MSU awards distinguished faculty

To begin the new year and semester, President Waded Cruzado presented awards to 21 distinguished staff at MSU. The awards ceremony took place at Spring Convocation on Jan. 13 in Reynolds Recital Hall and recognized professors, researchers and faculty dedicated to bettering MSU and Montana.

French language and literature professor Ada Guisti has worked at MSU for 25 years and received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award as well as a $2,500 honorarium. Guisti incorporates a service learning component into her classes and has worked in locations from Mali to Morocco. The service learning trip has allowed students to study the French language while being immersed in a different culture. “Teaching is my passion and to be recognized for something that I love to do is pretty amazing … also to be recognized by students, that really means a lot,” Guisti said.

The President’s Award for Excellence in Service Learning went to Julie Ruff, a professor in nursing. Ruff received $800 with her award.

The Vice President for Research Meritorious Science/Technology Award went to Joseph Shaw, who works at the electrical and computer engineering and OPTEC Center. The award came with a $2,500 honorarium.

Ariel Donohue, the program manager of the MSU Diversity Awareness Office, received the President’s Commission on the Status of University of Women Award. The award is given to a staff or faculty from any of MSU’s four campuses who have worked to improve equity, diversity and gender issues, which Donohue does on a daily basis. “My job is essentially to promote inclusion, equality and diversity on campus,” Donohue said.

Brock LaMeres, from the department of computer and electrical engineering, was awarded the James and Mary Ross Provost’s Award for Excellence and $2,500. LaMeres has previously received the 2010 President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012 Teaching Innovation Award and the 2014 Excellence in Online Teaching Award.

The Provost’s Award for Graduate Research/Creativity Mentoring, along with $2,000, went to Bill Inskeep from the department of land resources and environmental science.

Tom McNab, who works in the architecture department, was awarded the Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research/Creativity Mentoring and $2,000. McNab is the director of the MSU school of architecture’s community design center.

The Provost’s Excellence in Outreach Award went to Stephanie Gray, program development manager for Gallatin College, and Charles McLaughlin, teaching professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry. Each received a $2,000 honorarium.

Two members of the land resources and environmental sciences received $2,000 with awards. David Weaver won the Charles and Nora Wiley Faculty Award for Meritorious Research, and Scott Powell received Excellence in Online Teaching Award.

Rita Sand from the department of Native American studies, and Mary Murphy, in the history and philosophy department, were awarded the Outstanding Academic Advising Award and each received $2,000.

Betsy Danforth, director of the MSU Women’s Center, was awarded the Betty Coffey Award and $1,000.

The Women’s Faculty Caucus Distinguished Mentor Award went to Linda Young, head of Political Science Department. The award came with a $2,000 honorarium.

Bonita Peterson Kramer, professor of accounting, was awarded the Anna K. Fridley Distinguished Teaching Award which is given by the Phi Kappa Phi honorary. The award comes with $1,000.

The Cox Family Award for Creative Scholarship and Teaching went to Bern Kohler, chemistry and biochemistry. He received a $2,000 from the Winston and Helen Cox Family Endowment.

The Spirit of Discovery Award went to Abigail Richards, professor in chemical and bioengineering, and Ann Bertagnolli, the program coordinator of the Montana INBRE program. The awards came with a $1,400 honorarium.

The Teaching Innovation Award and $2,000 went to Brent Rosso, assistant professor of management.

The Rufus T. Firefly Award for Innovative Service went to Coleen Kaiser, director of the Montana dietetic internship program and carried a $1,500 honorarium.

For a full list of winners see