MATTHEW BARTON, Assistant Professor of Communication, is regarded by students and colleagues alike as an exceptional teacher who inspires his students. Having taught at SUU for the past four years, Matt is no stranger to campus, as he graduated magna cum laude from SUU in 1995. His hometown is Beaver, Utah. Matt continued as a grant and scholarship recipient at the institutions where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, respectively. His supervisor and colleagues regard him as a “gem,” both for his remarkable teaching talents and for his admirable disposition in working with other members of faculty and administration. He is a two-time finalist for the Thunderbird Awards Professor of the Year honor, and he consistently scores well above the 95th percentile on student evaluations. One student writes, “He is the most dynamic, educated professor that inspires students to greatness and to achieve more from life.” It is Matt’s congeniality and teaching style that make him successful in the classroom. Another student states that in each class meeting, Matt “gives you something and you never walk away empty-handed. It is not just information either; you gain knowledge and experience because he makes sure that application-to-life is part of the educational process.” Still, students point out that Matt “requires much of students” and is “tough,” but they know how much he cares for them, too.
SATYAM SIKHA MOORTY, Professor of English, is known affectionately about Cedar City as “S.S.” His homeland is India, but he has graced the classrooms of SUU since 1975, and is, indeed, a treasure of SUU’s learning environment. He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, specializing in American literature. The Fulbright Scholar Program is one in which scholars are invited to guest lecture for a period of time on their area of expertise in institutions across the globe. In 1989, S.S. served as a Fulbright Scholar at Sanaa Universtiy in Yemen. He also was a Balkan Scholar at American University in Bulgaria in 1997. In 2002, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Moldova State University in Chisinau, Moldova. And, this summer, S.S. will be teaching master students in Moldova about late American literary realism and naturalism; in fact, he has compiled a book on this latter subject. His scholarly articles have been published in academic journals in France, Spain, India, and the U.S. He has given readings of his poetry in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, India, and throughout the U.S. He has been busy this past year making presentations on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He also scrutinized Indian literature at the annual conference of the English Department “The Secret and the Known” of the University of Bucharest, Romania. Four of his poems were translated into Romanian and published in “Limba Romana,” a highly-regarded scholarly creative journal. S.S. is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Fellowship at Cornell University. Most recently, he was given the Utah Academy's "Best Paper in Letters" award.
CARL FRANKLIN, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, has been at SUU for just two years and already has had a profound impact on the quality of academics at the University. With more than 20 years experience in law and law enforcement, one of his strengths in the classroom is how he relates his worldly, practical experience to curriculum. He has served as clerk to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals and as a prosecutor and private attorney. He is the author of several journal articles, as well as five books, two of which are about police civil liability and computer and high-tech crimes. Students repeatedly praise Carl for how he motivates them to consider new ideas and employ critical thinking skills. One student comments, “You can have students read and repeat the information they are taught, but when you can…have (them) apply a concept they’ve learned, the professor who taught them how to do that should be commended. This is what Dr. Franklin does for his students.” Carl also coordinates SUU’s Paralegal Studies program and has been instrumental in developing the moot court learning tool in his department. Overall, as one student put it so well, Carl “is refreshing. I love the way he teaches. It is effective and positive.”
DEB HILL, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education, truly loves the process of education. The word that repeatedly comes up when students talk about what kind of teacher Deb is, is “amazing.” One student says, “She really encourages independent thought and a hunger for learning.” Another comments, “I loved going to Deb’s class because I knew I was going to learn something new and exciting.” Deb’s teaching philosophy operates from her three principles of learning: 1) True Learning comes from the head, heart and body, i.e., the melding of experiential learning, intellectual connection, emotion engagement and physical application; 2) True Learning occurs in an environment in which motivation is mainly intrinsic, and learning becomes its own reward; and 3) Learning is strategic. Deb is a mentor and facilitator in the classroom, about campus and in the community. She was a key individual in the College of Education receiving endorsement from NCATE, the most prestigious accreditation agency of educational units. She dedicates a large amount of time to the welfare of student-athletes as the University’s faculty athletics representative. One student concludes, “She is the type of teacher and person students want to. . .follow as an example. (She) has forever changed my life for the better.”
LINDA MARRIOTT’s supervisor believes wholeheartedly that, based on student evaluations alone, she is a true example of the type of educator that the Distinguished Educator award is intended to represent. A Clinical Instructor of Elementary Education, she has been effectively teaching students and enhancing quality academics at SUU for 15 years. An advocate of literacy, she and her students have developed some creative community programs, like giving books to local doctors who agree to tell their young patients why they love reading and then give them a book. Linda and her students have also gotten books for children into the Women’s Crisis Center; local banks; the pediatric wing at the hospital; and different organizations from New York to Taiwan to Mexico to South Africa. They also initiated a program with the Cedar City Police Department in which officers keep children’s books in the trunks of their patrol cars to help soothe children in traumatic situations. One of her students says, “Linda has really had an impact on my life. I really look up to her.” Another adds, “I feel so lucky to have been taught by such a wonderful lady and hope that I can someday be half the woman that she is.”
PAT GARDNER has been serving the campus community for more than seven years. She was born in Germany and gained her U.S. citizenship just a few years ago. As the program in the Public Safety Office has developed, Pat has been the "glue" that held things together and helped transitions move smoothly. She is appreciated for how gracefully she handles stressful situations. Her versatility, calm demeanor and her ability to multi-task and accomplish much are hallmarks of her work ethic. As the Department Secretary, her cheerful disposition and sense of humor makes a difference to all of her constituents. She is, indeed, proficient in her responsibilities, but it is obvious that she does much more than her job description outlines, through her caring about people. One co-worker comments that “Pat has always been very helpful and knowledgeable in all our dealings. She has a lot of responsibility but always has time for what ever you need." One of SUU’s leaders states, “She has been a faithful employee and is an excellent representative for SUU." Everyone knows she loves to shop ‘til she drops, especially for shoes. Also, in her leisure time, she’s become a fairly good pistol shot, so her co-workers have yet another reason to respect their office mate!
The Media Services Coordinator for the campus, BRENT FELIX works in the electronic classrooms across campus. Brent’s job is crucial to the success of students; he is very conscientious about maintaining electronic equipment in tip-top working order. Faculty and staff, too, depend on Brent to upkeep equipment in classrooms and meeting rooms so that they can do their jobs efficiently. Brent has worked on campus for more than six years. He is diligent in keeping the 70+"smart classrooms" functional and is prompt in addressing any problems. His co-workers routinely comment on how much they appreciate his professionalism and cordial manner in executing his job well, and collectively exclaim, “Call Brent, he can fix anything!” Quiet, yet efficient in manner, Brent’s initiative and keen sense of responsibility make him an invaluable asset to SUU. Additionally, Brent volunteered to be the “keeper of the bells”; he is responsible for the hourly chimes from the top of Old Main, and for the chorus of bells we heard today on our Commencement Processional. Brent likely does such a good job here because of his longtime love for SUU; he is an 1977 alumnus of the University.
SUU’s 2005 Commencement is Saturday, May 7. The celebration begins at 9 a.m. in the Centrum Arena. Graduation Information Headquarters is at www.suu.edu/graduation.
Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to 6,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.