September 21, 2014  

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College of Arts & Letters Honors Faculty, Staff Achievements with Awards

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Five College of Arts & Letters faculty and staff members were recently honored for their achievements and efforts at The University of Southern Mississippi over the past year.

Each year, department chairs and directors send in their nominations to a committee of 12 faculty – one from each department in the college – before the committee makes recommendations to the dean for each award. Award categories include research, creative activity, teaching, staff and mentor.

“The College makes these annual awards to recognize the outstanding work of its faculty and staff,” said Dr. J. Mark Wrighton, associate dean for curriculum and assessment.

“While all of our faculty and staff excel in their respective endeavors, the college's annual awards provide a means for us to learn about -- and to further appreciate -- the diverse work that our colleagues are doing and the innovative teaching techniques they are employing in the classroom.”

Award winners include the following:

  • Dr. Chris Meyers, Research Award
  • Dr. Nicholas Ciraldo, Creative Activity Award
  • Dr. Daniel Capper, Teaching Award
  • Jameela Lares, Mentor Award
  • Petra Lamb, Staff Award

Ciraldo, assistant professor of guitar and undergraduate coordinator for the School of Music, garnered the Creative Activity Award on the merits of his international performing career. He not only has been featured as a performer overseas but also has distinguished himself as a guitarist in solo, chamber, and symphonic concerto genres.

The committee selected Capper for the Teaching Award in recognition of his long record of teaching achievements and broad range of commitments from international programs to student advising to his local leadership of Amnesty International.

Lares received the Mentor Award, newly instituted by the college to recognize the efforts of senior faculty members in assisting untenured colleagues toward promotion and tenure and learning the norms of their respective disciplines. Lares, professor of English, is recognized for her sustained record of excellence as a mentor of faculty within and outside of her department.

Meyers, associate professor of philosophy, was selected for the Research Award in recognition of the depth, quality and range of his research as well as for his many productive years of scholarship.

Lamb, administrative assistant for the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, received the Staff Award, for the quality of her daily work, her ability to anticipate needs before they occur, and the professional way she relates to students and faculty.

“Committee members expressed admiration for all the faculty and staff who were nominated for these awards,” said Dr. Douglas Rust, who chaired the committee. “No award decision was easy and the applicants were all of very high quality. The University is fortunate to have so many worthy researchers, artists, teachers, mentors and staff.”