Clarksville, TN – On August 16th, 2021, Austin Peay State University (APSU) President Mike Licari honored several outstanding faculty members during an awards ceremony in the Mabry Concert Hall.
Austin Peay State University’s top faculty honor, the APSU National Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award, was presented to Dr. Patty Orr, professor of nursing, and Lenora Reuther Endowed Chair of Excellence.
Throughout her career, Orr has used her expertise in research planning and execution, grant writing, and teaching to provide nursing students with the best possible education, while also working to improve the health of this area’s underserved populations.
She developed a care delivery model made up of APSU nursing faculty and BSN student nurses to manage a chronic diabetes population, and she wrote and received more than $526,000 in grants, which has helped fund programs that improve student graduation rates, promote healthy lifestyles and improve breast health screening for low income-individuals.
On Monday, the University presented three tenure-track faculty members with the Socrates Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes professors who are known around campus for their ability to inspire and motivate students. This year’s recipients were Dr. Eva Gibson, assistant professor of psychological science and counseling; Talon Beeson, assistant professor of acting and directing; and Dr. Rebecca Darrough, associate professor of mathematics.
Austin Peay State University’s Richard M. Hawkins Award, presented each year to a faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional scholarly and creative behavior, was presented to Dr. Kathryn Woods, associate professor of leadership and organizational administration. Woods arrived at Austin Peay in 2014, and in that time, she has authored several book chapters on management education, and she has published articles in publications such as the Global Journal of Business Pedagogy, The International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies, and the Journal of Leadership Education. She is an active presenter of her work, presenting at the Global Business Research Conference and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference.
Each year, the Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes a full-time faculty member whose service has enhanced or will enhance the quality of life in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area. Jennifer Thayer, assistant professor of accounting, received this year’s honor.
In addition to being an outstanding professor in the classroom, Thayer serves the community through her work with organizations such as the City of Clarksville Audit Committee, the United Way Budget and Allocations Committee, the Wesley Foundation board, and the Salvation Army.
In 2017, Thayer combined her passion for teaching with her love of service by bringing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program to campus. This program gives her students hands-on, real-life experience with accounting while providing free tax preparation for low-to-moderate-income families. That program has grown over the years and is now part of a College of Business Service Learning course.