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Faculty and Staff Honored

January 16, 2009

Award recipientsBush School faculty and staff members were honored for their teaching and service activities during the annual Bush School Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony held on September 18. Each winner received a monetary award and a certificate. Those being honored included faculty members Dr. Deborah Kerr and Dr. Lori Taylor, and two staff members, Mark Kacer and Jeannie Long.

Kerr receiving awardDr. Deborah Kerr, a lecturer at the Bush School, received the Association of Former Students’ College Teaching Award. Dr. Kerr consults on the creation of strategic plans and performance management and measurement systems and provides coaching, training, and professional development services to medium and large organizations in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Prior to joining the Bush School faculty, Kerr was senior vice president at the American Heart Association’s Texas Affiliate. Earlier she served on the executive team of the Texas State Auditor’s Office for 14 years.

One of the students who nominated Dr. Kerr called her “an inspirational professor…who sets the standard for professional education.” Her accessibility after hours and her willingness to share career and life advice as well as her distinguished teaching in the classroom were also noted.

Taylor receiving awardAssistant Professor Lori Taylor received the Bush Faculty Excellence Award, which recognizes superior contributions to the teaching, research, and public service missions of the Bush School made by an individual faculty member.

In addition to her Bush School appointment, Taylor also holds an adjunct position in the Department of Economics, and is a Program Area Leader for School Finance, Facilities, and Organizations in the State of Texas Education Research Center at Texas A&M. She has written extensively on variations in the cost of education and recently developed a Comparable Wage Index for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

In making the presentation, Executive Associate Dean Sam Kirkpatrick noted that the AFS award recognizes faculty members for commitment to their students and their academic discipline and for their ability to motivate students toward academic excellence.

“Dr. Taylor is known for her enthusiasm about teaching and the way she enhances students’ analytical skills, helping them to fully understand the principles of economics within public policy analysis,” Kirkpatrick said.

“Our faculty is our greatest strength,” said Kirkpatrick. “These two individuals demonstrate the high academic quality, commitment to student success, and excellent public service work which are helping the Bush School to strengthen its reputation among peer institutions.”

Kacer receiving awardMark Kacer and Jeanie Long received the 2008 Outstanding Staff Awards from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at the ceremony.  Kacer is user services administrator in the information systems division of the School; Long serves as an instructional design specialist in Extended Education.

The staff awards program is designed to recognize outstanding staff members for their dedication, enthusiasm, accomplishments, and contributions to the School. 

Long receiving awardKacer was cited for his outstanding customer service and quick response to customer’s needs. “If he doesn’t have an immediate answer, he’ll find one,” one colleague wrote.  Long’s commitment to the highest educational standards was cited by one nominator, while another noted that in maintaining, designing and re-designing online courses she ‘consistently delivers a quality product with the students’ best interest in mind.”

“These recipients exemplify the exceptional work done by our staff,” said Dean Dick Chilcoat. “They not only do their jobs well, they also demonstrate the teamwork, customer service and professionalism we value at the Bush School.”

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