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May 2, 2008

ULM College of Arts and Sciences honors retiring faculty members

The ULM College of Arts and Sciences celebrated seven faculty members at a retirement reception Thursday, May 1, held from
2 – 4 p.m. in the Student Union Building.

Honored at the reception were:

Dr. J. Fleming McClelland, an integral and involved faculty member in the English department, was personally singled out by President Cofer in his 2006 Envision speech as being a valuable asset to ULM’s academic integrity. McClelland served as interim head of the English department, his area of specialization being 19th century British literature.

Patricia N. Melton at one time served as the head of the ULM Department of Social Work before returning to full-time teaching in the classroom. Among her many distinguishing accomplishments, she is a respected professional administrator, social worker, and community advocate. She also at one time served as the department’s coordinator of field education, overseeing the critical component of each student’s internship portion.

Mona Oliver, a recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award at ULM for her excellence in teaching, research and service, taught English at the university since 1968 and English as a second language since 1990, instructing in composition and literature course as well as advanced grammar. She served as acting director of Freshman English for two years, as director of English as a Second Language for at least five, and served as the director of the Teaching and Learning Resource Center until her retirement.

Twice, ULM tapped Dr. Davis W. Pritchett to serve as head of the ULM Department of Biology, putting his talents and experience to good use for the students’ welfare. He was the holder of the Kitty DeGree Professorship in Biology and taught a number of different courses, primarily in zoology and microbiology. Several publications have resulted from his work. For at least the past 12 years, he has been ULM’s primary premedical advisor and sponsor of Alpha Epsilon Delta.

Robert G. Ward is a multiple award-winning professor of art at ULM. He served as interim head of painting and continues to exhibit in several respected exhibitions and competitions each year. His work and expertise are sought after locally, regionally, and nationally. His student Megan Rushing credited him as one of the professors who has “made such a large impact on my growth as an individual and as an artist.”

Dr. G. Dale Welch was the holder of the Dr. William R. Hammond Professorship in Liberal Arts and served ULM with distinction as a professor of criminal justice, gerontology and sociology. He has served as department head and temporarily as assistant to the dean as well as acting as the internship coordinator for the university’s gerontology graduate degree program. He is a respected member of several professional organizations and has received significant honors from his peers. He was the recipient of another prestigious professorship at ULM, the Biedenharn Endowed Professorship in Gerontology, from 2001 – 2004. He followed this by becoming president-elect of the Louisiana Geriatric Society in December 2006.

Dr. L. Keith White made his mark during his five-year service as director of the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts, bringing incredible talent, diversity, and sought-after productions to the university through such avenues as opera, musicals, theatre, dance, music, and art performance pieces, utilizing both dynamic local talent as well as celebrity visitors. White stated that “the mission of the School of Visual and Performing Arts is to provide student-centered training to students in the arts…and to provide cultural activities, special events and performances for the university community, area patrons, and people throughout the region.” In 2007 White pioneered the Louisiana Lyric Opera, the state’s only professional summer stock theatre and the professional resident company of the University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Visual and Performing Arts.

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