Christensen Selected Columbus State University’s 2014 Educator of the Year

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Kyle Christensen has been selected Columbus State University’s 2014 Educator of the Year.

Christensen, an assistant professor of political science, received the award during Friday afternoon’s 2014 Scholastic Honors Convocation on Columbus State’s main campus. Other top faculty honorees were John Finley, associate professor of business, for faculty service and Kevin Burgess, associate professor of biology, for research and scholarship. The Faculty Cup, recognizing CSU’s top student for 2013-2014, went to Ford J. Fourqurean, a music performance major from Fayetteville, Ga.

Honors-Gallery1Christensen is currently in his fifth year at CSU. In addition to teaching, he’s also director of CSU’s Social Research Center, which assists with community, faculty and student research needs. Christensen teaches undergraduate courses in American government, comparative politics, international relations and research methods. He is also known for mentoring students and his involvement with several campus organizations. He serves as faculty advisor to the International Relations Club and the Pi Sigma Alpha (the Political Science Honor Society). He’s also CSU’s director of the Columbus-area Model United Nations.

Finley’s primary teaching area is international business. He has directed all of Columbus State’s non-accounting business internships for many years, and he has developed three study abroad courses for the Turner College of Business. Finley has taken six classes of students to three countries: Spain, Costa Rica and Brazil. He has also participated in the University System of Georgia European Council program and has taken two classes abroad through that program.

Finley has been an active member of CSU’s International Education Committee for many years, and he’s the current chair of its Study Abroad Subcommittee. Finley also represents CSU in Georgia State University’s Center for International Business and Research consortium. This academic year, he’s also one of three Faculty in Residence participants, living with students in one of the university’s Uptown Columbus residence halls.

Burgess, a botanist, joined Columbus State in 2008. His research focuses on plant genetics. Specifically, he uses the tools of ecology, systematics and molecular biology, as well as population and quantitative genetics, to answer questions related to conservation genetics, life history evolution, biodiversity, evolutionary ecology, pollination biology, population dynamics, and the ecological and genetic consequences of hybridization.

Fourqurean will graduate in May from CSU's Schwob School of Music, majoring in clarinet. Fourqurean has been an active participant in CSU’s Honors College, with research and performance interests taking him to Belgium, Japan and Canada's Domaine Forget music festival. He has presented his scholarly work at several conferences, the most recent being the Southern Regional Honors Conference in Savannah.

Fourqurean has been a musical leader in performing ensembles, playing not only to fulfill degree requirements but also to match his interest in contemporary music. He helped create a local chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc., and, with fellow student composers, has created a micro-conference for the Composers Collaborative. Fourqurean also served on the financial board of the undergraduate research journal Momentum. He was a marketing-social media Intern for the Columbus Symphony orchestra.

The USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award went to Edward O’Donnell, an associate professor of marketing, and the USG Regents Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award was given to Jennifer Pitts, an associate professor of management information systems, both in the Turner College of Business. Jim Owen, a professor of English, was awarded the USG Regents Teaching Excellence Award (Online Faculty). Radhouane Chouchane, an assistant professor of computer science, was awarded the William Chappell Graduate Faculty Award.

CSU Honors College stoles were awarded to Thomas Adams, Kayla Brown, Carla Burton, Taylor Caldwell, Caroline Campbell, Charles Cantrell, Stephanie Earle, Adesikemi Ewedemi, Ford J. Fourqurean, Jordon Huffman, Tyler Krug, Roshan Nedumpurath, Michelle Pokopac, Melissa Rodgers, Brandon Smith, Valerie Staples, Larry Williamson and Samantha Jo Worthy.

Other top student honors, the Academic Recognition and Phi Kappa Phi Senior awards, went to Kayla Brown and Ford J. Fourqurean, respectively.

Recognized as new faculty emeritus designees are retired or retiring professors James Brewbaker (College of Letters and Sciences), Archie Rainey (College of Letters and Sciences), Dutchie Riggsby (College of Education and Health Professions) and Maurice Shalishali (D. Abbott Turner College of Business).

Students receiving top awards in their respective academic programs were:


Studio Art: Kaitlyn Underwood

Art Education, Undergraduate: Brittany Shepard

Art Education, Graduate: Laura Smith

Art History: Victoria L. Cantrell

Communication: Jordan King

Music: Ford J. Fourqurean

Music-Presser Scholar: Likai He

Theatre Arts: Patrick Baker

Theatre Arts Education: Allison Honea

Theatre Arts Design-Technical: Shelbie Harris

Theatre Arts Performance: Elise Miller



Accounting: Pavla Melkova

Finance: Chelsea Whitehurst

Management: Renee Lambert

Marketing: Ashly Rodriguez

Management Information Systems: Joseph Roberts

General Business: Veronica Hutchinson

Master of Business Administration: Jacob Keen

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership: Rebecca Holman

WebMBA: William Cordell

Software Systems Computer Science: Geoffrey Platta

Applied Computing Computer Science: Cedric Searcy

Games Programming Computer Science: Jordon Huffman

Applied Computer Science, M.S.: Trang Nguyen

Information Technology: Tyler Hoffman


School Counseling, M. Ed.: Chelsea Hix

Community Counseling, M.S.: Elizabeth Romey

Educational Leadership, M.Ed.: Michael Glover

Educational Leadership, Ed.S.: Leslie Reese

Curriculum & Leadership, Ed.D.: Pamela Wetherington

Early Childhood Education Undergraduate: Hartley Barron

Early Childhood Education Graduate: Leah Glazier

Middle Grades Education Undergraduate: Tracy Greenfield

Middle Grades Education Graduate: Timothy Downes

English Education Undergraduate: Amanda Woodruff

English Education Graduate: Christie Cox

Spanish Education Undergraduate: Megan Smith

Mathematics Education Undergraduate: Kevin Klida

Mathematics Education Graduate: Nancy Harris

Science Education Undergraduate: Carrie Sharitt

Science Education Graduate: Sheena Odom

Social Science Education Undergraduate: L. Dawayne Gilbert

Social Science Education Graduate: Teresa Atkinson

Special Education Undergraduate: Shawn Benton

Special Education Graduate: Rachel Massey

UTeach: Timothy Jones

Health & Physical Education Undergraduate: Lori Favoretto

Health & Physical Education M.A.T.: Elizabeth Yates

Health & Physical Education M.Ed.: Andrew Stringfellow

Exercise Science Undergraduate: Pablo Colon

Health Science Undergraduate: Nanisha Martinez

Outstanding Nursing - Undergraduate B.S.N.: Averie Ward

Outstanding Nursing - Undergraduate R.N.-B.S.N.: Rachael Jefferson

Outstanding Nursing - Graduate: Jennifer Everitt



Criminal Justice: Amaka Iloegbunam

Sociology:  Bobbi Starr

English Literature: Elaine Hoffmeister

Creative Writing: Morgan Lamberson

English Professional Writing: Nicholas Johnston

History: Heidi Packard

French: Sierra Johnson

Spanish: Jonathan Harrell

Political Science: Jonathan McCollough

Mario Mion Political Science Honors Scholarship: Jessie Sizemore

Master of Public Administration: Deneshia Anderson

Cellular & Molecular Biology: Valerie Staples

Organismic Biology: Jonathan Harrell

Ecological & Evolutionary Biology: Samantha Jo Worthy

George Stanton Biology Award: Elizabeth Lamberth

Biology Education: Carrie Sharitt

Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Major: Eric Baker

Outstanding Chemistry Major: Samantha Jo Worthy

Excellence in Research – Chemistry: Christopher Scanlon

Organic Chemistry – Undergraduate: Chelsea Severin

Geology: Wenonah Patrick

Physics: Cameron McCarty

Engineering: Juan Silva

Environmental Science: Christopher Stanford

Mathematics: Kevin Klida

Philosophy: Jessie Sizemore

Psychology: Caroline Campbell


Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges

Brittany Anderson

Deneshia Anderson

Ariel Andrews

Zeporia Bass

Shawn Benton

Philomina Boateng

Erica Bussey

Angela Byrd

Rosemarie Carlisle

Lindsey Davies

Cambreia Davis

Telea Davis

Angie Dowdell

Ernestine Dozier

Erika Galdamez

Angela Gary

Robert Glass

Rachel Green

Tracy Greenfield

Katrina Hall

Kathryn Harrell

Audrianna Haynes

Katherine Hinzman

Garrett Hix

Ayanna Ivey

Damini Jain

Christina Johnson

Jonathan Johnson

Wendi Johnson

Ashley Jordan

Renee Lambert

Elizabeth Lamberth

Mary Lyons

Juan Pablo Marin

Sammie Mays

Kimberly McAfee

Brooke Mobley

Yvette Nathan-Jones

Matthew Nelson

John Nieberding

Anthonia Okonkwo

Janet O’Neill

George Pruitt

Kea’ya Reeves

Sean Russell

Michael Ryan

Malinda Shamburger

Carrie Sharitt

Kayla Short

Megan Smith

Laurie Smithson

Valerie Staples

Yuka Styron

Steven Tette

Essence Thomas

Trenda Thomas

Fallecia Turner

Usenmfon Udo

Alisa Valles

Hannah Vongsavang

Gabrielle Walden

Elicia Walker

Brandy Walters

Victoria Weaver

Amanda Woodruff

Jessica Word

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