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USI faculty recognized for excellence in teaching, research

January 30, 2013 | Danielle Norris
Danielle Norris
Web Content Specialist Web Services 812/464-1908
Article Photo
Provost Dr. Ron Rochon (left) presented Dr. Leslie Nunn with his emeritus cording at the spring faculty meeting.
Photo Credit: USI Photography Services

The University of Southern Indiana has announced several faculty members who are being recognized for their contributions to the University and to the community. 

Faculty Emeritus

Dr. Leslie Nunn, professor of business law, will retire with emeritus distinction in July. Nunn joined the USI faculty in 1994 and served as chair of the department of accounting and finance in the College of Business. He taught courses in law for the entrepreneur and provides consulting services for aspiring business owners.

“Dr. Nunn was a collegial, enterprising, dynamic faculty member,” said Dr. Mohammed Khayum, dean of the College of Business. “His extensive legal experience and wide ranging interests and life experiences added unique perspectives to our educational initiatives.”

In his retirement, Nunn plans to teach online courses, continue developing his own businesses, and spend time with his wife at their ranch in Oklahoma. He received his Juris Doctor from University of Denver in 1967 and a bachelor’s degree from University of Evansville in 1964.

Excellence in Teaching

The university acknowledged two educators for excellence in teaching based on nominations from faculty, students, and administrators. “Any time we recognize faculty for their excellence in teaching it affirms the important role they play in student learning on campus,” said Christopher Garrett, director of faculty development in the Office of the Provost.

Dr. Garrett Merriam, assistant professor of philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts, received the 2012 - 2013 USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching by New Faculty Award, which includes a $1,000 cash stipend and a $1,000 professional development grant. To be eligible for the award, faculty must be in their first six years of full-time employment at USI.

Merriam joined the USI faculty in 2008 after receiving his doctorate from Rice University in Houston, Texas. He currently teaches introductory courses in philosophy and ethics, as well as a course in ethics in the professions.

Dr. Lionel Phelps, instructor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts, received the 2012-2013 USI Foundation Outstanding Teaching by Adjunct Faculty Award, which includes a $500 stipend and a $500 professional development grant. Phelps currently teaches a course in forensic psychology. He is vice president of research and development at RiverValley Behavioral Health in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Faculty Fellowships

In addition to teaching ability, exceptional research potential is rewarded at USI through a series of fellowships.

“Our faculty are always expanding their knowledge within their disciplines and, as they continue to practice their craft and explore their passion for their discipline, they can then pass along discoveries to the students,” Garrett said.

Two professors in the College of Business received USI Historic New Harmony Outreach and Engagement 2013-2014 Fellowship Awards. Dr. Perry Burnett, assistant professor of economics, and Dr. Chad Milewicz, assistant professor of marketing, will receive funding to promote outreach and engagement activities in New Harmony, Indiana.

Dr. Melissa Stacer and Dr. Melinda York, assistant professors of criminal justice, and Dr. Jason Hill, assistant professor of engineering, received Center for Applied Research and Economic Development 2013 Summer Research Fellowship Awards for projects that demonstrate a propensity to enhance faculty research while supporting economic development, community development, or quality of life improvement in southwestern Indiana.

Dr. Sang Choe, professor of marketing in the College of Business, received the 2013 Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Administration Summer Research Fellowship for Pilot Research Projects Award for research projects that will be used as the basis for seeking external funding for a larger scale research project.

In addition, the following faculty members received USI Summer Research Fellowship Awards:

  • Dr. Anna-Lisa Halling, modern and classical languages
  • Alisa Holen, art
  • Dr. Sandeep Goyal, computer information systems
  • Dr. Michael Ndemanu, teacher education
  • Dr. John “Jack” Smothers, management
  • Francisco Villanueva, accounting
  • Kristen Wilkins, art
  • Dr. Stephanie Young, communication studies
University of Southern Indiana
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Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600
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