Cameron University announces winners of University Choice Awards

Five faculty and staff members of Cameron University have been selected as this year's recipients of CU's University Choice Awards, which recognize  members of the campus community who best embrace and advance the mission of the university. Ms. Jenn Abel, Dr. Leon Fischer, Dr. Margery Kingsley, Dr. James Lambert and Ms. Deanice Shegog received their awards during a ceremony yesterday at the Cameron campus. Each received a plaque recognizing his/her achievement as well as a $1,000 stipend.

Choice Award winners

Cameron University President Cindy Ross (center) congratulates (l to r) Dr. Leon Fischer, Deanice Shegog, Jenn Abel and Dr. James Lambert as the recipients of the University Choice Awards. Dr. Margery Kingsley was teaching class and was therefore unable to attend the ceremony.

"The University Choice Awards recognize the achievements of Cameron's faculty and staff," says President Cindy Ross. "This year's recipients have excelled by embracing and advancing the mission of Cameron University and specifically the goals detailed in the university's strategic plan - Plan 2013: Choices for the Second Century. Their efforts are integral to achieving Cameron's ambitious agenda."

Nominations were made by CU students and employees; winners were selected by the members of the university's Executive Council, who are not eligible for the awards. In order to be eligible, nominees must have been employed full-time at Cameron for at least one year.

The University of Choice Award

The University of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron University the University of Choice by providing students a top quality education. Dr. Margery Kingsley, Professor and Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages, is the 2010 recipient. She is being recognized for her leadership which includes guiding the university's preparations for the upcoming reaccreditation visit by the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission. Under her leadership, faculty, staff and students have worked together to evaluate and assess all aspects of Cameron University to ensure that CU provides students with a top-quality education.

The College Experience of Choice Award

The College Experience of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward providing students the College Experience of Choice by fostering a traditional collegiate atmosphere. This year's recipient is Ms. Deanice Shegog, Student Services Counselor. By coordinating fitness challenges, seminars and events such as the Aggie Health Fair, Shegog provides extracurricular and co-curricular offerings on campus that will have a positive impact on CU students long after they graduate. By providing individual counseling services to students in need, she demonstrates her commitment to ensure that all students have the ability to continue higher education regardless of the challenges they may face in their personal lives.

The Location of Choice Award

The Location of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron University the Location of Choice for community and regional events. Ms. Jenn Abel, Staff Assistant to the Director of Special Events, and Dr. Leon Fischer, Professor and Chair of the Department of Agriculture, are the selected recipients.

As the point of contact for facility reservations on campus, Abel processes close to 1,000 reservations per month. Often she is the first person that community members speak with regarding holding their conferences, weddings, anniversary celebrations and other events on the CU campus. Abel's eye for detail is critical to client satisfaction, and her professionalism and friendly demeanor represent Cameron University well. Her use of critical thinking and creativity are key in accommodating the varying needs of those holding events at CU. The university has received high praise from numerous organizations that are appreciative of Abel's commitment to making their events a success.

Dr. Fischer is being recognized for his role in establishing, organizing and maintaining Cameron's Community Garden, which provides a vital service to the community and forges a meaningful connection to Cameron's agricultural past. Gardeners can rely on Dr. Fischer's help and expertise as they tend their individual plots. The garden has been well received by the community, as it focuses on the Fit Kids initiative. Some of last year's gardeners were young people who had the opportunity to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for the first time in their lives. Dr. Fischer was readily available to answer questions and offer assistance. His commitment to the community garden has a positive impact on Cameron University and the Lawton/Fort Sill community.

The Partner of Choice Award

The Partner of Choice Award recognizes a current staff or faculty member who is making outstanding contributions toward making Cameron University the Partner of Choice by expanding existing and developing new community and area partnerships that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of southwest Oklahoma. The recipient  is Dr. James Lambert, Professor and Chair of the Music Department.  

By incorporating area high school bands and choirs into concerts staged by the CU Music Department, Dr. Lambert and the music faculty are creating partnerships with secondary education facilities throughout southwest Oklahoma. This provides college-bound students an opportunity to gain onstage experience and allows them to glimpse what their performance life would be should they choose to attend Cameron. Dr. Lambert also extends partnerships to the community through the Cameron University/Lawton Community Band, the Cameron University/Lawton Civic Chorale and other ensembles that integrate members of the community with CU's student performers. In addition, he is active in bringing music teachers from around the state to campus through a variety of professional organizations and meetings.

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 April 16, 2010

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