Faculty, staff recognized at convocation
Southeastern opened the spring semester Friday with its Convocation that included
presentation of the President’s Awards for Excellence, the university’s highest honor
for faculty and staff.
The event, held in the Student Union Grand Ballroom, also included recognition
of professors who were elevated to emeritus status, remarks by Southeastern President
John L. Crain, recognition of donors, and service awards to faculty and staff who
have worked at the university for 25, 30, 35, and 40 years.
Recognized for 25 years of service were Michael Beauvais, Chris Bentley, Virginia
Creel, Brian Crother, Gina Drago, Rufus Hayes, Jr, Shirley Jacob, Robert Kraemer,
Margaret Little, Rebecca Muller, Dorothy Nelson, William Parkinson, Murray Pendarvis,
Peggy Rolling, Matthew Rossano, Avinash Waikar, and Mary White. Recognized for 30
years of service were John L. Crain, George Dorrill, Joseph Patti, and Lynn Stirling.
Celebrating 35 years of service were Donna Methvien and Barbara West, and recognized
for 40 years of service was Jack Lamonte.
Receiving the President’s Awards for Excellence were English Instructor David
Armand, Artistic Activity; Political Science Professor Margaret Gonzalez-Perez, Research;
Education Professor Paige Lilley Schulte, Teaching; Professor of Education Colleen
Klein-Ezell, Faculty Service; and Assistant Director of Physical Plant Services Mark
Whitmer, Unclassified Staff Service.
Armand, honored for his writing talent, is quickly earning a reputation as one
of the foremost emerging young Southern writers. A 2004 and 2006 graduate of Southeastern,
he has written three novels and a book of poetry. Armand has been honored as Alumnus
of the Year by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and was named
one of “40 under 40” by Gambit Magazine of New Orleans.
A political scientist, Gonzalez-Perez was applauded for her research on women
in terrorism. Internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on the
subject, her book is used as a text in courses across the globe. She is known for
approaching research as a tool in teaching and gains much of her inspiration from
her students’ questions.
Referred to by her colleagues as a “teacher of teachers,” Schulte cannot remember
a time in her life when she did not want to be a teacher. An avid traveler, she brings
her professional zeal for teaching along on her trips, presenting programs on prevention
of bullying and teaching techniques in nations such as Moscow, China, the United Kingdom
and Canada. She holds certification in teaching English as a Second Language, and
coordinates Southeastern’s teaching apprenticeship program with the St. Charles Parish
With an academic focus on special education, Klein-Ezell is passionate about
working with children with disabilities and their families. She has secured numerous
grants designed to provide services for area schools, as well as valuable learning
opportunities for her teacher-candidates. Her most recent efforts have focused on
the development of two unique facilities at Southeastern for children with special
needs – a Lecotect room that provides adaptive toys to the children, and two Snoezelen
rooms that create a calming, exploring and interactive experience for them.
Whitmer was recognized for his service to Southeastern and his community. He
carries the spirit of service into his job, dedicated to the success of programs such
as Rock n’ Roar, Homecoming, commencements and football games. He has served as a
marshal for the Krewe of Omega, attending to parade logistics; volunteer softball
coach for various community teams; a participant in literacy programs in area schools;
and assisting in maintenance, construction and yard work for his church, as well as
tending to the sick and shut-ins of his community.
The convocation concluded with an indoor picnic sponsored by Aramark/Southeastern
Catering, First Guaranty Bank, and North Oaks Health System.
FACULTY-STAFF RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE – Above: Several members of Southeastern’s faculty and staff were recognized for excellence
at the university’s convocation held on Friday. Honored were, from left, Mark Whitmer,
assistant director of Physical Plant Services, for Excellence in Unclassified Staff
Service; English Instructor and writer David Armand, Excellence in Artistic Activity;
Education Professor and head of the Department of Teaching and Learning Colleen Klein-Ezell,
Excellence in Faculty Service; Associate Professor of Education Paige Lilley Schulte,
Excellence in Teaching; and Political Science Professor Margaret Gonzalez-Perez, Excellence
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF SERVICE - President John L. Crain recognized employees with 25 years of service at Friday's
convocation. From left are Crain, Avinash Waikar, Matthew Rossano, Robert Kraemer,
Shirley Jacob, Rufus Hayes, Jr, Chris Bentley and Michael Beauvais.
SERVICE RECOGNIZED - At Friday's convocation, President John L. Crain, far left, recognized employees
for their years of service and dedication to the university. From left, are Barbara
West, Donna Methvien, Lynn Stirling, and Joseph Patti.