Southeastern faculty, staff receive top awards at convocation


Friday, August 16, 2019 President's Excellence winners
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

SOUTHEASTERN FACULTY AND STAFF HONORED AT CONVOCATION - Southeastern Louisiana University opened the 2019-20 academic year Friday (Aug. 16) 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 Irene Nero, Benjamin Diller, Corliss Dupuy, Kent Neuerburg, and Dayne Sherman.


     HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University opened the 2019-20 academic year Friday (Aug. 16) 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 45 years.
     Receiving the President’s Awards for Excellence were Instructor of Drawing Benjamin Diller, excellence in artistic activity; Professor of Mathematics Kent Neuerburg, excellence in research; Associate Professor of Art History Irene Nero, excellence in teaching; Professor of Library Science and Coordinator of User Education Dayne Sherman, excellence in faculty service; and Corliss Dupuy, assistant director of Human Resources, excellence in unclassified staff service.
     Diller creates artwork in a broad range of media and formats, exhibiting drawings, sculptures and installations. He has been selected for six solo exhibitions, seven two-person exhibitions, and more than 40 group shows. His artwork has been exhibited throughout Louisiana, as well as national exhibits in Chicago, Sacramento, Richmond, Washington DC, Boston, and Brooklyn, to name a few. He often shares his exhibition experiences with his students and encourages them “to put themselves out there” by applying to shows, graduate schools, jobs and other opportunities.
     Neuerburg’s general area of mathematical research is algebra, but in a broad sense. He has a wide background and has done research in diverse areas of mathematics, including algebraic geometry, commutative ring theory, near-ring theory, and graph theory, as well as computational mathematics and statistics. He has published in the areas of algebraic geometry, near-rings, and pedagogy in 17 refereed papers and one book chapter. Neuerburg has also served as an associate editor for a book, a rarity for a mathematics professor. Five of his papers have appeared in Communications in Algebra and the Journal of Algebra, two highly respected abstract algebra journals.
     Nero has been teaching art history classes at Southeastern since the fall of 2000, and she helped co-create the art history concentration curriculum in 2009. In addition to teaching, Nero spends hours nurturing and guiding her students through their research, and her efforts have achieved great results. Her students have advanced to masters and doctorate programs, and many are working in museums, universities and private collections across the country. Several of Nero’s students return to Hammond to visit her, and some of her former students have returned to campus to give lectures in the Let’s Talk Art Series, which she co-founded with Sims Library Director Eric Johnson 10 years ago.
     Sherman first came to Southeastern as a freshman in 1988 and immediately became involved in campus organizations with service as a primary focus. He has served on numerous panels in his geographic area as one of the authors regularly providing adult education events in Amite, Hammond, Ponchatoula, and Albany-Springfield. He has served in the Faculty Senate as a member, where he regularly spotlighted matters germane to Southeastern’s faculty and critical to the integrity of the university. His initial work there led to increased roles on the Executive Council, as Vice President, and ultimately, as President of the Faculty Senate.
     Dupuy began working at Southeastern in 2000 as a human resources analyst and worked her way up the ladder to a supervisor, served as interim director twice when asked, and now serves as assistant director of human resources over the compensation and talent acquisition areas. She has served as a proctor for the ACT college placement exam, volunteered at the university’s annual Rock n’ Roar Literary Rally event, participated on the Division of Administration and Finance Relay for Life team, helped coordinate the university’s annual United Way campaign, and serves as a sponsor for the Southeastern student group Lions for the Lamb.
     The term “Emeritus” is a title awarded to only a few select individuals in recognition of distinguished and extraordinary service. Receiving the Emeritus faculty award was Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology and Health Studies Robert Kraemer.

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