Dr. Michael Korpi, professor of film and digital media, was honored as a Fellow in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers at the society's Annual Tech Conference & Expo in Hollywood. Korpi is a seasoned teacher, researcher and filmmaker with a wide range of expertise.
"This is beyond what I ever thought would happen," Korpi said. "I've worked with technology and production and innovations with the new HDTV and editing on computers, but most of the people in the organization have engineering degrees."
"This is a very prestigious honor because it's given to you by peers in your field," said Dr. Corey Carbonara, professor of film and digital media who was made a Fellow in 2007. It is uncommon for Fellows to be named from universities, Carbonara said. Among the first people to be honored by the society on its honor roll was inventor Thomas Edison.
Dr. James Garven, professor of finance and insurance, received the Excellence in Teaching award from the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA). He holds the Frank S. Groner Memorial Chair of Finance and also serves as Risk Management and Insurance Program director at the Hankamer School of Business. ARIA is the premier international academic association for research in risk management and insurance.
Garven integrates information technologies to provide his students access to course materials and research at their convenience. It also means he's highly accessible and responsive when students want to ask a question or discuss an issue with him outside of typical office hours.
"What sets Dr. Garven apart is his unique teaching methods and genuine care and concern for his students," said Katie Emler, BBA '09.
Dr. Joe Fulton, professor of English, has been named the winner of the 2010 Jules and Frances Landry Award for Best Book on Southern studies for The Reconstruction of Mark Twain.
The book, a blend of biography, history and literary criticism, is a radical reappraisal of Twain and his evolving political allegiances, actions and writings during and after the Civil War. Fulton spent years traveling to sites where Twain lived and wrote. The book will be released in fall 2010 on the 100th anniversary of Twain's death.
"My first thought was that (author-historian) John Hope Franklin and (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet) Robert Penn Warren were Landry Award winners," Fulton said. "It took me awhile to believe that I had really won the award."
Dr. Paul Froese, associate professor of sociology, was awarded the 2009 Distinguished Book prize from the Society for Scientific Study of Religion for his book about religious repression in the Soviet Union.
Froese received his award at the society's annual meeting in Denver. In The Plot to Kill God: Findings from the Soviet Experiment in Secularization (University of California Press), Froese examined religious faith during the most massive atheism campaign in history, which occurred after the 1917 Russian Revolution.
"I have also tried hard to make my book interesting and enjoyable to non-academics," he said. "Too often Americans decry secular threats to their religion, when in reality we live in a country where religion enjoys unparalleled freedoms."