorees this year, joining fellow recipients from the University of Northern Colorado and Lafayette College. You can see an example of his innovative teaching methods by watching the video above.

While Taylor is making his mark in the world of mathematics, Associate Professor of Biology Chris Mowry is once again in the media spotlight thanks to his work with the Atlanta Coyote Project, this time turning up in the pages of Atlanta Magazine. Click here to read more.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Todd TimberlakeMany alumni will recall the “star parties” thrown by Professor of Physics and Department Chair Todd Timberlake at Berry’s mountain campus observatory, but this summer he’s playing to a completely different audience – and hemisphere – as part of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. While leading a course of study in physics at the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Mundgod, India, Timberlake used a hand-controlled, six-inch telescope to share the wonders of the night sky with 50-60 Tibetan Buddhist monks and 20 U.S. college students. Afterward, he exclaimed on Facebook: “The best part of the night was watching the monks snap pictures with their iPhones and download the Stellarium app. I guess they have a better data plan than I do!”

Timberlake is one of a number of Berry faculty members working in countries around the globe this summer. Many times, they’re accompanied by Berry students (more on that in our next issue). Destinations include Cuba, Denmark, Israel, Honduras, Ecuador, Belize, South Korea, Iceland, Austria, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

 

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Associate Professor Ron Taylor has earned some of Berry’s most notable awards for his interactive teaching approach and willingness to use outside-the-box methods to inspire his students to get creative – literally – in developing solutions to difficult mathematical concepts. Now the local media is joining the chorus of praise. Recently, reporters at Atlanta’s NBC affiliate marveled at his latest teaching tool – origami. Click the video to learn more about how he’s helping students view mathematics in an entirely new way.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Kirsten Taylor, left, and Ginger Swann

Kirsten Taylor, left, and Ginger Swann

A respected leader among the faculty and a comforting presence for Berry’s student-athletes earned well-deserved recognition as the 2016 recipients of the Martindale Awards of Distinction. Associate Professor and Department Chair of Government and International Studies Kirsten Taylor won praise as the faculty Martindale recipient for her efforts to help foster consensus among colleagues on such controversial topics as general education reform. Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine Ginger Swann (93C) was lauded as the staff winner for her impressive ability to maximize resources and maintain high standards while providing innovative and personal care to more than 400 student-athletes each year.

Other faculty/staff award recipients included:

  • Dr. Martin Goldberg, retiring senior lecturer of animal science and college veterinarian, Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award
  • Dr. Nancy Edwards, assistant professor of teacher education, Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising
  • Dr. Kevin Hoke, associate professor of chemistry, Mary S. and Samuel Poe Carden Award
  • Dr. Michael Bailey, associate professor of government and international studies, Dave and Lu Garrett Award in Teaching
  • Alan Storey, retiring director of photographic services and community relations, SGA Staff Member of the Year
  • Dr. Randy Richardson, communication lecturer and forensics director, SGA Faculty Member of the Year
  • Kevin Ellis, barn manager for Gunby Equine Center, John R. Bertrand Superior Student Work Supervisor Award
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Kathy RichardsonBerry Provost Kathy Richardson (pictured) is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in recognition of her many accomplishments as a teacher, author and administrator. A communication faculty member since 1986, Richardson is a past recipient of Berry’s top awards for teaching and service. She is currently serving a three-year appointment as provost. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from UGA. Joining her in the spotlight are several other Berry faculty and staff members lauded at spring campus awards programs. They include:

Dr. Judy Wilson, associate professor of animal science, Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Victor Bissonnette, associate professor of psychology, Eleana M. Garrett Award for Advising and Caring
Dr. Alice Bristow, associate professor of theatre, Outstanding Faculty Member (SGA)
Laura Phillips, administrative assistant, vice president for student affairs and dean of student’s office, Outstanding Staff Member (SGA)
Matt Forrester, systems engineer for network operations, John R. Bertrand Superior Work Supervisor Award

Emeritus recognition: The Board of Trustees recently granted emeritus titles to Professor of Philosophy David McKenzie, who is retiring this spring after 36 years on the faculty; Martha Reynolds, who retired as associate librarian in January; and Dr. Tom Carver, who retired in 2004 as vice president for student affairs and dean of students but continues to serve Berry as an adjunct member of the psychology faculty. Also honored were two retiring members of the Board of Trustees, Pete Roberts and Terry Graham.

Alumnus Colin William (93C) recently shared his appreciation for Dr. McKenzie in a letter to the editor of the Campus Carrier.

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Gary Breton

Gary Breton

Callaway Professor of Organic Chemistry Gary Breton is the new dean of Berry’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Breton, a Berry faculty member since 1994, accepted a three-year appointment as dean after holding the title on an interim basis since last fall. He succeeds Dr. Bruce Conn, who has returned full time to the classroom after 16 years of meritorious service.

In other news, the Board of Trustees has granted tenure and/or promotions to the following faculty members:

Tenured: Dr. Curt Hersey (93C), communication

Tenured and promoted to the rank of associate professor: Dr. Kevin Hoke (chemistry), Dr. Chang Pu (education)

Promoted to the rank of professor: Dr. Bill Davin (biology), Dr. Chris Diller (English, rhetoric and writing), Dr. Michelle Haney (psychology), Dr. John Hickman (government and international studies), Dr. Alan Hughes (psychology)

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Senior Josy Roman and Dr. Eric McDowell have once again struck gold with a video collaboration, winning a second-place national award in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts for The Calculus Priority Dispute. This is the second consecutive year that McDowell and Roman have placed second in the “Two-Year/Small College Video Production” category. This time they were joined by senior Michael Baldvins, who assisted Roman in producing and creating the animation. Both students work for Viking Fusion, a co-curricular multimedia website based in and managed by the communication department.

In other recent news, the Berry College Forensics Union continued its dominance of the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensic Association, winning nine of 11 events en route to its 20th consecutive state tournament championship. Highlights included the 1-2 finish of junior Nicole Wilson and freshman Logan Ramsey in persuasive speaking. Their reward is a trip to James Madison University in April as Georgia’s representatives in the 145th Interstate Oratory Contest.

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Curt HerseyAssistant Professor of Communication Curt Hersey (93C) was one of 20 television and media instructors nationwide chosen for a November seminar hosted by the Television Academy Foundation. While in Hollywood, he had the opportunity to meet with high-level industry professionals, tour major on-site facilities, and get up close and personal with a coveted Emmy Award. Though he didn’t get to keep the trophy, Hersey is already putting the knowledge he gained and connections he made to work for his students.

“I’m working with the foundation to set up video conferences with industry professionals for classes,” he explained. “And they are also helping me make contacts for a research project I’m working on. Long term, I hope to eventually take a group of students for a Maymester experience in L.A. using the contacts I’ve made.” More.

Reporting by Public Relations Student Assistant Alyssa Smith

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Steve Bell and Jackie McDowell

Dr. Steven Bell accepts his Charter Fellows Award from Charter School Dean Jackie McDowell. Photo by student Mary Claire Stewart.

Alumni and colleagues in the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences recently honored Professor Emeritus of Psychology Steven Bell with the Charter Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Teaching. Bell has served Berry with distinction since 1976, proving himself to be a caring and compassionate educator who encourages students to think outside the box and consider diverse viewpoints (while also challenging them to navigate what one colleague lovingly referred to as his “abstract” syllabi).

In addition to his work in the classroom, Bell is also known for his writing and scholarship in the areas of learning styles and disabilities, environmental education, school and university partnerships, and positive parenting. Recently, he published a paper recounting his experiences working with children and families in a harsh and often hostile environment during his 2010 sabbatical in the West Bank. Community service includes work on behalf of the Martin Luther King Commission, Habitat for Humanity, the Governor’s Council for Developmental Disabilities and the Rodeph Sholom Synagogue. He retired from Berry in 2013 but continues to teach classes two days a week.

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Peter LawlerDana Professor of Government and International Studies Peter Lawler has been appointed to a two-year term on the Georgia State Advisory Committee for the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is one of 14 members representing a variety of backgrounds, skills, experiences and perspectives who will focus their attention on immigration and other issues of importance to their fellow Georgians.

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