College of Arts and Sciences announce Hatfield Award winners
Service, scholarship and teaching excellence within the College of Arts and Sciences were acknowledged Thursday at the Gene Hatfield Annual Service Awards.
Three faculty members were recognized for embodying the spirit of Dr. Gene Hatfield, former Professor Emeritus of History who taught at Clayton State University for 32 years before retiring in 2008.
Hatfield passed away at age 71 in January.
Dr. Patricia Smith, professor of English, was named Teacher of the Year; Dr. Mandy Lusk , professor of Special Education was awarded Scholar of the Year; and Dr. Mari Ann Banks, assoc. professor of Multicultural Education, earned the Service Award.
Smith was excited to learn that she had won Teacher of the Year, noting that Clayton State’s commitment to active learning environments in the classroom motivates students to find success in the real-world.
“I am thrilled to have won this award, knowing that I am part of a strong history of excellence in teaching at Clayton State University,” Smith said. “I am proud to be among such dedicated and caring faculty! Like faculty in English and other content areas, I support student-centered learning that moves students to a higher level of understanding of subject area.”
Dr. Lusk was recognized for conducting research related to effectively preparing qualified special educators to work with culturally and linguistically diverse learners with exceptionalities. Lusk published several peer-reviewed manuscripts within her research agenda.
“I am beyond elated to receive this recognition,” Lusk said. “I worked extremely hard for my teacher candidates and my students with exceptionalities; however, it is an incredibly humbling feeling to know that Clayton State and the College of Arts and Sciences recognize this hard work from their colleagues.”
Dr. Banks, who was recognized with the Service Award, said her background in multicultural education combined with her work serving Clayton State’s diverse student body lends itself to service.
In her role as Director of the Center for Academic Success, Vice President of the GA chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (GA NAME), co-chair of the Dean’s Diversity Initiatives Committee in Arts and Sciences, and one of the founding members of CSU’s organization for faculty of color, FOCUSS (Faculty of Color United for Student Success), Banks promotes interculturalism and social justice to ensure all faculty, students and staff are able to achieve their goals in a supportive environment.
“Service is the nature of a place like Clayton that puts teaching and students first and I am truly humbled that my colleges think my work is meritorious.,” Banks said. “Just as Gene Hatfield felt it was his duty to support the CSU community through his great generosity, I believe that community service and activism are my duties. Serving others is an honor – the least I can do for the world in my privileged role. I think Gene Hatfield believed that too.”