Outstanding Faculty

Faculty Awards
 Kennesaw State President Pamela Whitten and Professor of Music Laurence Sherr

Laurence Sherr earns KSU Foundation’s Distinguished Faculty Award

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 30, 2018) — College of the Arts music professor Laurence Sherr was honored with the University Distinguished Professor Award on Thursday during the Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony, presented by the Kennesaw State University Foundation. Sherr, along with more than two dozen faculty members, was recognized by President Pamela Whitten and Trenton Turk, acting chair of the KSU Foundation.

Sherr is a composer of Holocaust remembrance music, lecturer on Holocaust music topics, producer of remembrance events, and Holocaust music educator. He is the son of a survivor.

“As the president of Kennesaw State University, I am so thankful we have such exceptional faculty members who care deeply about providing a world-class education to our students,” said Whitten. “Through these faculty awards each year, we honor their talent and dedication, while inspiring others to demonstrate the same pursuit for excellence.”

The ceremony, presented by the KSU Foundation, rewards deserving members of KSU’s faculty and staff for their work and commitment to making KSU a world-class university. This year’s awards, recognizing faculty excellence in research, teaching and professional service, total $124,000.

Laurence Sherr

College of the Arts professor of music Laurence Sherr discusses orchestration techniques with senior music composition student Nicholas Felder of Alpharetta.

Sherr, who is composer-in-residence in the School of Music, has won top prizes in the Delius Composition Contest and the composition competition of the Association for the Promotion of New Music in New York City.

His recordings include Jeri-Mae Astolfi's interpretation of his solo piano Nocturne on Chroma: New Music for Piano, released by Capstone Records, and Piotr Szewczyk's performance of his Four Short Pieces for solo violin on his Navona Records Violin Futura CD set. EIMI for violin, saxophone, percussion, and piano, in a live recording by the German group “ensemble Intégrales,” was released on the Ein-Klang label in Europe, and cellist Theresa Villani included his Elegy and Vision on her recording Patterns of Eloquence.

Sherr, who was previously the recipient of Kennesaw State’s Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement in 2015 and the Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award in 2012, said he was honored to be recognized with the KSU Distinguished Professor Award for his teaching, research and creative activity.

“I am grateful for the supportive academic environment at Kennesaw State University, and reflected in our School of Music in the College of the Arts. It has allowed me the freedom to develop the unique and highly integrated combination of creative activity, research, teaching and service that the award recognizes,” Sherr said. “This integration is especially manifest in my work on music related to the Holocaust, and all of the activities, from classrooms to the international venues where I present lectures and concerts, are intended to foster greater understanding, tolerance, and respect for others in our connected global society.”

The honor, which recognizes achievement and excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and professional service – and the integration of all three of these disciplines into a coherent career thread at Kennesaw State University – comes with $20,000. 

The KSU Foundation also recognized more than two dozen other members of KSU’s faculty for their contributions.

Faculty Awards

Other faculty awards include: 

  • KSU Outstanding Teaching: Jesse Benjamin, Sociology and Criminal Justice                      
  • KSU Outstanding Teaching (finalist): Valerie Dibble, School of Art and Design
  • KSU Outstanding Teaching (finalist): Stacy Keltner, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • KSU Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (in the area of Engineering Applications): Bill Diong, Electrical Engineering
  • KSU Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (in the area of Interdisciplinary Research): Anne Richards, English
  • KSU Outstanding Book: “Arts Trends USA: An Anthology of ePerformance,” by Ming Chen, Theater and Performance Studies
  • KSU Professional Service: Andrew Pieper, School of Government and International Affairs          
  • KSU Outstanding Community Engagement: Govind Hariharan, Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis   
  • Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Faculty Award for Distinguished International Achievement: Kamal Fatehi, Management and Entrepreneurship
  • KSU Outstanding Diversity Advocate: Griselda Thomas, English

Outstanding Early-Career Faculty Awards winners include: 

  • Megan Adams, Secondary and Middle Grades Education
  • Jeanne Bohannon, English
  • Jennifer Purcell, Leadership and Integrative Studies
  • Gerald Mangine, Exercise Science and Sport Management
  • Nyasha GuramatunhuCooper, Leadership and Integrative Studies
  • Youngguk Seo, Civil and Construction Engineering

Outstanding Part-Time Teaching Awards winners include:   

  • Sam Peng, Construction Management
  • Tricia Frazier, Instructional Technology
  • Thomas Garr, Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis
  • Marc Brotherton, School of Art and Design
  • Diana Rabah, Information Technology
  • Nelda Hadaway, Mathematics
  • Alan Kazemian, Electrical Engineering
  • Kimberly Watkins, Psychology
  • Emily Hein Warren, Michael Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality

– Robert S. Godlewski

Photos by Lauren Kress and David Caselli


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 kennesaw.edu