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2015 Faculty Achievement Award Winners Honored at University Convocation

2015 Faculty Achievement Award Winners Honored at University Convocation
Recipients of the 2015 Faculty Achievement Awards, left to right, Dr. Brent Kice, Gerry LaFemina and Dr. Benjamin Norris

The recipients of the 2015 Faculty Achievement Awards, with top graduating students from every degree program, will be honored at the Frostburg State University Honors Convocation on Wednesday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

This year’s Faculty Achievement Award recipients are Dr. Brent Kice, Department of Communication, for Teaching; Gerry LaFemina, Department of English, for Academic Achievement; and Dr. Benjamin Norris, Department of Chemistry, for University and Community Service. The awards are made possible through generous gifts to the FSU Foundation, Inc.

In addition to the faculty awards, one graduating student per degree program will be honored for academic excellence and leadership.

As an associate professor of communication studies, Kice has demonstrated outstanding teaching performance in his seven years at FSU. He has taught nine different courses during his tenure and has served as his department’s basic course director for the multisection Introduction to Human Communication course. Colleagues appreciate his passion for teaching and his willingness to collaborate – all of which creates a positive atmosphere for student learning. Students appreciate his challenging and rewarding classroom activities that inspire them and his genuine interest in their learning. He is an enthusiastic teacher who continually strives to develop the critical thinking skills of his students in each and every class he teaches.

LaFemina, an associate professor of English, has produced an impressive array of scholarly works in his 11 years at FSU. Since 2004, he has published eight books of poetry, fiction and criticism and a chapbook of poetry, as well as edited or co-edited three anthologies. Recently, he has published a novel, “Clamor”; two full-length collections of poetry, “Notes for the Novice Ventriloquist” and “Little Heretic”; and a book of critical essays on poetry, “Palpable Magic: Essays on Poets and Prosody.” LaFemina is also very active in publishing his work in literary journals and magazines and has produced more than 25 literary publications since 2012. In addition, he has appeared on the national and international scene as a poet and scholar.

As an assistant professor of chemistry, Norris has exhibited an exceptional record of service to FSU and the local community in his five-year tenure. He is the coordinator of the STEM Scholars@Sowers Hall program, an academic residential community for freshman STEM students. He is an original member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Working Group that has planned the Undergraduate Research Symposium for the past four years. Norris is a member of the Experiential Education Task Force, which has been charged with developing an experiential graduation requirement for undergraduates. As a member of the American Chemical Society, he is actively involved in K-12 outreach and serves as the faculty advisor for the student members of the American Chemical Society.

For more information, contact the Office of the Provost at 301-687-4211.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589