LSU College of Human Sciences & Education to Honor Faculty, Alumni at Awards Banquet

03/05/2013 10:45 AM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU College of Human Sciences & Education has announced the award recipients of its inaugural awards banquet, which will be held on Thursday, May 9, in the LSU Student Union Royal Cotillion Ballroom.


Joe Dean and Mary Jane “Janie” Spaht Gill will receive College of Human Sciences & Education Alumni Distinction Awards. Dean, who received his bachelor’s degree in health & physical education in 1955, earned all-SEC honors as a scholarship basketball player for three years before being drafted by the New York Knicks in the first round. After serving in the U.S. Army for two years, he completed his degree and had an outstanding career with the Converse Rubber Company and as athletic director at LSU. A member of the LSU Sports Hall of Fame, the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction, the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the NABC College Basketball of Fame, he has been instrumental in advancing the mission of the School of Kinesiology.


Janie Spaht Gill, a 1962 graduate of the University Lab School with a bachelor’s, master’s and a Ph.D. from LSU, is a nationally recognized teacher who has published a 54-book reading series for children at the first- and second-grade reading level. Three of her books have been purchased by Hollywood for cartoon animation. This Louisiana Teacher of the Year recently published six books with ARO Publishing for preschool children based upon the exploits of monkeys at the zoo, titled “Monkey Tales.” Today she is widely known as “JJ,” The LPB personality in “Storytelling with JJ and Friends.”


Harman and Renae Chandler will receive the college’s Philanthropist of the Year Award for their critical funding support of faculty programs and research. As a result of their investment in the Coastal Roots Program and the funding for an outreach vehicle, a visible symbol that the stewardship of natural resources is a worthy value to teach, participation has expanded from 24 to 40 schools in 18 parishes. Harman is a retired businessman in the forestry industry. Renae, an LSU alum with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a Ph.D., is a certified teacher of gifted education and a recipient of the Outstanding Louisiana Project Learning Tree Educator Award.


The Award for Distinguished Service on Behalf of the College will be presented to Brett Furr. Furr graduated from the University Lab School in 1979, received his bachelor’s degree from LSU in 1983 and graduated from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1986. He went to work for Taylor, Porter, Brooks, & Phillips, where he is now a partner. He served on the University Laboratory School Foundation Board from 1999-2002. In 2005, he and Richard Lipsey co-chaired the capital campaign to expand the school, raising more than $6.5 million. Because of the success of the campaign, the school has added a new elementary building; renovated the auditorium, gymnasium, choir room and band hall; and completed construction on a new, state-of-the-art gymnasium.


The faculty and staff awards recipients are as follows:

  • Alma Dawson, professor in the School of Library and Information Science, Advocate for Diversity Award
  • Kenneth Fasching-Varner, assistant professor in the School of Education, Early Career Award
  • Petra Munro Hendry, professor in the School of Education, Distinguished Faculty Research Award
  • Krisanna Machtmes, associate professor in the School of Human Resource Education & Workforce Development, Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
  • Pamela Blanchard, associate professor in the School of Education, Partnership Award
  • Andrew Folks, manager for the Office of Educational Technology Services, Award for Outstanding Service by Faculty or Staff


The College of Human Sciences & Education wishes to congratulate all of its honorees. For more information or to order tickets, visit


The College of Human Sciences & Education was formed through the realignment of six schools: the School of Education, the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work and the University Laboratory School. By bringing together these programs and capitalizing on their individual strengths, LSU has created a dynamic new college that addresses the socially significant problems we face as a state and a nation. In this new configuration, the schools are increasing their impact by forging partnerships and sharing resources that enrich and empower their ability to provide students with extraordinary education and opportunities to impact the lives of citizens.


For more information about the College of Human Sciences & Education, visit

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2013