March 5, 2007
ASU math professors and former assistant dean honored at annual Alumni Association awards ceremony
Augusta, GA – Augusta State University mathematicians Jim and Michelle Benedict were among the honorees at the Alumni Association’s annual dinner and awards ceremony on Friday, Feb. 16, at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
Dr. Benedict, professor of mathematics, and Ms. Benedict, assistant professor of mathematics, both in ASU’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, received the Town and Gown Award, given to individuals who connect the university with the community it serves.
An ASU faculty member since 1976, Dr. Benedict is the co-chair of this year’s Cullum Series, A Year of Jazz at ASU, and he was instrumental in bringing jazz greats such as David “Fathead” Newman, Dick Goodwin, and the Lincoln Center’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra to Augusta. He and Ms. Benedict are members of the Band Mama ‘Chelle and the Amazing Jim Daddies and have been playing together since 1990. They have played numerous concerts for charities and the university.
Dr. Benedict is a member of Leadership Augusta Alumni, the American Mathematical Society, the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, and the American Association of University Professors. He has written a number of songs for musical productions at Augusta State and has starred and directed in several ASU musicals.
He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, both from Central Michigan University, and a doctoral degree from Western Michigan University.
A faculty member since 1981, Ms. Benedict is the co-sponsor of ASU’s Euclidean Society and the chapter advisor for Augusta State’s chapter of the Mathematical Association of America. She maintains the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science’s tutor list and supplies the community and ASU students with math tutors. She also devotes Sunday nights at the end of the semesters to holding math tutoring sessions at University Village.
Named the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in 2001, Ms. Benedict is also a member of the Mathematical Association of America as well as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Ms. Benedict earned a bachelor’s degree from Lambuth College and a master’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Benedicts are currently of working with others to fund an ASU summer camp for selected rising high school sophomores from the Academy of Richmond County and Lucy C. Laney High School for a “holistic quadrivium experience” for students in geometry, which will involve discovery learning, music through Suzuki violin and drum circles, exercise through walking and dance, and healthy life philosophy through nutrition.
The alumni association also honored Mary K. Lisko, former assistant dean of ASU’s Hull College of Business and former assistant professor of business administration, who received the Distinguished Service Award. Ms. Lisko retired from the university after 29 years, and during the last 17, she served as the Faculty Athletic Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In her years as a faculty representative, she became involved with the NCAA on a national level. She was on the association’s national committee and chaired the Academic Requirement Committee for many years. In that role, she identified academic requirements for Division II athletes across the country. At one time, she also chaired all three divisions—Divisions I, II, and III. Ms. Lisko earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mankato State University in Red Wing, Minn., and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Other award winners include Jennifer L. Hilliard, ’01 and ‘06, media relations coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia, who received the Young Alumna Award; Edward J. Tarver, ‘82, Georgia state senator, who received the Golden Key Award; and Edward B. Polite, ‘69, a member of the ASU Foundation and former chief operating officer of General Cigar Holdings, Inc., who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The association also presented the slate of the 2007-2008 board of directors and new officers. The slate of officers includes Rhonda L. Oellerich, ‘00, president; Natasha H. Pratt, ‘96, immediate past president; Andrea Turley, ’85, secretary/treasurer; Lynthia Ross, ’03 and ’06, vice president for awards; Laura Tilt, ’00 and ‘05, vice president for college relations; Ingrid Etterlee, ‘04, vice president for development; Mary Margaret Epps, ‘03 and ‘06, vice president for membership; Scott Argo, ‘04, vice president for public relations; and Jennifer L. Hilliard, ’01 and ‘06, vice president for social.
New members were elected to the association’s board of directors, and they include Dwight M. Johnson, ‘96 and ‘05; Frank S. Lindley, ‘85; Mercedes A. Petkus, ‘05; Christopher R. Baxter, ‘05; and Deborah P. Hemingway, ‘02.
January 2007 | February 2007