Dr. Harris named educator of the year

Press Release

Nikita Harris Named CSU Educator of the Year

COLUMBUS, GA. - Assistant Professor of Communication Nikita Harris is Columbus State University's Educator of the Year for 2008-2009. She received the honor during the April 17 Scholastic Honors Convocation, an annual event recognizing the university's top faculty and students.

Other high honors announced during the convocation included the Faculty Service Award to Professor of Business Administration Tom Loughman, the Faculty Research and Scholarship Award to Associate Professor of Management Kirk Heriot and the Faculty Cup - the highest student honor - to Alex Acton.

Harris, who joined the CSU faculty in 2004 with doctorate from Howard University, directed three CSU-student research presentations at conferences around the nation and published three works, with three additional publications forthcoming. She also advises the university's National Panhellenic Council and is noted for effectively merging theory and practice, not only in the classroom, but through student activism on campus and in community service.

Loughman recently received the 2008 Turner College of Business Service Award and has served the university in several capacities including as faculty marshall, on the CSU President's Search Committee and on committees for graduate programs and university publications. His extended history of CSU service includes a key role in the university's most recent reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as chair of the university's Quality Enhancement Plan Advisory Committee.

Heriot joined CSU in 2006 and holds the Ray and Evelyn Crowley Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship. He is the founding editor of the Southern Journal of Entrepreneurship and has published 12 papers since joining CSU, earning multiple awards including a John Templeton Prize in 2008 for a piece he co-authored in the Journal of Private Enterprise.

Acton, a communication major, has earned Kilgore and Servant Leadership scholarships and thrived in a CSU Cunningham Center internship through which he conducted extensive research to assist the center in developing new evaluation tools for its programs. He also is an Honors Study Abroad scholar and has served as Student Government Association president, president of Lambda Pi Eta and as a reading tutor in a community program for at-risk kids.

The university's annual Quality Enhancement Plan Writing Awards went to associate professors of English Susan Hrach and Nick Norwood.

Convocation proceedings also recognized retired professors with faculty emerita status conferred on music faculty Patricio Cobos, Ed Riley, Manuel Diaz and Betty Anne Diaz, and former College of Education Dean Thomas Harrison.

Additional, top student honors include the Academic Recognition Award to David Owens, who also shared the Phi Kappa Phi Senior Award with his twin brother, Mark Owens. Bradley Nelson and Wesley Brown both earned the student Quality Enhancement Plan Writing Award.

Courtesy: Columbus State University