Banerjee Named Columbus State’s 2012 Educator of the Year

Anil BanerjeeCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Longtime professor Anil Banerjee Friday was named Columbus State University’s 2012 Educator of the Year.

Banerjee, an associate professor of chemistry, received the award during Friday afternoon’s 2012 Scholastic Honors Convocation on Columbus State’s main campus. Other top faculty honorees were English professors Pat McHenry for faculty service and Joseph Francavilla for research and

. The Faculty Cup, recognizing CSU’s top student for 2011-2012, went to chemistry major Claire EunHye Cho.


Banerjee, who came to CSU in 2005, has taught for nearly two decades, both in the U.S. and his native India. He’s been awarded more than $100,000 in grants from the University System of Georgia to offer workshops for middle school and high school chemistry and science teachers in Muscogee, Harris and Troup counties. In these workshops, he shares his method of inquiry-based instruction – having students learn by taking action and then asking questions, guided by teachers. He's twice previously been an Educator of the Year finalist, in 2008 and 2011.

Pat McHenry

McHenry, also associate dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, joined Columbus State as an assistant professor of English in 1996.  He’s also served as associate dean, interim dean and acting dean of the former College of Arts and Letters. He has served as chair of two departments on an interim basis: Art, in 2004-2005, and Mathematics and Philosophy in 2011-2012. Among his many committee assignments, McHenry serves as chair of the University Curriculum Committee, which reviews proposals for new courses. Since 2005, he has participated in several study abroad programs in Italy and the United Kingdom.

Joseph FrancavillaFrancavilla, professor of English, has been teaching film and literature at Columbus State since 1987.  He’s a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Science Fiction Research Association. In 1990 and 1991, he oversaw publication of  the university literary journal, The Spectrum, the forerunner of Arden, CSU’s current literary journal.  His poems and stories have appeared regularly in Arden since its first issue in 2000.

The top student honoree, Claire Eunhye Cho, is a senior chemistry major who has not only participated in a study abroad course on Andros Island in the Bahamas, but has also performed summer research at Columbia University and the University of New Hampshire. She’s a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the American Chemical Society honor society; Beta Beta Beta, the national honor society for biology; and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She has received Outstanding Awards from the Department of Chemistry and Phi Kappa Phi. She has also assisted with rebuilding work in New Orleans and as a hospital volunteer in Brazil.

Other top student honors, the Academic Recognition and Phi Kappa Phi Senior awards, went to communication major Hayley Henderson and theatre major Melora Slotnick,, respectively.

Recognized as new faculty emeritus designees are retired or retiring professors Dean Beverly Davis (University College), Ronald Kettering (business) and Thomas Loughman (business).

The convocation also recognized students for outstanding research and creative projects, plus graduating Honors Program scholars Neena Alex, Will Borin, Zachary Bryant, Claire EunHye Cho, Mark Davis, Cecilia Felix, Lindsay Grant and Melora Slotnick.

The following awards recognize top students in their respective academic programs:

College of the Arts

Studio Arts:  Nica Mendoza

Art Education, B.S.Ed:  Caroline Trotter

Art Education, M.Ed:  Inge Morrison

Communication:  Shane Hancock

Music: Zachary Bryant

Music-Presser Scholar:  Bogdan Dumitriu

Theatre Arts Award:  Hannah Carey

Theatre Arts Education Award: Melora Slotnick

Theatre Arts Design/Technical: Matthew Swindell

Theatre Arts Performance:  Stephanie Earle, Heather Pavik (tie)


Turner College of Business and Computer Science

Accounting:  Ryan Collins

Finance: Filip Cojbasic

Management:  Kenneth Hammonds

Marketing:  Haley Lyman

General Business: Philip Harike

Management Information Systems: Casie Jordan

Master of Business Administration: Joel Holcombe

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership: Kelli Parker

Computer Science:  Jesse Cape

Applied Computer Science Undergraduate: Jeremias Duarte

Games Computer Science:  Janice Hill

Information Technology: Courtney Tillery

Applied Computer Science Graduate Award: Mary House


College of Education and Health Professions

School Counseling, M. Ed.:  Laura Carr

School Counseling, Ed.S.: Denea James

Community Counseling, M.S.: Courtney Loving

Educational Leadership, M.Ed.: Amanda Wile

Educational Leadership, Ed.S.:  Jared Worthy

Curriculum & Leadership, Ed.D.: Ruth Bennett

Early Childhood Education Undergraduate: Amanda Hernandez

Early Childhood Education Graduate:  Patricia Brooks

English Education Undergraduate: Alia Spradlin

English Education Graduate: Mary Brugh

Mathematics Education Undergraduate: Joshua Alsup

Mathematics Education Graduate: Cristopher Houston

Middle Grades Education Undergraduate: Shannon Tosi

Middle Grades Education Graduate: Draveious Hurston-White

Science Education Graduate: Jaimie Gonzalez

Spanish Education: Nabila Ivaldi

Social Science Education Undergraduate: Rafael Torres

Social Science Education Graduate: Earl Barnett

Special Education Undergraduate: Dalecia Williams

Special Education Graduate: Sarah McFadden

Health & Physical Education Undergraduate: Rochelle Hemmer

Health & Physical Education Graduate: Lindsey Sharpe

Exercise Science: Peter Blickhahn

Health Science: Madeline Meadows

Nursing BSN: Breanna Miller

Nursing RN-BSN: Ashley Kennedy


College of Letters and Sciences

Criminal Justice: Tara Santoro

Sociology:  Sheila Downs

English Literature: Jonathan Sanders

English Professional Writing: Ausu Mayo

English Creative Writing: Robin Shuler

Spanish:  Aldo Mendoza

French:  Kevin White

History:  Stanley Hayes

Political Science            :  Timothy Bussey

Political Science – Mion Scholar:  Madeliene Moore

Public Administration: Scott Balough

George Stanton Biology Award: Neena Alex

Ecological & Evolutionary Biology: Scott Whitley

Cellular/Molecular Biology: Hemalata Mandiga

Organismic Biology: Shannon Tyler

Biology Education: Carrie Ann Sharitt

Principles of Chemistry: Angelin Shajan

Chemistry Major: Michael Anderson

Excellence in Research:  Claire EunHye Cho

Geology: Donald Osborne

Physics:  Zachary Edwards

Engineering:  Marie Harber

Environmental Science: Alicia Garcia

Mathematics:  Alan Hetzel

Philosophy:  Nathan White

Psychology: Ashley Shipp

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

Melanie Alexander

Chelsea Allen

Moniquia Alleyne

Sierra Anderson

Alicia Bailey

Chelsea Baker

Scott Balough

Latorria Brown

Michayala Bush

Tatum Butterfield

Yu-Ting Chen

John Dockter

Melissa Drawdy

Tracy Farley

Latoya Feliciano

Christopher Freeman

Rebecca Gaston

Liberty Gibson

Amber Gonzalez

Michael Green

Amanda Hannaburg

Adrienne Hart

Melanie Hart

Hayley Henderson

Bolivia Hurtado De Mendoza

Sierra Johnson

Candice Lawrence

Angelica Lewis

Benjamin Long

Lauren Love

Mary Lyons

Carla Martin

Madeliene Moore

Christopher Mulch

Kristan Mumpower

Cynlenthia Muniz

Amy Nerone

Laterika Peak

Gary Phillips

Mark Plagge

Shoko Porter

Ebony Ramey

Sheronda Richey

Jenise Santos

Tammie Marie Short

Regina Steed

Matthew Swindell

Etsubdenke Templier

Stephanie Thomas

Hannah Vongsavang

Lorrie White

Kelsey Williams

Avery Wolff

Amanda Woodruff

Sydney Worthy

Caleb Zuiderveen

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Photos, from top:

Anil Banerjee, CSU’s 2012 Educator of the Year, works in a laboratory earlier this year. He missed Friday’s Scholastic Honors Convocation due to a family emergency.

Pat McHenry, Faculty Service Award recipient

Joseph Francavilla, Faculty Research and Scholarship Award recipient

Claire EunHye Cho, Faculty Cup recipient (top student honoree)

Media: High-resolution originals of Banerjee, McHenry, Francavilla, Cho