January 11, 2011 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University welcomed faculty and staff back to campus today during the 2011 Spring Convocation ceremony held at NMSU’s Atkinson Music Recital Hall. Convocation is held each January and August to celebrate university accomplishments and inform staff and faculty about the upcoming semester. It is traditional for NMSU to give out various awards during the ceremony.
David Pengelley, a math professor, was recognized for winning the 2010 New Mexico Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Professor of the Year awards program celebrates outstanding instructors across the country and is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate education.
An educator for more than 25 years, Pengelley has found a new way to approach teaching: he has stopped lecturing. In the classroom, students are expected to prepare projects, do advanced reading and writing and work on in-class group activities. In 2009 he received the Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America, and NMSU’s Westhafer Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Laura A. Thompson, a psychology professor, was awarded the Dennis W. Darnall Faculty Achievement Award. The honor is presented each year to a faculty member for achievements in teaching and research and for service to the community and the university. The award is named for the late Dennis Darnall, who was known for his work as an NMSU teacher, researcher and administrator, as well as an entrepreneur and civic leader.
Peers, students and national organizations have recognized Thompson’s work in teaching, research and as a public servant. She has taught and mentored students at all levels. Her main area of focus is developmental cognition, looking at development across the lifespan as well as topics as diverse as memory, deception and brain lateralization. She has received a total of $2.46 million from national agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Eleven faculty members were recognized for winning the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. Named for a former NMSU executive vice president in recognition of his 35 years of teaching improvement in New Mexico, the annual Roush award recognizes NMSU faculty for teaching excellence.
This year, NMSU students Harrison Brooks and Natalia Rodriguez created the medallions for the Roush Awards, under the direction of professor Julia M. Barello. Brooks is an undergraduate studying photojournalism with a minor in jewelry and metalsmithing. Rodriguez is working toward a master of fine arts degree in jewelry and metalsmithing.
The 2011 Roush award winners are William Lindemann, plant and environmental sciences; Carlos E. Posadas, criminal justice; Paul Lester, history; William L. Smith, accounting and information sciences; Mary Prentice, educational management and development; Edward Pines, industrial engineering; Timothy R. Barnett-Queen, social work; Kathy Roark-Diehl, NMSU-Alamogordo; Shannon Vallejos, NMSU-Carlsbad; Joaquin Tadeo, NMSU’s Dona Ana Community College; and Bruce M. McDowell, NMSU-Grants.