NSU faculty recognized for Excellence in Teaching

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Northwestern State University honored a faculty member from each college with an Excellence in Teaching Award that recognizes scholarship, leadership and service. From left are NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Dr. Rondo Keele, Dr. Tammy Curtis, Kirstin Riehl, Valerie Salter, Dr. Vickie Gentry, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, and Vanner Erikson, associate director of Alumni Affairs. Not shown is Edward Kelly.

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University recognized an outstanding faculty member from each college with Excellence in Teaching Awards.  Sponsored by the NSU Alumni Association since 1990, the award is based on each faculty members’ contributions to their college and university in scholarship, leadership and service.

This year’s recipients are Kristin Riehl, College of Arts and Sciences;  Valerie Salter, College of Business and Technology;  Dr. Tammy Curtis, College of Nursing and School of Allied Health;  Dr. Rondo Keele, Louisiana Scholars’ College, and Edward Kelly, Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development.

Riehl is an associate professor and the director of dance at NSU.  She graduated from the University of Utah with her MFA in ballet with an emphasis in teaching and choreography.  Riehl began her formal ballet training in the Royal Academy of Dance method and continued her studies abroad at Bush Davies School of the Arts in East Grinstead, England.  Upon moving back to the U.S., she danced in New York City.  Riehl has been teaching at NSU since 2010.  “Dance is a very powerful communication and it is our job as teachers and artists to touch as many lives as possible,” she said.

Salter holds a B.S. in hospitality management and tourism from NSU, a master’s in teaching from Louisiana College and a master’s of hospitality administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.  In her current role as assistant professor in HMT, she teaches courses in hospitality management and culinary arts.  As a Ph.D. student at Iowa State University, she plans to research hospitality education and human resources.

Curtis is an associate professor of radiologic sciences in the School of Allied Health. She serves as the graduate coordinator for the master’s of science in radiologic sciences program and previously served as the clinical coordinator for the undergraduate radiologic sciences program.  In addition to her  undergraduate and graduate allied health courses, she has taught a graduate course for the Department of Health and Human Performance for the past five years and currently teaches a course for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Keele specialized in medieval philosophy in graduate school and publishes on William of Ockham and his contemporaries.  He has taught all over Indiana, in Cairo, Egypt and for the past 12 years in the Scholars’ College where he offers classes in the Great Books, medieval and ancient philosophy, logic and Latin poetry.

Kelly is an instructor and academic operations personnel in the Department of Military Science/ROTC.  He retired from the U.S. Army in May 2013 after 23 years of active federal service.  Some of his stateside assignments include Ft. Story, Virginia;  Ft. Eustis Virginia;  Ft. Hood, Texas, and Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he served as a squad leader, Equal Opportunity representative, reenlistment NCO, platoon sergeant, senior small group leader with the Noncommissioned Officer Academy and first sergeant.

Kelly’s overseas assignments include three tours to Korea and one tour to Izmir, Turkey.  He also participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Operation Vigilant Warrior, two tours in Afghanistan and two tours to Iraq in support of Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Kelly is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., Natchitoches chapter Post 1962.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Southern University and is working towards a master’s degree in transportation and logistics management.