Kennesaw State University celebrates faculty, staff achievements


Kennesaw State Foundation awards $243,163 in cash and stipends   KENNESAW, Ga. -- (Aug. 10,…

Georgia (Aug 10, 2011)

KENNESAW, Ga. -- (Aug. 10, 2011) — Kennesaw State University faculty and staff were honored for excellence at the university’s annual Opening of School celebration on Wednesday.
As President Daniel S. Papp recognized “those who have truly excelled this year — providing excellent service through their commitment and dedication to the goals and objectives of Kennesaw State University,” he also expressed his deepest appreciation to the Kennesaw State Foundation “whose tireless efforts support this university in countless ways.”
The KSU Foundation contributed more than $200,000 in faculty and staff awards.
Karen Robinson, associate professor of theater in the College of the Arts, was the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award — the foundation’s highest faculty award.
“This award recognizes a single faculty member who not only exhibits excellence in teaching, research or creative activity and professional service, but can integrate these three areas into their professional life,” Papp said.  “Our recipient is the prototype of the scholarly professor — a consummate professional eager to take on new challenges and most importantly to help when she believes her expertise can be of service to others.”
Robinson received an award of $17,000 — $8,500 in cash and an additional $8,500 faculty development stipend.
Staff award-winners included the “Staff Employee of the Year” and the “Administrator of the Year,” each of whom received a $5,000 cash award from the KSU Foundation.
College of Science and Mathematics laboratory safety officer, Benjamin Huck, took home the top staff award, while Alicia Stignani , director of human resource services was named “Administrator of the Year.”
 Additional 2011 faculty and staff award winners included:
Clendenin Graduate Fellows
  • David Albert, Ph.D. Business Administration, Coles College of Business
  • Brian Keith Brooks, Ph.D. Nursing, Georgia State
  • Shannon Grabich, Ph.D., Epidemiology, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Diane Keen, Masters, Nursing Educational Leadership, KSU
  • Rebecca LeFebvre, Ph.D., International Conflict Management, KSU
  • Alyson Lischka, Ph.D., Leadership for Learning, Adolescent Mathematics, KSU
  • Catherine Odera, Ph.D., International Conflict Management, KSU
Endowed in 2008, the Clendenin Graduate Fellows Program supports outstanding graduate students who are willing to give back to the university. The goal of the program is to identify and attract outstanding individuals who are committed to completing their master’s or doctoral program.
Tommy & Beth Holder Faculty Awards
  • Barbara S. Gainey, Department of Communication, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Jennifer Dickey, Department of History and Philosophy, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Marina C. Koether, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Yuliya Babenko, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Science and Mathematics
Established in 2008, the Tommy & Beth Holder Faculty Awards are designed to support innovative faculty initiatives for enhancing and expanding both undergraduate and graduate course studies. The awards provide research support for distinguished members of the faculty and are intended to supplement available resources and/or serve as seed money to encourage the development of new and/or current KSU courses.
Foundation prize for publications or creative activity
  • Ivan Pulinkala, Department of Theatre, Performance Studies and Dance, College of the Arts
  • Divesh Sharma, Department of Accountancy, Coles College of Business
  • Jo Williamson and Traci Redish, Department of Instructional Technology, Bagwell College of Education
  • John C. Bradbury, Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Science, WellStar College of Health & Human Services
  • Jeffrey Stepakoff, Department of English, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Daniela Tapu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science and  Mathematics
Established in 2003 by the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees, the foundation prize for publications or creative activity recognizes high quality publications or creative activities by a faculty member in each college of the university. Honorees receive the “Flame of Excellence,” which is personally handcrafted from Boron Glass rods by Klaus Widmann of the Frabel Studio. Honorees also receive $10,000 — $5,000 in cash and an additional $5,000 faculty development stipend.
Distinguished Professional Service Award
  • Lee Ann Lands, Associate Professor of History, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
The Distinguished Professional Service Award recognizes individual outstanding faculty contributions in the areas of professional service, research and creative activity, and teaching. The recipient of this award receives a total of $10,000 in cash and a $5,000 professional development stipend.
Distinguished Research & Creative Activity Award
  • Dana Hermanson, Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Private Enterprise and Professor of Accounting, Coles College of Business
The recipient of the Distinguished Research & Creative Activity Award receives a total of $10,000 — $5,000 in cash and a $5,000 professional development stipend.
Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Kim Loomis, Professor of Middle Grades Science Education, Bagwell College of Education
The recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award receives a total of $13,000 — $6,500 in cash and a $6,500 professional development stipend.
Academic Staff Support Award
  • Jennifer Pate Costen
Administrative Staff Support Award
  • Connie Lane
Campus Support Award
  • Donna Adams
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 23,400 students from 142 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit