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August 16, 2013
ULM faculty honored for excellence in third annual Foundation Awards
On Tuesday, Aug. 13, the faculty of the University of Louisiana at Monroe gathered to honor excellence in Research, Teaching, Creative/Artistic Activity, and Service at the third annual ULM Foundation Awards for Excellence.
Each winner was chosen based on a set of standards determined by a selection committee.
For each category, recipients were awarded unique honors based on the recipients' overall effectiveness in their field and their contributions to the university.
The ULM Foundation Award for Excellence in Research went to Dr. Karen Briski, Professor and Head of the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy.
"Nothing surpasses being honored and recognized for something that you love to do – there is no greater joy," said Briski, "and I love doing research. I believe that my research can significantly contribute to improved understanding of diabetes and its complications."
She continued, "I am very proud of the research that my students do in my laboratory, and am confident that the training they receive here will enable them to be very successful and productive scientists. I'm very happy to be recognized for my efforts to grow and maintain a research-intensive department."
Since beginning at ULM, Briski has been awarded funds for 19 research initiatives totaling over $3.6 million, published 60 peer-reviewed articles, has been heavily involved in Louisiana Consortium Grantsmanship initiatives, and has been an active member in numerous organizations.
Her colleagues have called her an "extremely gifted academic researcher who also possesses the qualities of integrity, vision, and sound leadership, with a strong work ethic and inclusive leadership style that have transformed the ULM Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences."
Dr. Allison Wiedemeier, Assistant Professor of Biology, won the Award for Excellence in Teaching.
"I am honored to be this year's winner for the Excellence in Teaching Award," said Wiedemeier.
"I began my academic career with the desire to teach at the university level, and I enjoy every moment that I am in the classroom. Therefore, I find it rewarding that both my peers and my students value what I offer as a classroom experience."
Through her effective and engaging teaching style, Wiedemeier has assisted numerous students in their educational endeavors, including presentations and research initiatives.
She is also the director of popular community resource, the Bayou Discovery summer camp, which attracts children of all ages interested in biology, physics, chemistry, anatomy, and forensics.
The Award for Excellence in Creative/Artistic Activity was bestowed upon Dr. Mark Ross Clark, Associate Professor of Music and Director of ULM Opera and Musical Theatre.
"I am honored and humbled by this award, because there are so many talented and deserving ULM faculty in the School of Visual and Performing Arts," said Clark.
"Before I came to ULM, I had already taught at a number of universities for almost 25 years, and had a three-year performing hiatus in Germany. However, I feel that in the last seven years since coming to ULM in 2006, I have had some of my most gratifying and rewarding artistic experiences."
Clark has taught numerous vocal area academic courses and 18 master classes and workshops across the United States and around the world in areas such as Mexico, Italy, Germany, and Taiwan.
He has also directed and produced 15 performances since 2006, which include student productions as well as creating and leading the new Louisiana Opera, one of four professional opera companies in the state.
The colleagues who recommended him agreed that Clark's "diligence and passion for opera have created a rebirth and new excitement for theatre" within the community.
Dr. Elizabeth Perry, Assistant Professor of Clinical and Administrative Sciences in the College of Pharmacy, was named the winner of the Award for Excellence in Service, having dedicated herself to patient care and the profession of pharmacy, particularly through serving indigent and at-risk patient populations.
"I am thankful to the Foundation for selecting me as the recipient of this award amongst such a talented group of peers at ULM," said Perry.
"I feel truly honored to be recognized for my contributions and feel that my life has been enriched by each activity. I plan to continue dedicating my time and efforts to the service of our university, the profession of pharmacy, the students of ULM, and my patients both locally and abroad."
Perry has received the Merck Academic Achievement Award and the Eli Lilly Pharmacy Achievement Award, among many others.
She is also a current member of various professional pharmacy organizations and has accompanied students on medical trips to Haiti, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.
Those who recommended her described Perry as an effective communicator with a commitment to providing excellent experiences for students, encouraging them to pursue future involvement in professional and community service work.
ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno initiated this recognition program soon after his appointment at ULM. The awards are sponsored by the ULM Foundation.
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