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History Professor Earns LSUA´s Bolton Award

Released: 03/27/2002

<p> A professor of history and political science at LSUA has earned the Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence for his commitment to the university and outstanding classroom teaching. Dr. Jerry P. Sanson received LSUA&acute;s highest faculty honor at the presentation dinner at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, at Tunk&acute;s Cypress Inn Restaurant. </p><p> Sanson, a native of Deville, attended LSUA from 1970 until 1972 before earning his undergraduate degree from Louisiana College in 1974. He earned his master&acute;s and doctoral degrees from LSU and continued with postdoctoral study in public policy. He joined the full-time faculty at LSUA in the fall of 1988 after teaching for two years at LSU in Eunice. </p><p> "Jerry Sanson has distinguished himself as a teacher and supporter of campus and community programs and activities," said Dr. Greg Gormanous, head of the Division of Liberal Arts. "During my years as both student and teacher, I would rank Jerry among the top college professors that I have known or worked with," Gormanous said. </p><p> According to associate professor of psychology Dr. Mary Boone Treuting, Sanson has the right blend of research and teaching necessary to be an excellent teacher. "He has received two endowed professorships and is active in several professional organizations," she said. </p><p> "He has presented numerous scholarly papers and has contributed to a number of professional books, as well as published two of his own." </p><p> Former students laud Sanson for his teaching ability. "One of the greatest tenets of my faith is that the glory of God is intelligence...in meaning, light and truth. Dr. Jerry P. Sanson is that light to me, not the glow of an ivory tower, but the mantle of a lighthouse on a cragged shoreline," wrote Gwendolyn Storey, a former student who is now working on her graduate degree in Alamogordo, New Mexico. "Not only did he illuminate my love of history, he gave that light its truth," she wrote. </p><p> Students appreciate Sanson&acute;s ability to relate the subject matter to his students. </p><p> "Dr. Sanson is a brilliant scholar and his work in the field of Louisiana and American history is amazing," said former student Douglas Hollingsworth. "Yet what is even more amazing is his ability to communicate his knowledge to others...Dr. Sanson has a gift for making his subject come alive for students." </p><p> Sanson is also well respected by his peers. </p><p> "Dr. Sanson&acute;s professionalism and scholarship is unmatched on this campus," said Dr. Henry Robertson, associate professor of geography/history . "He knows the ins and outs of connecting with the students in meaningful ways. He does this by knowing how they are thinking and directing them to look at history and political science in ways that they might not consider," Robertson said. </p><p> "I am deeply honored to be receiving this award," Sanson said. "Back when I was a student at LSUA, I thought Jerry Myrick and Garry Tisdale had some pretty good jobs and I wanted to come back and teach history at LSUA...and I did. </p><p> "It is an honor to know that people think I teach well," he said. </p><p> Sanson reflected on his first visit to LSUA in 1970. "I came to campus to take my ACT in the spring of 1970 and thought I would start my college education here," he said. "And I fell in love with LSUA. I was able to explore topics I was not able to explore before, and it was close to home." </p><p> While at LSUA, Sanson has served on numerous committees in addition to maintaining a full teaching load. In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Sanson serves as coordinator for the LSU Senior College general studies program at LSUA. He has served on the Faculty Senate holding various offices including president and vice president. He currently serves as chairman of the courses and curricula committee and of the committee on naming facilities. He has made presentations to many groups and organizations and often serves as an expert for local media on history and political science issues. </p><p> Sanson has authored two books and has contributed sections to many others. He is an expert on Louisiana history and has presented scholarly papers and presentations on numerous occasions. </p><p> The Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence was made possible by a gift from the estate of Mrs. James C. Bolton. Mrs. Frances Bolton Davis, a long-time supporter of LSUA and former president of the LSUA Foundation, established the award in 1988. Presented annually to an outstanding faculty member, the Bolton Award is LSUA&acute;s highest faculty honor. The recipient receives a plaque and a cash award. </p>