Faculty Members Recognized for Excellence

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 7:53 PM
Categories: Honors/Awards | Faculty/Staff | Pressroom

Macon, GA

Middle Georgia State University recognized four faculty members for excellence at the 2016 Honors Convocation.

Dr. John Girard received the Excellence in Scholarship award. Girard is internationally recognized for his academic and applied research in his field of Information Technology. Since arriving at Middle Georgia State in 2014, he has published two books and two book chapters. The first of the full books, Strategic Data-Based Wisdom in a Big Data Era, is a traditional academic volume. The second one, Social Roots, is designed to assist practitioners. In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals, Girard is a sought-after keynote speaker and workshop facilitator known for his dynamic delivery and presentation. He has given invited talks in Moscow, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. He facilitated a PhD Seminar at Bangkok University and led workshops in Oman, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Shane Trayers received the Excellence in Service award. She pursues service opportunities that draw on her professional expertise while allowing her to build relationships with students. She is co-advisor for the English Studies Organization and Gay-Straight Alliance and is in her third year in her third year as co-director of the Undergraduate Conference and has served on the Arts Festival Committee three times. Trayers is chair-elect of the Academic Affairs committee. She has been faculty mentor for six English majors completing senior capstone projects. In the community, she is founder and president of the Macon Writers Group and she served on the board of the Crossroads Writers Conference. Trayers is “Scholar in Residence” for the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association. She serves on the executive committee and is a reader for "Dialogues: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy."

Dr. Loretta Clayton received the Excellence in Teaching award. She regularly goes above and beyond her duties in serving her students in the Department of English. She serves as a research advisor for graduating seniors taking the English capstone course and teaches at all levels of the curriculum. Clayton knows students by name and reaches out if they have issues that would prevent them from progressing toward their degrees. She has developed and taught a number of new courses in the English curriculum, including a popular special topics course titled, “The Literature of Sensation: From British Gothic to American Pulp.” Clayton is also effective in teaching non-majors as evidenced by her excellent retention rates and outstanding student evaluations in English 1101, English 1102 and sophomore level literature survey courses. She created two classes for the B.A. program in Interdisciplinary Studies, including one awarded a QEP Experiential Learning designation.

Dr. Marti Venn received the Excellence in Mentoring award. This award recognizes an academic leader who has gone above and beyond in mentoring and guiding colleagues, faculty and staff. Venn, who until recently was Middle Georgia State's provost, has mentored numerous faculty, chairs, deans, coordinators, directors and members of the provost’s office. Venn was recently named deputy vice chancellor for Academic Affairs with the University System of Georgia.

Photo: With Dr. Christopher Blake, president (center), are, left to right, Dr. John Girard, Dr. Loretta Clayton, Dr. Shane Trayers and Dr. Marti Venn.