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La Salle News

October 2, 2019

Honors Convocation Recognizes La Salle Students and Faculty for Excellence

On Friday, Sept. 27, the La Salle community gathered for the annual 2019 Honors Convocation event. The night was a celebration of the University’s scholars, where both students and distinguished faculty members received honors for their excellence in academic accomplishments and long-standing commitment to the Mission of St. John Baptist De La Salle.

More than 250 of the 751 students invited attended the event honoring those who have earned a minimum of 24 La Salle credits and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 out of 4.0.

Dr. Lynne Texter, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, introduced the faculty honorees by saying, “In keeping with our Lasallian educational heritage, my colleagues and I dedicate ourselves, together and by association, to shape and nurture a learning community that provides an educational experience that is both personal and transformative for our students. We take great pride in the quality and commitment of our extraordinary faculty and staff.”

The six faculty members recognized were nominated by students and colleagues for their outstanding achievements in teaching, scholarship, and service and include those who received accolades over the 2018-2019 academic year. They include:

  • Rhonda Hazell, assistant professor of biology; Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award
  • Charles Gallagher, sociology & criminal justice chair and professor; The Distinguished Scholarship Award
  • Jennifer Kleinow, professor, graduate director, and chair of communication sciences and disorders; The Faculty Distinguished Service Awardee
  • Elizabeth Langemak, associate professor of English; The De La Salle Institute Distinguished Teaching Award for a full-time faculty member
  • Tonya Ellis, La Salle TV station manager of the communication department; The De La Salle Institute Distinguished Teaching Award for a part-time faculty member
  • Andrew Lafond, associate professor of accounting; The 2019 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award

Honors Convocation is also the time in which the University presents the La Salle University’s Brother Teliow Fackeldey, FSC Presidential Medal Award for Outstanding Integrity, Merit, and Public Service recipient. This year, the award honored Dr. Natalia M. Imperatori-Lee, professor of studies at Manhattan College and director of the Catholic studies program there.

The Presidential medal, recognized as one of the University’s highest honors, is bestowed upon individuals who have distinguished themselves professionally, socially, or civically in line with the Lasallian mission and values. Additionally, this award uniquely recognizes those who have made significant contributions in their fields in ways that represent and live out the mission of Lasallian education.

With an impressive list of academic, publishing, and speaking credentials, Dr. Imperatori-Lee has made waves across the theologian landscape. She uses that voice to speak for those who have yet to find their own. With an unwavering commitment to the Catholic Church, she is also unafraid to challenge and push in places where she hears the calling for something more.

“It’s crucial to remember that the central Lasallian work—of justice, of education, of transformation for those who cry out most under the burden of reality—is not mine, it’s ours,” Dr. Imperatori-Lee said in her acceptance. “[St. John Baptist de La Salle’s] insight remains central no matter how the expression of the mission changes—we are in this together, none of us does this alone.”