Faculty, Staff Receive Awards at Dalton State
Three professors and a maintenance supervisor received top honors for faculty and staff at the expanded Dalton State Foundation awards recently presented on Scholarship Day at the College.
Dr. H. Lynn Murphy, Assistant Professor in the School of Education, won the Dalton State Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching prize, while George Brewer, an employee with the College’s department for Plant Operations, was this year’s recipient of the Beth Burdick Award for Service Excellence.
Two new faculty awards were added this year: Dr. Baogang Guo, Associate Professor of Political Science earned the Foundation Award for Faculty Excellence in Scholarship while Biology Professor Dr. G. John Lugthart, III was named the first recipient of the Foundation’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Service.
Prior to this year, the Foundation has recognized a single member of the faculty for his or her efforts in teaching, scholarship, and service, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sandra Stone. This year the decision was made to recognize faculty members for outstanding contributions in each of the three areas.
Dr. Murphy, winner of the award for teaching, was recognized for “frequently obtaining perfect fives” on class evaluations from students, according to Dr. Stone, who noted that he helped create the School of Education’s academic program and establish new upper division classes.
“He has a positive and encouraging belief in all students and is the students’ greatest cheerleader,” Stone said of Murphy. “A colleague states that he is probably the most beloved professor in the school; he treats all students humanely and with deep respect.” Stone noted his “great sense of humor, high standards, holistic approach to teaching, service as a role model, and his lifelong interest in his students.”
She read the comments of a student who cited Dr. Murphy, saying, “His life is an example of upstanding character and integrity. He works hard, maintains positive and encouraging relationships with colleagues and students and does not waiver on the matters he values most.”
The faculty award for scholarship recognizes scholarly pursuits, such as original empirical or theoretical research, publications, secondary research using data collected by others, literature reviews, presentation of papers at professional meetings, experimenting with new teaching methods in the classroom to improve student learning, reviewing journal articles or textbooks, writing grants, and implementing projects.
Dr. Guo, the premiere recipient of the award for scholarship, “is a prolific writer,” Dr. Stone said. “He has published seven books, seven book chapters, and a variety of articles and reviews over the past five years, and he has three more edited books in progress.”
Calling him “one of the most outstanding China scholars in America,” Dr. Stone also recognized Dr. Guo for his numerous conference appearances in which he has either presented papers or served as panel chair or member.
In his capacity as President of the Association of Chinese Political Studies (from which he has received the Distinguished Service Award and the Special Service Award), he has organized four academic conferences, three of which were held in other countries.
He has also served as a Research Associate of the China Research Center in Atlanta, as associate editor of the Journal of Chinese Political Science, and as an editorial member of the JCPS and the Journal of Emerging Knowledge on Emerging Markets. Dr. Guo is also the recipient of the C. Tracy Harrington Award for Promoting International Education from the University System of Georgia’s Council on International Education.
Of Dr. Guo, who also serves as Director of Dalton State’s Center for International Education, a colleague said, “I am amazed at the depth and breadth of his work, and I am also amazed at his consistently positive attitude and good humor. He is highly respected by faculty and students alike.”
As the recipient of the Foundation’s Faculty Award for Service, Dr. Lugthart knows what it means to give back to the College and the community. He has served the College as faculty mentor and fundraiser with the Foundation’s Capital Campaign; he has led summer science camps for kids, addressed retention and graduation issues, served on the Fine Arts and Lecture Series Committee, and taught a First Year Experience course.
He has served on accreditation committees and on the International Education Committee, and coordinated Dalton State’s Science Learning Center. He has been Dalton State’s representative on the Regents Academic Advisory Committee in Biology and has served on the University System’s International Education Committee, European Council, and Study Abroad Committee.
Dr. Lugthart is probably best known for advising the College’s Environmental Club and coordinating the Dalton State hiking trail system construction project. An enthusiastic environmentalist, he has served the community on the Advisory Group for the Whitfield/Dalton Multimodal Transportation Study, the Whitfield County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, the Varnell Springs restoration and education project, the Whitfield/Murray Water Quality Advisory Committee, and as organizer for the annual Conasauga Watershed Cleanup.
He also serves the community by teaching students of local school systems about water quality and other environmental issues and he is a “Big Buddy” in-school mentor at Westside Elementary School.
Dr. Lugthart stepped in to serve as interim chair of the Department of Natural Sciences for Dalton State when the previous chair was promoted to another area of responsibility at the College. Dr. Lugthart, according to Dr. Stone, “provides a clear example of servant leadership, and is described by a colleague as ‘an effective, hard-working team player . . . someone you can count on to get the job done right.’”
As recipient of the Beth Burdick Award for Service Excellence, George Brewer, Assistant Director of Plant Operations, was recognized for his tireless work ethic and cheerful presence on campus.
“He is willing to go above and beyond to make our campus a better place,” a colleague wrote. “I have asked him for many things and he gets them done in a timely manner and with a smile on his face. He always seems to be in a good mood.”
Another wrote: “On several occasions, he has been called out to respond to emergencies, everything from floods to power outages. Each time he cheerfully responded to the call. A recent occurrence was the winter snows, when he spent hours on equipment and clearing sidewalks and pathways with a shovel and de-icer.”When asked to provide a statement about his pursuit of excellence to support his nomination, Brewer demurred and in characteristic humility wrote, “I feel very blessed to be a part of Dalton State. I really enjoy helping people. I thank God for blessing me with the knowledge of repairing and building things,” he wrote. “I hope I have shown the morals and work ethic to each of you that I showed to the one who nominated me. It makes me feel good about myself just to be nominated. I’m a winner either way.”