Faculty & Staff Awards 2023

January 11, 2023

The LSU College of Human Sciences & Education 2022-2023 Awards recognize outstanding contributions from our faculty and staff. These deserving colleagues made a significant contribution in one of our mission areas - or in providing leadership and support to make this work possible. Our college is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan. Our students, faculty, and staff are leaders in their fields, helping solve complex human, social, and information issues.

This year's honorees are: 

  • Cynthia DiCarlo | Distinguished Research Award (Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education)
  • Melissa Thompson | Distinguished Teaching Award (School of Kinesiology)
  • Shinee Jeong | Early Career Award (School of Leadership & Human Resource Development)
  • Tracey Rizzuto | Exemplary Leadership Award (School of Leadership & Human Resource Development)
  • Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell | Mentorship Award (Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education)
  • Missy Korduner | Outstanding Service Award (School of Leadership & Human Resource Development)

Headshot of Cynthia DiCarloCynthia DiCarlo, Distinguished Research Award

The College of Human Sciences & Education Distinguished Research Award recognizes a CHSE faculty member who has demonstrated a sustained record of excellence in research and scholarly productivity. This year’s recipient is Cynthia F. DiCarlo, PhD. DiCarlo’s research agenda is focused on interventions to improve outcomes for young children and clarification and innovations in recommended practices in early childhood. She has contributed outstanding research to her field, and as a full professor, she has maintained excellence as she continues to contribute to the field in meaningful ways. She is a high-volume scholar, publishing 11 manuscripts in 2021. DiCarlo has worked in the educational fields of special education and early childhood since 1993. She is an exemplary early childhood educational research scholar with a strong, sustained record of collaborative research projects. Her sustaining work with graduate students who return to the university for an advanced degree as well as with undergraduates working in local Baton Rouge schools demonstrates the impact of her collaborative research on their continued practice and in their career development. Currently, she has a publication record of 79 manuscripts, three under review and/or in revise and resubmit status, and an additional two under review, plus two working drafts. Dr. DiCarlo has presented or co-presented at over 80 international, national, and regional conferences.

Author of four books, DiCarlo currently has two pending grants totaling $3.77 million and has successfully been awarded 22 external grants that address facets of her prolific research agenda. DiCarlo is the W.H. "Bill" LeBlanc Endowed Alumni Professor, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool, Executive Director of the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute, and coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Teacher Education Program.

Headshot of Melissa ThompsonMelissa Thompson, Distinguished Teaching Award

The College of Human Sciences & Education Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes a CHSE faculty member with superior undergraduate or graduate-level teaching and related activities. This year’s recipient is Melissa Thompson, PhD. Thompson is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Kinesiology. She serves as the coordinator of the Human Movement Sciences Concentration and has taught a variety of courses in the undergraduate program, including human anatomy, a critical core course not only for Kinesiology majors, but also for all LSU students who seek admission to professional schools in various allied health fields. With large lecture sections, she maintains high standards and structures her classes and office hours so that she can provide students the support they need to be successful.

Thompson is the director of the human cadaver lab and teaches both the dissection and prosection classes. The ability to offer this experience to students planning careers in allied health fields is a major plus for LSU. In addition to her heavy teaching load, she regularly works with numerous students in independent study (KIN 4900) to allow them additional experience in the cadaver lab. In her role as the director of the lab she has given of her time and expertise to consult with the architects in the design of the new lab in the renovated Huey P. Long Field House and has been instrumental in working with the construction team to ensure that lab is equipped to provide optimal instruction for LSU students. Thompson is also on the Ogden Honors College Faculty Advisory Board and has worked to increase opportunities for kinesiology majors and developed an honors course in medical terminology which will provide another high-quality experience for LSU students interested in careers as health providers. Thompson has an impressive record of service both to her profession and to the university. She has served as a cadaver anatomy preceptor for the Sports Medicine Fellows at Baton Rouge General, is active in professional organizations including state, regional and national athletic training associations, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. She has mentored more than 100 LSU students in the past three years as they prepare their applications for graduate study in various allied health fields and writing letters of recommendation for them. She advises three student organizations, has served on and chaired faculty search committees, and serves on both the school and college scholarship committees. One colleague wrote: “[A student] recently said to me that she like starting off her day with Dr. Thompson’s [Human Anatomy class] because of her presence and energy. This student went on to say that she had never had a teacher as impressive as Dr. Thompson because of her love and appreciation for the subject matter and how she was so receptive to the needs of each student…[Thompson] teaches multiple sections…with large enrollments and uses creative and innovative learning experiences to bring the material to life so the students will remember this foundational content.”

Headshot of Shinhee JeongShinhee Jeong, Early Career Award

The College of Human Sciences & Education Early Career Award recognizes a CHSE faculty member who has demonstrated extraordinary performance in teaching, Research or Service within eight years after receipt of the doctoral degree. This year’s recipient is Shinhee Jeong, PhD. Jeong’s research focuses on knowledge sharing and creation, workplace informal learning, interpersonal relationship/social capital in the workplace, leadership effectiveness/contingency, and quantitative research methodologies. Her impressive publication record includes 26 peer-reviewed journal articles, nine peer-reviewed book chapters, and 25 editorials. In addition, she has presented 30 papers in international academic conferences.

Jeong received the NSF Advance Grant for $300,000 examining gender equity in research institutions in the deep South and has two submitted grant proposals with NSF and NIH for $650,000 and $15.1 million, respectively. She also demonstrates service as an associate editor of Journal of Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, and she served as co-chair of the Workplace Learning, Training, and Career Development Track and as a committee member for the Quantitative Special Interest Group. She is on three editorial boards and serves as a reviewer for five journals. In 2020, she received the Global HRD Research Paper Award from the Korean Academy for HRD in the Americas; in 2019, a Best Paper Award from the Sports Management Association of Australia and New Zealand in 2019, and two Cutting Edge Paper awards from the Academy of International HRD conference in 2018 and 2019. She also received LSU Alumni Association Rising Faculty Research Award in 2021. Jeong has taught both undergraduate and graduate-level courses in both face-to-face and online formats at Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University, and she has extensive experience working with a diverse student body, including international students and domestic minorities. Jeong is Assistant Professor in the LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development.

Headshot of Tracey RizzutoTracey Rizzuto, Exemplary Leadership Award

The Exemplary Leadership Award Recognizes a faculty member who significantly impacts the academic enterprise of the university through leadership and service. The award recipient demonstrates a high degree of professionalism, is committed to the strategic mission of the university, and encourages others to support and work toward the public good through innovative initiatives. This year’s recipient is Tracey Rizzuto, PhD. She is a scholar and practitioner of organizational leadership and has transferred her scholarly capacities into leadership capital for the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development. Rizzuto hosts a monthly Grant Mentorship Circle for faculty in the department; to date, the school has doubled sponsored program grant proposals submitted and awarded, increasing the unit’s ability to secure high quality data, applied learning experiences, and grant-funded graduate assistantships. As interim director, Rizzuto led a process to evaluate structure and service resulting in a more strategic, streamlined experience for faculty. Collaborative in her leadership approach, Rizzuto provided each faculty member a voice at the table which allowed everyone to play an integral role in the success of the department while also expanding skill sets and expertise. Rizzuto leads her team to think critically about how courses, scholarship and research, and program initiatives directly align with the President’s vision and the Pentagon to support the strategic plan of the University. Examples include collaboration with the LSU Leadership Development Institute, launching the Bengal Corps initiative for students engaged in the military and cybersecurity; as well as progress toward approving a Global Leadership Graduate Certificate to educate students on what it means to be a global leader in our ever-increasingly diverse world.

Rizzuto’s leadership extends throughout the LSU community. She has served in a range of administrative roles over her tenure at LSU, including serving as the current Director of the Human Resource and IO (HRIO) Consultancy and serving on the LSU Strategic Planning Integration Committee. She works directly with LSU’s top administration to assist with value alignment and incentive coordination across institutional initiatives. Rizzuto is the Mary Lipscomb Memorial Endowed Professor and Interim Director of the LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development.

Headshot of Margaret-Mary Sulentic DowellMargaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, Mentorship Award

The Mentorship Award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates sustained excellence in mentoring undergraduate students, graduate students, and/or other faculty members. Mentoring may include support and guidance in areas of teaching, research, service, academic achievement and/or professional development. Faculty members may be recognized who have initiated or created departmental or university-wide mentoring programs. This year’s recipient is Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD. Sulentic Dowell possesses a sustained record of mentorship within academia, and especially within the boundaries of her research agenda – service-learning, access, and literacy leadership. She has demonstrated keen mentorship representing the School of Education, her College, and Louisiana State University. Sulentic Dowell has a comprehensive profile of nurturing students, novice faculty, professors of practice, colleagues, and practitioners in the field throughout her career. Most importantly, she has worked diligently to support others through various roles: advocate, role model, teacher, counselor, advisor, and ally. She gives generously of her time to students. Sulentic Dowell currently serves as major professor and chair for 11 doctoral students and is a committee member for an additional six students. She has served as major professor for 42 students altogether during her time at LSU and serving on an additional 34 committees. Further, she has chaired and served on 13 Education Specialist committees, chaired 17 Masters committees, and served on 34 Masters committees. Through development of relationships with districts, staff, and teachers, Dr. Sulentic Dowell has created networks of mentored learners who have become accomplished writers. Through goal setting, structured feedback, and support, these professional learners have shared their new knowledge through improved teaching practices with the K-12 students of Louisiana.

One colleague said, “We all know the most gifted professors/mentors are those with the ability to unveil a world where anything is possible and who possess the aptitude to navigate people through these possibilities. Not many people display this particular genius more than Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell.” Sulentic Dowell is the Cecil “Pete” Taylor Professor, LSU Writing Project Director, and Associate Director for Educational Research and Policy in the LSU School of Education.

Headshot of Missy KordunerMissy Korduner, Outstanding Service Award

The College of Human Sciences & Education Outstanding Service Award recognizes a CHSE faculty member who has a proven record of exceptional service to the profession, school, college or university. This year’s recipient is Missy Korduner, PhD. Korduner is actively engaged in service at all levels – school, college, university, and profession. She is a dedicated, reliable, and student-centered professional who works diligently to positively contribute and impact the communities she serves. Korduner developed and implemented LHRD Connections, a multi-faceted initiative to build community among the students, staff, and faculty. This initiative includes welcome emails to new students, welcome events, a mentoring program, student organization, and a graduate hooding ceremony. Her passion and gifts for service particularly shine through the hooding ceremony event. As program coordinator for the online and on-campus MS in Leadership and Human Resource Development programs in our School, Korduner surpassed any possible expectation and designed, orchestrated, and carried out a Hooding Ceremony for graduate students. This ceremony occurred in May, August, and December the evening before commencement and this year included 129 graduates and guests. The event offers a more personal touch than commencement and for many of our online students it is the first time they have met together face-to-face. Due to her meticulous planning, personalized script, and attention to detail, the evening is clearly a highlight for the students and their guests.

At the department level, Korduner serves on many committees and chairs the SLHRD Courses & Curriculum Committee and Diversity Advocate for Instructor Search Committee. She proactively mentors new adjuncts in navigating Moodle, preparing their online courses for instruction, and answering any questions about processes and procedures for teaching students. At the college level she also serves on the Courses & Curricula Committee and was integral in developing an onboarding process and checklist for new CHSE employees. Across the university, she’s served campus in a number of roles, including being a member of the LSU Tiger Twelve Selection Committee, facilitator with National Coalition Building Institute, and as a University Hearing Panel Chair and panelist, part of the student accountability process. Korduner’s professional service includes numerous roles and contributions at the local and national levels with NACADA – the Global Community for Academic Advising, the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, and with the Association for Talent Development. These roles include reviewer, re-establishing LACADA, chapter leader conference organizer, committee member, past-president, treasurer, annual conference chair, and many more. Korduner is Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development.

About CHSE:
As a college within Louisiana’s flagship university, the College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) impacts the lives of individuals in our state, nation, and the world through our research, service, teaching, and scholarship. We offer programs through our five schools: School of Education, School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, School of Kinesiology, School of Library & Information Science, and School of Social Work. The University Laboratory School (ULS) is also under the college umbrella, enrolling approximately 1,400 K-12 students. ULS was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in Fall 2015. The college is home to the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool (ECELP) which enrolls 175 children ages six weeks to four years old. The ECELP is a NAEYC accredited institution.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at lsu.edu/chse.

Contact: Mary P. Woods
Director of Communications
LSU College of Human Sciences & Education
225-578-6796 (o)