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SOUTHEASTERN PRESIDENT’S AWARDS
– Southeastern Louisiana University President Randy Moffett, left, and
Provost John Crain, right, congratulate the 2004 recipients of the President's
Awards for Excellence, Southeastern’s most prestigious faculty and staff
honors. From left, are Mary Lou Coats, staff service; Linda Munchausen,
faculty service; Alison Pelegrin, artistic activity; and Karen Hill, teaching.
Not shown is Andrew Traver, research.
SOUTHEASTERN PRESENTS TOP AWARDS TO FACULTY, STAFF
HAMMOND – Four Southeastern Louisiana
University professors and a staff member have been awarded the university's
most prestigious honor, the President=s Award for Excellence, in the areas
of research, teaching, artistic activity and service.
The recipients, recognized at the university's
August 20 faculty/staff convocation, are Karen Hill, associate professor
of nursing, teaching; Andrew Traver, associate professor of history, research;
Alison Pelegrin, instructor of English, artistic activity; Linda Munchausen,
professor of chemistry, faculty service; and Mary Lou Coats, University
Advancement accountant and gift historian, staff service.
Hill, Pelegrin, Munchausen and Coats
are Southeastern graduates.
Hill, a member of the faculty since
1987, has been praised for her “multifaceted, academically challenging
and inspiring” approach to nursing instruction.
“The scenarios she creates are engaging
and allow students to apply clinical decision-making and critical thinking,”
said Donnie Booth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
“In essence, she prepares her students for the future by preparing them
for real life situations.”
“I am always thinking of new ways to
present material so it is more realistic and easier to learn,” said Hill,
who also holds a master’s degree in nursing from Louisiana State University
and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University
of New Orleans. “I welcome the feedback provided by students on our courses
and teaching evaluations. I use this information to make changes in the
Hill was recently recognized by the
Louisiana State Nurses Association with the Nightingale Award for Nurse
Educator of the Year in 2004. Both the fall 2003 and spring 1999 graduating
classes selected her for the School of Nursing’s Mentor Award. In addition,
the Tangipahoa District Nurses’ Association. awarded her the 2001 Outstanding
Traver earned his doctoral degree from
the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto and has been
a member of Southeastern’s history faculty for eight years.
Since 1995, he has been the member
of a team of international researchers examining the writings of John Duns
Scotus, one of the most important and influential, but least studied, of
the medieval philosopher-theologians. Scotus, considered to be as historically
significant as Thomas Aquinas and William Ockham, left his life’s work
in disarray when he died at an early age in 1308.
The goal of the Scotus Project, headquartered
at Catholic University of the Americas in Washington, D.C., is to bring
order and accuracy to Scotus’ writings and to publish them in good critical
editions that will form the basis for all future translations, scholarship
Traver also has written a book on another
little known medieval theologian, William of Saint-Amour; a biographical
dictionary covering significant lives from 800 B.C.-500 A.D.; a reader
for Southeastern Western Civilization courses; 78 encyclopedia entries;
and numerous scholarly presentations. He teaches courses on the Middle
Ages, Greece and Rome.
Pelegrin is an award-winning poet who
has published three books, “Dancing with the One-Armed Man,” “Voodoo Lips,”
and “The Zydeco Tablets.”
"The quality of her verse is first
rate and I would rank it with the writing of the best young poets currently
working anywhere," said her former teacher Tim Gautreaux, an award-winning
author and writer in residence at Southeastern.
After completed both her bachelor’s
and master’s degrees at Southeastern in 1996, Pelegrin earned a master
of fine arts degree in creative writing at the University of Arkansas in
2000. She returned to her alma mater in 2001.
Her poems, many of which are inspired
by Louisiana culture, have been published in national journals such as
“Nimrod,” “Prairie Schooner” and “The Iowa Review.” She also received the
prestigious Slipstream Chapbook Award and was nominated for the Pushcart
Prize. Pelegrin has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Louisiana
Division of the Arts as well as two earlier artist mini grants. She recently
completed another book of poems titled “Squeezers.”
A 30-year veteran chemistry professor
and former head of the chemistry and physics department, Munchausen is
praised for positively influencing Southeastern students while showcasing
the university’s strengths throughout the state. She is now coordinator
of education initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences where she
acts as the liaison between her college and the College of Education and
Among her many service contributions,
she increased rapport with state medical and dental schools as a member
of the College of Arts and Science’s Medical Evaluation Committee and has
been president of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences and the Southeastern
Munchausen, said Dan McCarthy, head
of the chemistry and physics department, “is the first one to volunteer
for off-campus activities, such as judging science fairs, and she was the
motivation behind the extremely successful Science Olympiad,” a statewide
competition for high school and middle school students now held annually
at Southeastern. Collaborating with mathematics and industrial technology
faculty, she was also instrumental in establishing the Integrated Science
and Technology (ISAT) master’s degree program, the only such program in
Known as an enthusiastic advocate of
science who answers her office telephone, “Better living through chemistry,”
Munchausen serves on the advisory board for the GEAR-UP grant program,
and coordinates the College of Arts and Sciences summer science adventure
Coats has volunteered to help stage
numerous events at Southeastern since joining the staff in the early 1980s.
She coordinated Chefs Evening, the Southeastern Development Foundation’s
popular annual fundraiser, from 1986-2002. She also has leant her organizational
and decorating talents to activities from Rock ‘n Roar and Homecoming to
Golden Silence and the Sweet 16 basketball tournament.
“Mary Lou is one of the most creative
people I have ever worked with,” said Jackie Dale Thomas, director of leadership
development and student activities. “She is a tremendous asset to Southeastern
in so many ways. Her patience in dealing with all types of people on so
many different levels is tremendous. She always demonstrates grace under
Coats also works with the Alumni Association’s
Tangi Chapter and the Fe-Lions (Female Enthusiasts for Southeastern Athletics),
and annually recruits other volunteers to help staff the registration desk
at campus-hosted Special Olympics.
“I feel that anything I can do
is a privilege considering all that Southeastern has done for me,” she