Past Honorees


(From Left: Dr. Jennifer Lemoine, Dr. Febee Louka, Dr. James Albert, Dr. Xiaoduan Sun, and Dr. Terrence Chambers)

2018 Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award


Dr. Jennifer Lemoine
Assistant Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing & Allied Health Professions
Shelia Ardoin Walsh Memorial Professorship in Nursing


Jennifer Lemoine earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2011 from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She has been with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for more than 10 years, currently as an assistant professor. She has held the Shelia Ardoin Walsh Memorial/Board of Regents Professorship in Nursing since 2012. In the past five years, Dr. Lemoine has served as the chair for two doctoral students and currently serves as a committee member for three graduate students.

She has published several peer-reviewed and consumer publications and has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences. Much of Dr. Lemoine’s work centers on pursuing excellence in nursing education as she prepares the future generation of the nursing workforce to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing healthcare landscape. Additionally, Dr. Lemoine is an esteemed leader in the area of faculty development. She worked with Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans for many years on the development of workshops for a statewide simulation faculty development program. From this work, she was able to bring a faculty workshop to UL Lafayette professors. Named a Faculty Health Policy Fellow by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2014 and 2016, Dr. Lemoine was one of eight faculty across the country selected to participate in an intensive program focusing on national health care policy issues.

Dr. Lemoine holds a passion for teaching and learning and is exceedingly dedicated to her students. When interacting with students, she takes that opportunity to learn from them and grow as an educator. Students revere her not only as their professor but also as a colleague willing to provide support even after a student finishes the program.

She is a former nominee for the Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award and a two-time recipient of the Research Excellence Award for the College of Nursing & Allied Health Professions. In 2014, she was named the Rising Star of the College of Nursing & Allied Health Professions.

“Dr. Lemoine’s actions demonstrate selflessness and a philanthropic responsibility to students and colleagues alike. These traits truly exemplify those of an outstanding teacher; we should all strive to achieve this caliber of accomplishment.”
– Christy Lenahan, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, Graduate Assistant Professor

Dr. Febee Louka
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
Marvin & Warren Boudreaux Professorship in Chemistry IV

Dr. Febee Louka first earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alexandria University in Egypt before earning her doctorate in analytical/medicinal chemistry from Ohio State University under the supervision of Professor Tadeusz Malinski, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in chemistry and medicine. She has been with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for more than 10 years, first joining the faculty in 2005. She is the current recipient of the Marvin & Warren Boudreaux Professorship in Chemistry IV.

In addition to her dozens of published articles and presentations, Dr. Louka is dedicated to the success of her students. She has taught 14 different courses at the University, covering more courses than any other chemistry professor and always ranks in the top two professors with student evaluations. She currently supervises undergraduate research and has served as the advisor for pre-pharmacy students for more than 10 years. Since 2009, she has supervised 87 undergraduate research projects, in addition to supervising 26 other graduate or independent research projects. Many of Dr. Louka’s supervisees have received awards for their research, have been published in high-ranking journals, and have presented their research at international, national, and local meetings.

Students know Dr. Louka as going above and beyond consistently. Not only does she help with her own courses, she will assist students in other classes as well. She takes the time to get to know her students and cares about their academic and personal successes. She goes beyond assisting her own students; she also often supervises research for high school students and students at other colleges.

Dr. Louka is the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty of Universities of Louisiana System in February 2018, as well as, the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences. She was also the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. She serves both her own students and the University as a whole. She is a member of several department committees and serves as a judge for many academic events, including the Science Olympiad, Science Day, and the Louisiana Region IV Science and Engineering Fair.

“Dr. Louka’s pedagogical style provides a personal warmth to the often rigid nature of chemistry, a gift in STEM education that acts to motivate her students to achieve to the best of their abilities.” – Dustin R. Todaro, former student

2018 Distinguished Professor Award

Dr. James Albert
Professor of Biology
Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
Lafayette Parish Medical Society Professorship in Biology

Dr. James Albert has been with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for 12 years and has almost 30 years of experience in the study of tropical freshwater fish diversity. His dedication and passion for his field is evidenced by his more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, dozens of invited presentations, and more than $1.26 million in research grant awards. His work has been cited by other scientists worldwide more than 4,000 times. He has been honored as the patronym for two newly discovered fish species: Brachyhypopomus alberti and Hisonotus alberti. Dr. Albert is renowned for his research in the Amazon and has collaborated with others from all over the world. His lab attracts graduate students nationwide and from Europe and South America.

He has twice received the Certificate of Achievement in Sponsored Research at the University. Just this year, he was recognized as the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences Outstanding Professor for his contributions in research, teaching, and service. He was also one of 23 researchers nationwide honored as a “STEM Researcher Exemplar” by Washington University’s Research Exemplar Project; this title recognizes researchers for their professionalism and integrity in research. Among the grants he has been awarded, he has been either the principal investigator or co-PI on four projects funded by the National Science Foundation, one of the most competitive grants in the country.

In collaboration with other researchers, he has named dozens of new species of tropical fish. His work has lead to significant contributions in understanding biodiversity and evolution of South American fish faunas. Beyond his work in comprehending environmental and historical impact on organisms’ evolution, Dr. Albert has advanced knowledge in issues related to conversation of tropical watersheds.

“To the scientific community, Professor Albert is almost synonymous with neotropical biodiversity; he is one of the world’s absolutely most knowledgeable scientists in the area... I feel like talking with him for an hour on the topic gives more than reading an entire book.” – Alexandre Antonelli, Ph.D.


Dr. Xiaoduan Sun
Professor of Civil Engineering
College of Engineering
John E. & Joretta A. Chance Endowed Professorship in Civil Engineering
Marine Survival Training Center Professorship in Safety Engineering

Dr. Xiaoduan Sun joined the faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (USL) in 1994 as the first female faculty member in the College of Engineering. Prior to joining the University, she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Xian Highway Institute, now Chang-An University and her Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She is the current recipient of the John E. & Joretta A. Chance Professorship in Engineering and the Marine Survival Training Center Professorship.

Dr. Sun currently serves as the director for the Center for Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Systems at the University. Her research focuses on highway safety, traffic operation, and Geographical Information Systems application. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journals and conference papers. She has presented at more than 70 conferences and has been either the principal investigator or co-PI for more than 30 sponsored research projects. Dr. Sun was one of the first professors in the country to develop a complete semester-course on roadway safety, and part of her course has since served as a model for other professors across the nation. Dr. Sun has served on several roadway safety committees at the national and international level.

In recognition of Dr. Sun’s dedication to her research, she has been the recipient of several awards. She was honored by the Louisiana Engineering Foundation with the Engineering Faculty Professionalism Award twice. She received the High Value Project Award from American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for her project “Safety Improvement from Edge Lines on Rural Two-Lane Highways: A Comprehensive Study on Pavement Edge Line Implementation.” Deep South Institute of Transportation Engineers has twice given her the Epps/Dart Award for Excellent Teaching.

“...She is an extraordinary researcher, a respected teacher, and a kind and generous human being devoted to solving problems in roadway safety and success of our students.”
– Kenneth McManis, department head for civil engineering


2018 Leadership Service Award

Dr. Terrence Chambers
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
Donald & Janice Mosing Chair in Mechanical Engineering

Terrence Chambers received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University. Dr. Chambers joined the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1997. He serves as director of both the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Center and the Louisiana Solar Technology Applied Research and Testing (START) Laboratory.

His dedication to his students and the University cannot be understated. Dr. Chambers has served on committees for 32 graduate students and is the director of undergraduate research. Many of his research projects highlight his efforts on providing opportunities for underrepresented populations in the world of engineering. In 2014, he was principal investigator on the project “Powering a Better Tomorrow by Introducing Young Women to Careers in STEM” with the Girl Scouts of Louisiana. He has twice received the Minority Research Scholarship from the LaSpace Minority Research Scholars Program. The program is intended for minority undergraduate STEM students interested in space/aerospace science and technology.

In an effort to teach his students engineering ethics and professionalism, Dr. Chambers includes 10 hours of service as part of the final grade in most of his courses. Doing so opens the door for students to learn about the duty of engineers to serve the public. With Dr. Chambers letting students pick their service, he allows them the opportunity to reflect on the community, its needs, and how they can help.

Dr. Chambers’ dedication has been recognized across campus and his field. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor award for UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering. He has also been the recipient of several other awards, including Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor and Favorite Teacher Award from the College of Engineering, and the Outstanding Service Award at the American Society for Engineering Education. He is also the three-time recipient of the Engineering Faculty Professionalism Award from the Louisiana Engineering Foundation.

“He is selfless and always willing to help. It has been a great privilege to learn under his tutelage...with him as my academic advisor, I know I am on the right track.”
– Mounirat Mahmoud, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Research Assistant


2017 Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Chad Parker
Associate Professor of History, Geography and Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
SLEMCO Professorship in Liberal Arts

Associate Professor of History Dr. Chad Parker began his career with UL Lafayette in 2008. He is the recipient of the SLEMCO Professorship in Liberal Arts and author of Making the Desert Modern (University of Massachusetts Press). He also serves as the graduate coordinator of history, a member of Faculty Senate and Graduate Council. Dr. Parker has represented UL Lafayette at national and international academic conferences as both scholar and educator.

Earning his Ph.D. in transnational history at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Dr. Parker began working at the University with excitement and vigor. In the spring of 2008, he participated in a roundtable at the Organization of American Historians’ annual academic conference in Seattle. As a result, he brought back with him a fresh set of methods for enhancing his own courses and shared these ideas with faculty and graduate teaching assistants, enabling them to tailor best practices for a diverse student population.

Dr. Parker has won five teaching grants to implement course innovations and improvements. His pedagogical innovations include the development of a roleplaying historical course, “Emergence of Modern America: Greenwich Village,” for which he spent a week in New York City studying as part of the national “Reacting to the Past” teacher training module. He has single-handedly imagined and executed an undergraduate research showcase for history majors’ capstone writing project. The day-long conference provides students with a professional development opportunity to present their research and to invite the community to learn more about the program.

Nominated by fellow and former colleagues, Dr. Parker is strongly supported for the Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award. Fellow history professor and colleague Dr. Sara Ritchey eloquently explained, “Dr. Parker’s record of excellence in teaching shines immeasurably due to his pedagogical innovations, academic rigor, outstanding commitment to student learning outcomes, and his infectious passion for the subject of his courses.”

Dr. Michael Totaro
Associate Professor of Computing and Informatics
Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

As Dr. Totaro’s freshman Computing and Informatics class begins, he welcomes the students as if they are entering his living room. He inserts a witty pun or two wherever he can and when one student asks him a question, he asks a similar question to the entire class to learn their knowledge of the topic. As Associate Professor of Computing and Informatics at the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences, Dr. Totaro’s students and colleagues hold him in high regard.

A true Ragin’ Cajun, Dr. Totaro earned all four of his degrees from the University, beginning with his Bachelor of Science in 1982. He then went on to attain his MBA, a Master of Science in Telecommunications and finally his Ph.D. in 2007. Dr. Totaro is the Associate Director for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Education in the School of Computing and Informatics.

Since 1996, Dr. Totaro has taught at the University. He explains his teaching style as employing both a Socratic approach in order to facilitate self-exploration and discovery; and applying a series of experiential activities to help solidify students’ understanding of concepts and ideas. With an impressive Curriculum Vita spanning several pages long, Dr. Totaro is a member of the Graduate Faculty, Level Two and has worked in both the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences and the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration teaching over 11 courses.

As an example of the wonderful work Dr. Totaro has demonstrated, Dr. Xindong Wu, Director and Professor of Computing and Informatics, states “Dr. Totaro works constantly on maintaining currency of his knowledge and experience, which is essential to teaching courses in these areas.” Moreover, Dr. Totaro has also provided students opportunities to “learn experientially the unstructured problems facing Informatics professionals on a nearly daily basis” according to Dr. Wu, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Totaro “always has a big heart for his colleagues as well as his students”.

When he’s not educating one of his hundreds of students, Dr. Totaro actively works in the Association of Computing Machinery. He also conducts research activities, writes articles for a number of professional journals, and presents regularly at conferences.

2017 Distinguished Professor Award

Dr. Boyun Guo
Professor of Petroleum Engineering
College of Engineering
Chevron Professorship in Petroleum Engineering I and II
UNOCAL Corporation Professorship in Engineering

A researcher at the University since 2000, Dr. Guo is a recipient of the Chevron Professorships in Petroleum Engineering I and II and UNOCAL Corporation Professorship in Engineering. He is the graduate coordinator for the Master’s Program in Petroleum Engineering. He is also the Director of the Center for Optimization of Petroleum Systems of Energy Institute. He has published 70 peer-reviewed journal papers, presented 64 conference papers, and authored 10 books. His most recent 2nd edition textbook is scheduled to print this month. As graduate coordinator, he was instrumental in creating a curriculum to suit the needs of 21st Century students.

Dr. Guo also has a registered patent, a method and apparatus for generating, transporting and dissociating gas hydrates, which has three major advantages: the formation and transportation of gas hydrates under low temperature and pressure; the relative ease and low cost of transporting gas hydrates in mobile tanks and its adaptability to gas hydrate transport in relatively undeveloped areas. With an impressive résumé, Dr. Guo has dedicated his life to serving the U.S. oil and gas industry. Much of his time is focused on new technology development for increased energy supply and environmental protection. More than $2.5 million in grants from NASA and the Department of Energy validates Dr. Guo’s research and dedication to Petroleum Engineering.

Dr. Guo bears a number of awards across the college, community, national and international levels including the College of Engineering’s 2016 Researcher of the Year and Senior Faculty for Research and Development Awards. NASA named him a Faculty Fellow in 2003 and 2004 and he received the Society of Petroleum Engineers International’s Outstanding Technical Editor in 2000 and 2010.

When speaking of Dr. Guo, Yannis C. Yortsos, Editor in Chief of Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) states, “his contributions make the review process a success and further SPE’s mission to provide a means of collecting and disseminating valuable technical information.”

Corey Saft, M.A.
Professor of Architecture
College of the Arts
Contractors Educational Trust Fund Professorship in Art and Architecture

Professor of Architecture and licensed architect Corey Saft arrived at UL Lafayette in 2003. He quickly moved up, attaining the rank of full tenured professor in 2014. Mr. Saft fosters his craft and professional experiences while creating innovative research opportunities. A licensed architect, he is the owner of SaftArchitecture, which has allowed him to leverage collaborative partnerships with his students.

When Professor Saft became tenured in 2014, he also attained his Real Estate Development Certificate from the Urban Land Institute, Washington DC. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, a member of the American Institute of Architects and is a LEED Accredited Professional with the Green Building Certification Institute. From 2014-2016, he was awarded the UL Lafayette Research Excellence Award recognizing those demonstrating exceptional scholarship in their respective academic colleges. In 2017, Professor Saft was nominated for the National Architectural Accrediting Board, which accredits professional degrees in Architecture offered by institutions accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency.

Professor Saft has authored and presented a number of peer-reviewed publications, including two recent invitations in 2016 in Portland, OR and San Luis Obispo, CA focusing on design entrepreneurship, a topic in which he is very passionate. One of his proudest moments includes participation in the National Historical Designation of Lafayette’s Freetown/ Port Rico neighborhoods. Professor Saft has made huge advances in lowering the triple bottom line, especially in hot, humid South Louisiana. The triple bottom line in architecture is the social, economic and environmental response to housing, which helps indicate the ongoing success of a community.

Dr. Douglas C. Williams, Director of the Center for Innovative Learning and Assessment Technologies, wrote “Professor Saft’s outstanding research productivity, meaningful integration of research, teaching, and service will continue to bring international recognition to the University… he is most deserving of this award.”

2017 Leadership in Service Award

Brian Kelly, M.F.A.
Professor of Visual Arts
College of the Arts
Coca- Cola Professorship in Art and Architecture

Dedicated to hands-on teaching and community engagement through practice-based learning, Professor of Visual Arts Mr. Brian Kelly is well respected by his students and colleagues across campus. Professor Kelly has taught in the College of the Arts since 2009 and expanded his professional experience while lending his knowledge to all of the students he teaches. He earned his MFA in Printmaking and went to study in-depth non-toxic Intaglio Printmaking as well as Plate, Photoplate, and Waterless Lithography. He served as an Artist in Residence in San Paulo, Brazil where he produced “Brazilian Yankee Doodle”, Lithographic edition of 30. Professor Kelly is solely responsible for instruction, development of curriculum, grading, and running of beginning through advanced printmaking. He manages the studio and daily operations of the printmaking shop. Since 2004, he has been a recipient of the Coca-Cola Endowed Professorship and has secured grants helping to facilitate the Marais Press project, teach silkscreen/lithographic printing technology equipment, and multiple STEP grants for printing hardware. Professor Kelly’s grant writing success has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the College of the Arts.

For over 18 years, Professor Kelly has served as the Coordinator of Marais Press, a vehicle for bringing in 93 artists lectures and workshops from around the country. Since 2000, artists have brought with them their skills and worked with the students in an intimate setting. Last year, Professor Kelly organized the “4th Annual: This Printmaking Thing We Are Doing: An Undergraduate Printmaking Symposium” at Fletcher Hall allowing students the opportunity to assist in both organization and execution of the event.

The recipient of dozens of awards and grants, Professor Kelly is the first to thank his colleagues, former mentors and students for his accomplishments. Students often ask him to chair their thesis committees and he’s built a reputation for never saying no. His colleagues see him as a professor indeed, but also a confidant and beacon of the printmaking industry. John Hawthorne, fellow professor, believes Kelly has a voracious work ethic and since arriving at the University, “he has developed his primary discipline into a highly respected and nationally recognized program grounded in a comprehensive integration of service and classroom instruction.”

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