Top Faculty, Staff Receive Service Awards at Dalton State
May 15, 2012
Three professors and an administrative assistant recently received top honors at Dalton State’s annual Faculty-Staff Service Awards presentation.
The awards recognize those members who have been identified as having excelled in teaching, scholarship/professional development, and service. Nominations for each category were solicited from the campus community; eligible nominees must be full-time faculty and staff members and had to have been at Dalton State for at least three years.
The winners were: Dr. James Adams, Professor of Biology, Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching; Dr. Marilyn Helms, Sesquicentennial Chair, Professor of Management, Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship; Ms. Barbara Tucker, Associate Professor of Communication, Faculty Award for Excellence in Service; and Ms. Donna Hendrix, Administrative Assistant for the Department of Humanities, Beth Burdick Award for Service Excellence.
Dr. Adams, winner of the award for teaching, was recognized for “achieving scores in the superior range” on class evaluations from students, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sandra Stone, who noted that he created several new upper division courses and helped establish a new four-year degree program.
“He combines classroom teaching with extensive field experience, providing many ‘real life’ stories and examples,” Stone said. She noted his “seemingly unlimited energy and his significant investment of time and energy in helping students, even inviting them to call at home.” According to a colleague, “He is a passionate, helpful, interactive and enthusiastic teacher.”
She read the comments of a student who cited Dr. Adams, saying, “He is lively, amusing, and highly animated… doing a first-rate job of teaching.”
The Faculty Award for Excellence in 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. Helms, recipient of the Award for Scholarship and Professional Development, “is a prolific writer,” Dr. Stone said. “In the past three years alone, she published 26 articles in refereed journals, presented 12 papers at academic conferences, published 9 articles in non-refereed journals, written regular columns for the Dalton Daily Citizen, reviewed articles for 19 different academic journals, published five other articles and educational materials, and submitted a grant proposal.”
According to her dean “she far exceeds what could reasonably be expected from someone with her teaching responsibilities.”
One area in which Dr. Helms has particular expertise is entrepreneurship. Last year, her expertise in start-up businesses led her to Cuba to study, and she has subsequently shared those experiences with a variety of business and civic groups.
Dr. Helms has served as a consultant, grant reviewer, awards judge for organizations such as the Future Business Leaders of America, and chair of a committee of the school’s accrediting agency, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In addition to research, she also won teaching awards and regularly participates in activities to enhance teaching and learning.
As the recipient of the Foundation’s Faculty Award for Service, Ms. Barbara Tucker knows what it means to give back to the College and the community. She has served on numerous college committees, including First Year Experience, Teaching and Learning, Faculty Evaluation, Distance Education, Honors, Financial Aid Appeals, and Student Scholarship.
Ms. Tucker has a deep commitment to student success and, consequently, has volunteered many hours in the Writing Lab and the Advising Center. Most recently, she developed a summer program that will debut this year that will help students prepare for the COMPASS placement exams in Reading and Math.
She was the first Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Dalton State, creating a full schedule of faculty development activities, creating and publishing a newsletter showcasing the accomplishments of DS faculty, hosting a teaching and learning conference on campus, and developing a website for the Center.
According to Dr. Stone, the most demanding college level service project for Ms. Tucker is perhaps her current one as chair of the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan. Ms. Tucker graciously assumed the chair position following the unexpected death of the original chair. “The QEP, now an accrediting requirement, is a highly visible, high impact project we will be kicking off in the fall which is designed to improve the academic success of high risk students through Learning Support English,” she continued.
“I stand in awe of her keen intelligence, her work ethic, and her organizational skills,” a committee member stated.
In addition, Ms. Tucker has worked on a four-year degree program proposal in communication, serves as the faculty sponsor for the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, and serves on the Executive Board of the Georgia Communication Association. She has also been actively involved in community service efforts such as volunteering with Catoosa County Literacy, tutoring GED students, judging literary meets and public speaking events for area schools, teaching conversational Spanish in the community, and writing a strategic plan for the Family Crisis Center of Walker, Dade, Catoosa, and Chattooga Counties.
As recipient of the Beth Burdick Award for Service Excellence, Ms. Donna Hendrix, was recognized for her professionalism, her grace under pressure, going out of her way to help colleagues, her ability to soothe frayed nerves of students and faculty and, according to David Elrod, Director of Institutional Advancement, a more or less “complete catalogue of goodness that makes one wonder: can any one person really be all that?” According to Mr. Elrod and all who know Ms. Hendrix, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
As administrative assistant for the College’s Department of Humanities within the School of Liberal Arts, she daily juggles the demands, questions, expectations, and deadlines of nearly 60 faculty members and a couple thousand students. She has also served on the College’s Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Governance Certification Team, the Office of Computing and Information Systems Oversight Committee, Graduation Speaker Committee, Retirement Committee, and Staff Council.
In endorsing her nomination, her supervisor said “Her work ethic is simply extraordinary and her actions redefine what it means to be dedicated. The marvel is not that she does what she does, anybody can do these things, but few can pull it off with the grace and style that she does.”
“We are extremely proud of Dr. Adams, Dr. Helms, Ms. Tucker, and Ms. Hendrix,” said Dalton State President Dr. John Schwenn. “They are representative of the excellent faculty and staff who bring their best selves to work every day for the benefit of their students, their colleagues, and our College.”