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5 faculty members awarded endowed professorships

Released: 05/05/2005

Five LSU Alexandria faculty members will get extra funds over the next two years to pursue various academic interests ranging from biological research to studying the link between early childhood education and adult incarceration.

The five have been awarded endowed professorships, which provide faculty members with a salary supplement and additional funds for professional development, travel or equipment. The awards are made possible through private gifts to the LSUA Foundation, which are matched with a gift from the Board of Regents Support Fund.

Recipients are selected through a competitive process.

The Huie-Dellmon Trust Endowed Professorship in Liberal Arts and Science was awarded to Dr. Ginger Jones, associate professor of English. Jones plans to use the development portion of the professorship to enhance the Myth, Legends and Folklore course to include a travel component. Traveling will allow her students to explore the influence of Jean Lafitte and Marie LaVoe and others.

“I want to teach my students to read, write, question, explore and discover by becoming active, rather than passive, learners,” she said.

The Roy and Vinita Martin Endowed Professorship was presented to Dr. Susan Sullivan, assistant professor of biological science. She plans to use the development portion of the professorship to continue and expand research on leaf cutter ants in hopes of finding colonies of Streptomyces that may inhibit growth of household molds or even growth of other bacteria.

Her philosophy of teaching centers around learning as a lifelong journey. She sees the role of a teacher as being akin to that of a very good field guide for a particular section of a journey -- to enlighten and to guide.

The J.H. Johnson Endowed Professorship in Business Administration was awarded to Beth Lord Whittington, assistant professor of criminal justice. She plans to use the professional development portion of the professorship to study the link between quality early childhood education and incarceration rates.

She believes that if Louisiana offered quality pre-kindergarten programs to all 3- and 4-year-olds, we could seriously retard the rapid rate at which we are currently incarcerating individuals.

The Cliffe E. Laborde Sr. Endowed Professorship in Education was awarded to Julie Gill, an assistant professor of kinesiology. With the development portion of the professorship, she plans to continue her studies of learned helplessness – the belief that despite one’s best efforts, failure is unavoidable. Her objective is to identify LSU Alexandria students who demonstrate signs of learned helplessness, then help them overcome their fears and help them attain their educational goals.

Gill believes that educators should continuously strive for excellence and push students to achieve their highest potential. When you expect more, your receive more.

The Barbara M. Martin Endowed Professorship in Nursing was awarded to Kim Herrington, associate professor of nursing. She plans to use the development funds of the professorship to develop a pilot study focused on student assessment to identify at-risk nursing students and to increase their chances for success within the program.

She believes the best gift that a teacher can give her students is the stimulation of the enthusiastic search for knowledge within the nursing arena in order to provide better nursing care of patients as well as to become a more effective and well-rounded nurse and human being.