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Three faculty members honored at Louisiana Tech spring commencement

Three Louisiana Tech faculty members received major university awards during spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 19.

Dr. Carrice Cummins, the Gerald and Shirley Cobb Endowed Professor of Education, received the University Foundation Professorship Award.  The Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award went to Dr. James Nelson, the associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering and Science. And Dr. Laurie Stoff, an assistant professor of history, was honored with the Tech Foundation F. Jay Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award.

The University Foundation Professorship Award is given annually to a faculty member who has excelled in teaching, research and service to the Tech community.  The award includes a $3,000 stipend and a plaque.

Dr. Carrice Cummins, the recipient of the award, has made a significant impact on her students and her community during her nine years at Tech.  She has received multiple honors and awards for her scholarship and her service.

Cummins has spent three decades teaching students and educators and has also been productive in research, scholarly publications, and earning grant money to further educational research and programs.

The Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award comes with a $2,000 stipend and a plaque.

Dr. James Nelson, the recipient of the award, has served in the COES for more than 30 years.

“As an engineer, Dr. Nelson knows the importance of quality advising,” said Jane Petrus, COES student success specialist, in her nomination letter.  “He will not only sit down with students and help them plan their next quarter, but he will assist them in planning out their college career.”

Petrus said Nelson is patient with the students and listens to their requests and treats advising seriously.

The Tech Foundation F. Jay Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award goes to a faculty member whose primary duty is undergraduate teaching, and it includes a plaque and a $1,500 stipend.

This year’s winner, Dr. Laurie Stoff, said she believes teachers have an obligation to make an impact that will be felt outside the classroom.

“I believe that teaching is actually facilitated learning, wherein students contribute as much to the process as do instructors,” she said.  “Many of my efforts in the classroom are devoted to getting students actively engaged.  I present the student of history as one of the most useful tools for understanding the human condition, as it reflects the perception of those that experienced the past, provides insight for the way societies developed and how they are currently structured, and tells us much about how we perceive the world today.”

Stoff has taught in the Tech history department for six years and serves as the director for Graduate Studies.

Written by Elizabeth Christain – ebchrist@latech.edu