Thursday, August 23, 2012

Faculty Senate honors outstanding colleagues

Gail Beckwith and DSC President
Carol W. Eaton
Daytona State College’s Faculty Senate this month honored four educators and one staff member for outstanding achievement and service to students.

Gail Beckwith, an administrative assistant in the School of Mathematics, received the Faculty Senate’s Instructional Support and Encouragement Award, which recognizes career employees and administrators who demonstrate exceptional responsiveness to faculty needs.  This award recognizes those efforts that demonstrate an understanding and concern for the challenges faced by faculty as they strive to meet the complex educational needs of both the institution and the students. These efforts will be demonstrated in a variety of ways as demanded by the individual circumstances. Beckwith was cited for ability to solve problems, navigate through bureaucratic channels and enhance morale.
Lakisha Holmes
Lakisha Holmes received the Les Simons Award for Student Advocacy. The School of Mathematics instructor was recognized for her exceptional commitment to student learning and success outside the classroom. A 2010 graduate of the college’s Master Faculty program, Holmes this year administered a $864,637, five-year National Science Foundation STEM Community Scholars Program grant, now in its third year and designed to encourage undeclared students to enter science, technology, engineering and math programs. She also presented on the college’s STEM initiative at this year’s annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges, and was an advisor for Step Team student organization.

Gabi Booth
Gabi Booth, associate professor in the School of Mathematics, received the Dr. James R. Johnson Award for Teaching Excellence. Booth has taught mathematics at Daytona State since 2005 and also has served as a mathematics specialist in the college’s Academic Support Center for 10 years. During last spring’s fourth annual Academic Excellence Symposium, she was a featured presenter on using the online communications and conferencing system Adobe Connect as a teaching and learning tool. Adobe Connect is being widely adopted by college faculty for its ability to create a more accessible learning environment for students, featuring audio and video-based lectures, text-based chatting, group sessions, faculty collaborations and virtual office hours.

Dr. Casey Blanton
Dr. Casey Blanton, senior professor of English and chair of Learning Communities/QUANTA, received the Dr. John J. Guthrie, Jr. Award for Research and Professional Development. The award recognizes scholarly efforts that contribute to the body of knowledge within an academic discipline. Last year, Blanton was among the co-founders of the Center for Interdisciplinary Writing and Research. This multi-institutional collaborative publishes the Journal of Florida Studies, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study and appreciation of Florida. The journal features research articles, but also includes poetry, fiction, photography, and other digital arts.

Dr. Andrea Reese
Dr. Andrea Reese, chairperson of the Honors College and assistant mathematics professor, received the Faculty Advocacy Award, which recognizes those whose efforts demonstrate commitment to faculty issues and the desire to foster a professional, ethical environment conducive to high morale and professional excellence. Dr. Reese is a past treasurer of the Faculty Senate and member of the college’s Planning Council. She also served as a member of the 2012 Academic Excellence Steering Committee and as a facilitator for Master Faculty.

Outgoing Faculty Senate President and Assistant Math Department Chair Barry Gibson also was honored for his past year of service.