Pat Keane, soon to become Clayton State University’s longest-tenured staff member, and College of Business professor Dr. James Keebler, have won the University’s 2013
Alice Smith Awards.
Clayton State’s Alice J. Smith Awards, for both faculty and staff, were presented at Clayton State’s Faculty/Staff Awards Ceremony on Apr. 23. An annual event since 1995, the Smith Awards are presented to the faculty member and staff member ranked most outstanding as determined by committees of their peers. The two, $1000 awards were established by local philanthropist Joseph Smith in honor of his wife, Alice.
Keane, who has been with Clayton State for 29 years, is currently the administrative assistant in the Athletic Department, her fourth position at the University, which may be a record of some kind. She first worked part-time at Clayton State as the switch board operator, starting in 1984. She then moved over to work full time in the Continuing Education Division, and later spent several years in Media & Printing Services.
With the retirement this summer of the Center for Academic Success’ Joann Quattlebaum, a previous Smith Staff Award winner, Keane will become the longest-serving staff member at the University.
“I don’t believe there is a better environment than a college campus to work. Helping students and coaches make their dreams come true is so rewarding. I look forward to coming to work every day… of course working with awesome colleagues helps too!,” says Keane.
This was the fourth time Keane has been named as a finalist for the Alice Smith Award, which may also be a record.
“It’s a great feeling,” she said, standing on the stage of Spivey Hall and holding her award. “There are so many great people here, I hope you all get to experience it some day.”
Keane, who is married with three children, enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and staying active outdoors. A native of Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, she has lived in Morrow for 39 years.
Currently residing in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., Keebler has been commuting to Clayton State since 2008. He is professor of Supply Chain Management and serves as chair of the Faculty Senate and the Charles S. Conklin Endowed Chair. He obtained his doctorate in Business Administration, Marketing and Logistics from the University of Tennessee. His Smith Award capped a big day for the U.S. Army veteran, since he also was awarded tenure as well as his Five Year Service Award by the University.
A long-time corporate executive in the food, pharmaceutical, health care and electronics industries, he made the decision to complete his doctoral program at the age of 53 and has since taught courses at St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota, and University of South Florida, in addition to Clayton State.
Keebler notes he likes teaching undergraduate and graduate students about Supply Chain Management and the rewarding career opportunities it provides. He has enjoyed being able to help build the Supply Chain Management program at Clayton State.
Keebler is married with seven children, two of whom are still in college, and he has 13 grandchildren. He says he used to golf frequently, but due to his affinity for water hazards he kept running out of balls. He enjoys camping, exploring and canoeing.
“I have never applied for a teaching award. I consistently received high evaluations at all the schools at which I taught, in Tennessee, Minnesota, Florida, and at Clayton State. I enjoy the classroom experience and my sincere concern for student learning, job placement, and career advancement is apparent. Student engagement is a reward in itself,” he says.
This year’s other faculty nominees included: from the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Susan Copeland and Dr. Erica Gannon; from the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Kelli Nipper; and from the College of Health, Dina Swearngin.
The other finalists for the Alice Smith Staff Award were: from the Office of Financial Aid, Patricia Barton; from Procurement Services, Marcia Jones; from the Department of Facilities Management, Jivaro Lovett; and from the Office of Network and Enterprise Services, Dan Newcombe.