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Dr. Dorene Fox wins Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence

Released: 03/15/2005

A mathematics professor at LSU Alexandria has earned the Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence for her outstanding classroom teaching and commitment to the university.

Dr. Dorene Fox received the university’s highest faculty honor at a presentation dinner Monday night in the Barbara Brumfield Caffey Annex.

“Dr. Fox’s efforts for her students, LSUA, her profession and her community can be summed up in one word – exemplary,” said Lillian Wooley, assistant professor of English who nominated Fox for the award.

Fox joined the LSU Alexandria faculty in the fall of 1991 after receiving the Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. A resident of Alexandria, she is active in the Central Louisiana Kiwanis Club and serves as faculty adviser for the LSUA Circle K organization on campus.

She said receiving the Bolton Award is “very humbling” and an honor.

“I think an outstanding teacher is one who provides quality education and continually looks for new material or finds new ways to reach the students,” Fox said. “Therefore, to me, receiving the Bolton Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching, is quite an honor. This award, with all the letters of support, certainly encourages me to continue my efforts to enhance classroom experience.”

Dr. Tommy Awtry, chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, called Fox a role model for all faculty members.

“She is highly motivated and extremely active in all areas of responsibility. She routinely assumes additional responsibilities and is responsible with the tasks she accepts. While maintaining high academic standards, she continues to strive to improve her teaching. Her teaching can be summarized as being student-centered.”

Renu Gupta, associate professor of mathematics, said, “Dr. Fox extends herself beyond basic requirements for her job.”

Dr. David Huey, professor of biology and another nominee for the Bolton Award, said, “Perhaps the most valuable contribution of Dr. Fox is as a role model for our female students who often learn to enjoy mathematics with her help. Dr. Dorene Fox is an excellent, experienced and caring professor.”

Many of her students praise Fox for doing something that most of their former teachers never could do: get them to understand mathematics.

“For the first time in my life … I actually understood algebra. I have Dr. Dorene Fox to thank for that,” said former student Vickie Bowman.

Student Heather Rivas of Marksville said she reluctantly took one of Fox’s classes in the fall of 2003. “Dr. Fox not only showed me that college algebra was within my reach, but also that I could become very confident in taking it. I received an “A” that semester and was so pleased with her teaching style that I based my entire schedule the following semester around one of her Math 1021 classes.”

Mathematics major Tina Cebrynski said, “I would actually be excited to take her tests because I could not wait to put my new and exciting knowledge to work. I have never felt this way about any of my math classes, much less any class. … There is no award that can define this amazing teacher and mentor.”

Fox said she loves the challenge of trying to get her students to understand and appreciate mathematics. “It’s very rewarding to have students, especially young ladies, to say ‘I have decided to teach math,’” she said. “I work hard at trying to get my students to understand. The fun thing about teaching is the challenge of how to do this better.”

Fox received a Bachelor of Science from Rockford College, Rockford, Ill., in 1982. She earned the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy with a major in mathematics from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Her areas of expertise include topology, adult learning theory, using graphing calculators in the mathematics classroom, using the Web in mathematics and academic advising.

She organized the LSU Alexandria Circle K organization and served as faculty adviser for the Tioga Key Club for seven years.

Fox is actively involved with the Kiwanis Club of Central Louisiana. She served as its president for two terms and is now a board member. She served in various capacities for Kiwanis International, including lieutenant governor of Kiwanis District 11.

She served as a docent for the Heart of Spain exhibit and was a Red Coat for the Chamber of Commerce for four years. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Academic Advising Association.

Fox and her husband, Randall Beaubouef, live in Alexandria. She has one son, Douglas Fox, 17.

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 LSU Alexandria and former president of the LSUA Foundation, established the award in 1988. Presented annually to an outstanding faculty member, the Bolton Award is the university’s highest faculty honor. The recipient receives a plaque and a cash award.