Southeastern faculty, staff receive top awards


Tuesday, March 30, 2021 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

Brian Crother Margaret Gonzalez-Perez Gerlinde Beckers Paulette Poche
Brian Crother Margaret Gonzalez-Perez Gerlinde Beckers Paulette Poche

     HAMMOND – Each year, Southeastern Louisiana University President John L. Crain bestows the university’s most prestigious honor, the President’s Excellence Award, to faculty and staff excelling in the areas of research, teaching, faculty service, and staff service. Award winners are normally honored during the annual fall faculty and staff convocation that kicks off the academic year; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was not able to take place in person during 2020.
     Recipients of the 2020 awards include Brian Crother of Hammond, President’s Excellence Award for Research; Margaret Gonzalez-Perez of Hammond, President’s Excellence Award for Teaching; Gerlinde Beckers of Loranger, President’s Excellence Award for Faculty Service; and Paulette Poche of Ponchatoula, President’s Excellence Award for Unclassified Staff Service.
     Crother is a second-time recipient of the honor, receiving the first one in 1999. He has been a part of the faculty at Southeastern since 1991 and is a dedicated graduate student mentor, as well as a renowned expert in herpetology, phylogenetics, systematics, and biogeography.
     Gonzalez-Perez is best known for her research on international politics and women in terrorism and has been a faculty member since 1995. Excelling in teaching, research and professional service, she now has a trifecta of President’s Excellence Awards, including for Faculty Service in 2009 and Research in 2016 in addition to this current award in Teaching.
     Beckers, who joined Southeastern in 2012, has since 2016 been the director of Lions Connected, a post-secondary educational experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She has also successfully worked to obtain grants to establish three other impactful initiatives – Entergy for Project Lion: Learning in Our Neighborhood, Project ROAR: Rediscovering Opportunities and Attitudes for Reading, and the Louisiana Post-Secondary Inclusive Education Alliance.
     Poche began working at Southeastern as a student worker in Southeastern’s Publication Office in 1970 and has since then worked mainly in human resources and enrollment services, demonstrating a life-long commitment to the success of Southeastern and its students. During her tenure, Poche contributed to many projects on campus, such as the implementation of the PeopleSoft and WorkDay systems.

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