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3 June 2005

Three Receive Special Faculty Awards

Jacksonville State University recently honored three top faculty members with special awards for scholarship, teaching, community education, and service.

Dr. Benjamin Hardy, associate professor of finance, has been awarded the Faculty Scholar Lecture Award for 2005-2006. Dr. Angela Beth Hembree, professor of nursing, was presented the Outstanding Teacher Award (the Earlon and Betty McWhorter award). Dr. Safaa Al-Hamdani, professor of biology, was presented the Outstanding Community Education and Service Award (the Cleo and Carla Thomas award).

Dr. Hardy, who began teaching at Jacksonville State in 1998, received his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1971 and the Master of Laws from the University of Texas in 1976. Before joining JSU he served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Dr. Hardy has also been a consultant and writer, and from 1983 to 1996 he was general attorney for BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., in Birmingham. He served as a law professor at Cumberland School of Law at Samford University from 1974 to 1983. He has conducted advanced legal study at Downing College, University of Cambridge, England, and at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass. His previous honors including receiving the Dean's Faculty Award for Excellence in Service in 2001 and the College of Commerce and Business Administration's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001 and 2002 along with the CCBA Award for Excellence in Service at the same time.

Dr. Hembree, R.N., joined JSU's College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 1982 and has served at various times as nursing center coordinator, distance education coordinator, continuing education coordinator, coordinator of student services, and director of graduate studies. She received a doctorate in nursing and a master's in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Before joining JSU she worked as a staff nurse in the emergency department of Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center from 1979 to 1982. Her previous honors include receiving a JSU Faculty Research Award in 2001. She is also a recipient of the Lamplighter Award presented by the Alabama League for Nursing for contributions to improving the quality of life of fellow citizens. The Alabama Association of Nursing Students presented her the Valuable Service Award for service to the organization and membership in 1991.

Dr. Al-Hamdani has been teaching biology at JSU since 1992. He received a Ph.D. in botany from Oklahoma State University in 1988 and a master's in plant and soil science from Tuskegee University in 1983. He received his undergraduate degree in agronomy in 1977 at Baghdad University. Dr. Al-Hamdani was selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the 2001-2002 academic year and conducted research and taught at Yarmouk University, Jordan, as part of his Fulbright activities. In the area of public service, Dr. Al-Hamdani founded the Books for Baghdad project, which resulted in the collection of several tons of current college textbooks and supplies that were shipped this year to his alma mater, which was destroyed during the war in Iraq. His previous honors at JSU include receiving Faculty Research Awards from 1992-200, the College of Arts and Sciences' Distinguished Research Award for the 1996-1997 academic year, the Dean's Award for Institutional Service for 1995-1996, and the Faculty Scholar Lecturer Award for 1998-1999.

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