College honors faculty, staff

The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Science and Technology recently recognized some of its outstanding faculty and staff. The college presented its Outstanding Faculty Research Award to Dr. Faqing Huang, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has spent 12 years at Southern Miss during which time he received nine federal grants totaling more than $2 million, published 37 research papers, filed four patent applications and made more than 140 oral and poster presentations locally, nationally and internationally. In 2004 he received the Lucas Faculty Excellence Award.

Dr. David Beckett, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, earned the Outstanding Faculty Service Award. He is an aquatic biologist and studies the ecology of freshwater invertebrates and the ecology of large rivers. More recently he added salamanders, snakes, and bats to his repertoire. Beckett has been on numerous department and college-level committees, serving as the departmental representative on the Dean’s Faculty Council since 2005 and the Summer Faculty Research Committee. His other service assignments include membership in the Faculty Senate, Academic Council, the Grade Review Committee and most recently the University Priorities Committee. Most notably, Beckett was president of the Faculty Senate from 2004 to 2005.

The Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Mark Miller, a professor in the Department of Geography and Geology. Miller is considered to be a master teacher with classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. He teaches both large introductory courses and smaller upper division courses. He has directed students on numerous study abroad experiences, including classes in Jamaica, Cuba and Belize.

Gary Cook, senior laboratory coordinator for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was given the Outstanding Staff Award. He has a master’s degree in chemistry education and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Southern Miss. Cook presently develops syllabi and overall course structures and administers grading for all upper level undergraduate lab courses. He also supervises graduate assistants, instructs department personnel on instrumentation use, and maintains inventory control. Prior to his present position, he spent 19 years coordinating organic chemistry labs for the department.

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