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Campus Events, Faculty & Staff Focus, General Information, Honors & Awards

LSU College of Education to Hold Second Annual Awards Banquet

03/23/2012 03:45 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU College of Education will host its second annual awards banquet on Thursday, April 26, at the LSU Union Royal Cotillion Ballroom. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., with dinner and ceremonies at 7 p.m.            


The event will celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of alumni James W. Firnberg and Rosemary Tripi Wong, as they accept College of Education Alumni Distinction Awards.


Firnberg, who received a Master of Education degree in 1959 and an Ed.D. in 1969 from the LSU College of Education, is a nationally recognized expert on institutional research and planning. Formerly assistant vice president for academic affairs for the LSU System, Finberg is professor emeritus at LSU, chancellor emeritus at LSU-Alexandria and president emeritus of Our Lady of the Lake College. He also founded and directed the Office of Institutional Research at LSU. In addition, he has served as a consultant for the National Science Foundation. He is a charter member and past president of the Association for Institutional Research, AIR; received the AIR Outstanding Service Award and was named a distinguished member.


Wong, who earned a Master of Education degree in educational administration from the LSU College of Education in 1977, is committed to developing effective teachers, one teacher at a time. She and her husband, Harry, are among the most sought after speakers in education today, having won the Upton Sinclair Award for education and receiving a nomination for the Brock International Prize in education. Their book, “The First Days of School,” is now in its fourth edition with more than 3.6 million copies sold. Rosemary Wong serves as CEO of Harry K. Wong Publications, and has worked to advance education throughout her entire career, which began as an East Baton Rouge Parish classroom teacher.


Diane and J. Jerry McKernan will receive the College of Education Philanthropist Award for their contributions to the LSU Foundation for the benefit of the University Laboratory School capital campaign, annual appeal and the LSU GEAR UP Ethics Camp Institute. These contributions have significantly leveraged resources to maximize the impact of teaching, research and service. Eighteen members of the McKernan family have attended the University Laboratory School, supporting the school for close to 70 years. The McKernans have provided significant leadership and financial support to the university, resulting in the naming of the McKernan Auditorium at the LSU Law Center and the Pennington McKernan Gymnasium and Multipurpose Facility at the Lab School.


Richard Lipsey will be honored with the College of Education Award for Outstanding Service on Behalf of the College for his work as the co-chair for the University Laboratory School capital campaign, which raised more than $6.5 million for campus improvements. A local executive, philanthropist and civic leader, Lipsey has received the Anti-Defamation League Humanitarian Award for Leadership, the Golden Deeds Award and, most recently, the Baton Rouge Business Report 2012 Business Awards Hall of Fame Laureate. He is a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Distinction, Alumni Hall of Distinction and Military Hall of Honor.


The celebration will also honor outstanding college faculty and staff who have proven records of excellence in research, scholarly productivity, community engagement, improving diversity and understanding of diverse cultures, and exceptional service to the profession, department or university.


This year’s faculty and staff award winners are:


• The College of Education Distinguished Faculty Research Award: Michael Welsch, the Robert H. and Patricia A. Hines Professor in the Department of Kinesiology


• The College of Education Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award: Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell,  assistant professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice


• Lisa Johnson, assistant professor of professional practice in the Department of Kinesiology: College of Education Partnership Award


• The Award for Outstanding Service by College of Education Faculty or Staff: Patricia Exner, associate dean for undergraduate studies and teacher education


• The College of Education Advocate for Diversity Award: Roland Mitchell, associate professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice


• The College of Education Early Career Award: Jennifer Curry,  assistant professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice           


To reserve a ticket now for this limited-seating event, visit Tickets are $40 each for the general public and $25 each for LSU College of Education faculty, staff and students.           


Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact Wayne Miller, College of Education senior director of development, at or 225-578-6384 with sponsorship inquiries.  


Effective July 1, the new College of Human Sciences and Education will consist of six schools:  the School of Education, currently the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice; the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development; the School of Kinesiology, currently the Department of Kinesiology; the School of Library and Information Science; the School of Social Work; and the University Laboratory School.


For more information about the College of Education, visit

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