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Contact: Christine Payton March 13, 2012
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Four University of Louisiana at Lafayette faculty members have been selected by their peers to be honored by the UL Lafayette Foundation for their outstanding work as educators.

At a banquet and awards ceremony Tuesday, Dr. Martin Ball, professor of communicative disorders, and Dr. Doug Williams, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, will receive the Distinguished Professor Award.

Brian Powell, professor of interior design in UL Lafayette’s School of Architecture and Design, and Dr. Jennifer Geer, associate professor of English, will receive the Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award.

The awards, which include a $5,000 stipend, are given each year. Recipients are nominated and chosen by their peers.

Julie Bolton Falgout, executive director of the UL Lafayette Foundation, said the honorees exemplify the highest professional standards of scholarship, research and teaching.

“ UL Lafayette students consistently note that faculty members take a personal interest in their success. The recipients of this year’s awards are no exception. Their accomplishments demonstrate their dedication to academic excellence — in their own work and in that of their students,” she said.

Ball is an internationally known scholar, author and lecturer in the field of clinical linguistics and phonetics. His books and journal articles are used as teaching materials in speech pathology programs in the United States and abroad.

He will present a keynote address at the International Clinical Linguistics Conference in Malaga, Spain, in November.

Ball’s primary areas of research and scholarship include linguistics, phonetics (how speech sounds are made) and phonology (how those sounds are used within languages). A native of Wales, Ball also has an interest in Celtic languages, sociolinguistics, minority languages and bilingualism.

Williams is director of UL Lafayette’s Center for Innovative Learning and Assessment Technologies. CILAT, in partnership with faculty members at Texas A&M, created RiggleFish, a computer-based education game that earned a 2011 Adobe Design Achievement Award for educational media.

Williams is also engaged in research and development of instructional technology tools. Since joining the faculty in 2005, he has received more than $3.9 million in grants for research funding.

He shows aspiring teachers how to incorporate technology into the classroom. Each year, for example, he conducts robotics camps for 60 to 100 children. Education majors in his classes work with those children to get practical experience.

Powell is interior design program coordinator in the School of Architecture and Design and teaches major courses in architecture, industrial design and interior design.

In a letter supporting Powell’s nomination for the Foundation’s award, Gordon Brooks, dean of UL Lafayette’s College of the Arts, wrote that Powell “has a nurturing nature and the students recognize that he goes out of his way to mentor them. ”

Powell has collaborated with UL Lafayette’s Community Design Workshop on various projects. He also assisted with the BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar Home, a house designed and constructed by UL Lafayette architecture and engineering students for competition in the 2009 U.S. Solar Decathlon.

Geer teaches children’s literature, Victorian literature and children’s film courses. Her popularity as a teacher has prompted the English Department to add courses to its curriculum.

Dr. James McDonald, head of the department said students “sense the joy she feels and communicates about young adult literature, her sense that children’s literature is important and worth reading closely and discussing seriously, and her belief at the same time that literary study should be fun. Jenny brings this joy and seriousness to every class that she teaches and students find her irresistible as a result.”

Lively class discussions are a hallmark of Geer’s courses. She uses them to develop her students’ critical thinking skills.

The Distinguished Professor Award has been given since 1965. The Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1992. It was renamed in 2008 to honor former UL Lafayette President Dr. Ray P. Authement.

Document last revised Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:38 PM

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