FLORENCE – Three Francis Marion University faculty members were honored for outstanding individual work during the past year at a faculty recognition banquet on April 19.
Mary R. Dittman of Florence was given the Award of Excellence in Teaching, Douglas E. Gray of Florence was presented the Award for Excellence in Service; and LeRoy Peterson, Jr. of Florence received the Award for Excellence in Research. Each award carries a cash prize.
”Mary, Doug, and Pete rank among the very best professors in the state of South Carolina,”said Fred Carter, president of FMU. “Their work, in the areas of teaching, research and service, has garnered the respect of colleagues and students alike. I am very proud of their contributions to this university.”
An instructor of marketing, Dittman has been a member of the FMU faculty since 2000. She is also the director of internships. Dittman was cited for her classroom teaching skills. A native of Tucson, Ariz., she earned the B.S. degree in marketing from the University of Nevada (Reno) and the M.B.A. degree from FMU. She serves on several FMU committees and is a member of the American Marketing Association. Dittman is credited with establishing the marketing internship program at FMU.
Gray, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., has been a member of the FMU faculty since 1997. He is an associate professor of art-ceramics. He was cited for his service to the university, the community and the state. He is an FMU Mediation Committee member and has served on the following FMU committees: Academic Support, School of Liberal Arts Election, Long-Range Planning and Integrated Learning Initiatives Art and Lecture Series. He was also an FMU faculty senate representative. Gray serves the community as a member of the board of directors for the Potter’s Council, an organization sponsored by the American Ceramic Society. He is also a member and secretary of the board of directors for the Florence Regional Arts Alliance. His artwork has been included in numerous national exhibitions and has been published in both books and periodicals, some of which include: The Ceramic Design Book, 500 Teapots, Pottery Making Illustrated, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times and Southern Living Magazine. Gray earned bachelor’s degrees in art and English at the University of Louisville in 1991 (magna cum laude) and the M.F.A. degree in ceramics from the University of North Texas.
Peterson, a native of Florence, has been a member of the FMU faculty since 1990. He is an associate professor of chemistry and was cited for his extensive scholarly work, primarily in the field of chemistry. He earned a bachelor’s degree at FMU and a doctorate in physical-inorganic chemistry from the University of South Carolina where he was an undergraduate laboratory teaching assistant. He is active in the American Chemical Society, the Pee Dee Math and Science Hub, the Science South project and the S.C. Academy of Science. He is chair of the local advisory committee for General Electric Quality Education for Minorities Partnerships and NEW PALS Project. He is president of North Vista PTA, serves on the board of Florence Boys and Girls Club and coaches in youth basketball leagues. He is faculty adviser for Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities and Zeta Phi Beta sorority and is active in the university’s African American Faculty and Staff Coalition. He is also a member of the FMU Institutional Effectiveness committee.
Kenneth M. Autrey, a professor of English, also was presented the Shared Governance Award, sponsored by the FMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. This award is given to a faculty member who demonstrates commitment to the principles of shared governance between the faculty, administration and the board of trustees. This Wilkes-Barre, Pa. native has been a member of the FMU faculty since 1989. Prior to coming to FMU, he taught at the University of South Carolina and Tougaloo College. In 1996-97, he was a visiting professor at Hiroshima University in Japan while on leave from FMU. He earned the A.B. degree in English from Davidson College, the M.A. degree in English from Auburn University, and the Ph.D. degree in English from the University of South Carolina.