Southeastern faculty, staff receive top awards at convocation
Monday, August 13, 2018
by: Tonya Lowentritt
1) SOUTHEASTERN FACULTY AND STAFF HONORED AT CONVOCATION - Southeastern Louisiana University opened the 2018-19 academic year Friday (Aug. 10) with its fall convocation that included presentation of the President’s Awards for Excellence, the university’s highest honor for faculty and staff. From left are award recipients Eddie Hebert, Sandra Lelleck, Holly Kihm, Cristina Molina, and Amber Narro.
2) SOUTHEASTERN STUDENT-ATHLETES HONORED WITH HEART OF A LION AWARDS – Southeastern Louisiana University honored three baseball players at its fall convocation for saving a woman from a burning vehicle. As a result of their heroic actions, Southeastern Alumnus and former baseball player John Manzella, established the Trey Morgan, Evan Pace, and Kyle Schimpf Endowed Scholarship in Baseball. From left are Southeastern Athletic Director Jay Artigues, Southeastern President John L. Crain, Manzella, Schimpf, Morgan, Pace, and Southeastern Head Baseball Coach Matt Riser.
HAMMOND - Southeastern Louisiana University opened the 2018-19 academic year
Friday (Aug. 10) with its fall convocation that included presentation of the President’s
Awards for Excellence, the university’s highest honor for faculty and staff.
The event also included announcement of newly endowed scholarships and professorships, emeritus faculty awards, and recognition of service awards to faculty and staff who have worked at the university for 25, 30, 35, 40 and 50 years.
Receiving the President’s Awards for Excellence were Associate Professor of New Media and Animation Cristina Molina, artistic activity; Associate Professor of Family and Consumer Science Holly Kihm, research; Professor and Department Head of Kinesiology and Health Studies Eddie Hebert, teaching; Associate Professor of Communication and Coordinator of e-Learning Amber Narro, faculty service; and Sandra Lelleck, Physical Plant business manager, unclassified staff service.
Molina’s motivation for creating artwork grew through her study of psychology, as she became fascinated by archetypal theories and how they manifest throughout individual lives. Her work has been recognized by the leading art journal “Art in America” and has been featured in galleries and museums such as the College Arts Association Conference in New York, Chicago Industrial Arts + Design Center, Miami Beach Urban Studies, and American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center in Washington DC.
Kihm’s research interest in childhood obesity was sparked by her work as a child life specialist prior to her tenure at Southeastern. She has published 17 peer-reviewed articles as first author and seven peer-reviewed articles as co-author. Kihm actively seeks funding to support her research projects and has obtained numerous grants, including a Board of Regents Traditional Enhancement Grant that supported the creation of the Interactive Physical Activity Lab (IPAL), a teaching space where faculty and students work with local youth and their families to develop healthier lifestyles.
Hebert has been teaching at Southeastern since 1996. His areas of specialization include motor learning, physical education, teacher education, physical fitness, and research methods and statistics. His Student Opinion of Teaching surveys are consistently above the university, college and department averages. Hebert firmly believes that preparation makes the difference, and he must be prepared for class in order to expect the same from his students.
Narro’s service on campus began with student organizations, having worked with the Department of Languages and Communication’s Press Club for nearly a decade. She has also served on multiple university committees, including the Active Alumni, Website Refresh and Rock n’ Roar committees. Outside the university, Narro has served on the board of Options for 15 years and currently serves on the board of Hammond’s Smokin’ BBQ Challenge, which funds local non-profits. She is a board member of the Ginger Ford Fuller Center for Housing, is the finance chair for Junior Auxiliary, and is a member of the Greater Hammond and Ponchatoula chambers of commerce.
As Business Manager of Southeastern’s Physical Plant, Lelleck manages more than 18 departmental budgets and tracks and processes university utilities in excess of 4.5 million dollars annually. She oversees physical plant payroll and timekeeping, work order generation, and customer service. Lelleck volunteers her time to many organizations, including Court Appointed Special Advocates, Head Start, and Relay for Life.
The term “Emeritus” is a title awarded to only a few select individuals in recognition of distinguished and extraordinary service. Receiving Emeritus faculty awards were Professor Emeritus of Education Jeanne Burns, Professor Emeritus of Education Cynthia Elliott, Professor Emeritus of Music and Performing Arts Martie Fellom, Professor Emeritus of Communication Sciences and Disorders Nina Simmons-Mackie, and Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology and Health Studies Linda Synovitz.
The university also announced the establishment of the Judge Sheldon Fernandez First Generation Endowed Scholarship and the Robert and Lydia Hardy Endowed Professorship in Mathematics.
Three student-athletes were also recognized during convocation for their bravery with “Heart of a Lion” awards. Southeastern baseball players Trey Morgan, Evan Pace, and Kyle Schimpf were driving to British Columbia to play summer baseball when they found a burning vehicle with a woman inside. They pulled her from the vehicle only moments before it burst into flames. As a result of their heroic actions, Southeastern Alumnus and former baseball player John Manzella, established the Trey Morgan, Evan Pace, and Kyle Schimpf Endowed Scholarship in Baseball.