Foundation honors four professors at Cajundome event

Keng Deng
Keng Deng

— The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation honored four faculty members during its Distinguished Professor Awards banquet held Thursday at the Cajundome Convention Center.

Keng Deng, professor of mathematics, and Lynda Frese, professor of visual arts, each received the foundation’s Distinguished Professor Award.

Janis R. Guilbeau, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and Robert Willey, associate professor in the School of Music, received the Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award.

“The honorees have exemplary teaching skills and a passion for helping to mold young students with innovative teaching ideas and techniques,” Julie Bolton Falgout, executive director of the UL-Lafayette Foundation, said in a news release. “They also have values that enable them to serve as ambassadors for the University, and the Foundation is proud to recognize them for their achievements.”

The honor includes a $5,000 stipend.

Since 1965, the foundation has presented its Distinguished Professor Award and in 1992 it created its Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2008, the teaching award was renamed to honor Authement, the university’s longest serving president. He retired in 2007.

Deng, a member of the mathematics faculty since 1990, holds the university’s Coca-Cola/Board of Regents Endowed Professorship in Mathematics. His research on partial differential equations, mathematical biology and applied mathematics has resulted in more than $450,000 in National Science Foundation grants. Deng is associate editor of the International Journal for Information and Systems Sciences.

Frese joined the university’s visual arts department in 1986 and holds the SLEMCO/Board of Regents Endowed Professorship in Art. An internationally-recognized collage artist and educator, Frese teaches all levels of photography. Her most recent work and the publication, “Pacha Mama: earth realm” was funded with funds from the Louisiana Scholars and Artists program. Her work has been featured in 26 solo exhibitions and 126 group exhibitions.

Guilbeau, as the coordinator of the nurse practitioner program for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, helped grow the program through online and distance learning initiatives. She holds the SLEMCO/Board of Regents Endowed Professorship in Nursing.

Willey, an accomplished musician and composer, teaches the majority of music media classes in the School of Music and helped secure nearly $500,000 in grants to provide audio and video studio equipment to the program. He holds the Ruth Stodgill Girard Professorship in Music.