Southeastern honors 5 for research, service

Five members of the Southeastern Louisiana University faculty and staff were honored with the President’s Award for Excellence, the university’s highest honor for employees, last month at Southeastern’s annual fall convocation.

Receiving the awards were Jacqueline Guendouzi, of Hammond, the Knights of Babylon Endowed Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, excellence in research; David Wyld, of Hammond, the C.E. Laborde Professor of Management, excellence in teaching; Alissa Mercurio Rowe, of Mandeville, assistant professor and director of choral activities in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, excellence in artistic activity; Joseph Burns, of Hammond, professor of communication, excellence in faculty service; and Marcus McMillian, of Hammond, excellence in unclassified staff service.

A linguist, Guendouzi studies how people process language, applying her research to children, adults and people with brain injuries and dysfunctions. Her field of study also includes gender differences in how men and women use language and communicate.

Wyld was honored with his second President’s Award, having received the award for excellence in research in 1998. Honored as an innovator in teaching and willing to try new approaches to reach his students, he keeps the course relevant to modern business content and uses modern technology and social media as part of instruction. He has been instrumental in helping students get their papers published on the Internet, which helps those students improve their chances for employment.

Rowe is the conductor of the Southeastern Concert Choir and has performed as a soprano soloist nationally and internationally. A member of Southeastern’s music program since 2002, she serves as president of the Louisiana American Choral Directors Association. Last year, she was honored as the St. Tammany Parish Musical Artist of the Year. Her colleagues praise her natural gift of motivating and inspiring her students to strive for excellence and achieve their highest potential and artistry.

The graduate coordinator for the Organizational Communication program, Burns has been a member of the faculty since 1999. Early in his tenure, he became involved in the Faculty Senate, serving the group as its webmaster, vice president, and as president for two years. As a former radio disc jockey, Burns is particularly known as the developer and main host of Rock School, a weekly program on KSLU, Southeastern’s FM radio station.

McMillian is the student technology services coordinator in the Office of Technology and a 2003 graduate of Southeastern’s computer science program. McMillian works in several volunteer capacities, serving as an adviser for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and mentoring at-risk children and young men through his church.