Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences presents 2021 awards online

Press release

Every spring, Louisiana Tech University’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences (ANS) gathers to celebrate achievements in research from faculty and students in each ANS unit.

Traditionally, ANS Day has included oral and poster presentations; a lunch; and the distribution of awards to our outstanding students, faculty, and staff.

“Last year, COVID-19 prevented us from gathering in-person for this event,” said Dr. Gary Kennedy, ANS Dean. “Though we were still able to share these accolades via email, we missed the camaraderie that makes ANS a home for so many.”

This year, despite the challenges and the difference in venue, students, faculty, and staff gathered again for this cherished tradition.

April 15, more than 30 faculty members and students, representing nearly every unit of the College, shared their research with colleagues, family, friends, and alumni.

“Our college spans a range of disciplines, and our academic units occupy several different buildings across main campus and south campus,” Kennedy said. “However, ANS Day brings us together and provides a rare opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to interact with each other across disciplines.”

Featured students

Each year, ANS recognizes Featured Students and Outstanding Faculty and Staff. Each unit nominated students –- 25 in total –- who embody the dreams of all students in the College.

Click here to read more about their journeys and goals, the mentors who provided them guidance, and the advice they have to share.

Faculty and staff awards
Winners of the 2021 faculty and staff awards were:
• John D. Griffin Award for Outstanding Service – Dr. Paul Jackson, School of Agricultural Sciences & Forestry

• Teaching Awards: Joanna Ward, Department of Health Informatics and Information Management, 100/200-level; Dr. Laura Gentry, School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry, 300/above; Debra L. Martin Award for Outstanding Service – Jennifer Hollis, Office of the Dean Research Award – Dr. Gergana Nestorova, School of Biological Sciences Scholarly Activity Award – Dr. Julie Rutledge, School of Human Ecology; Outstanding Advisor Award – Dr. Don Shepard, School of Biological Sciences; Professorship Award – Dr. Prerna Dua, Department of Health Informatics and Information Management

Presentation awards
Recipients of the 2021 faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student presentation awards were:
• Peyton Franklin – Shreveport
• Caroline Rinderle – Mandeville
• Annabeth Rawls – Monroe

Presenters were evaluated on their ability to share their research with a non-expert audience in an informative and engaging manner. Each presenter gave an eight-minute PowerPoint presentation, which was judged by faculty from various units in the College. Winners received a gift card from the dean.


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