Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120 or 869-5709

Carnegie Foundation Honors Top Professors in Nation Today;
Names Centenary's Dana Kress as Louisiana Professor of the Year

Dr. Dana Kress

See listing of state winners at Professors of the Year by State

SHREVEPORT, LA -- The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named Dr. Dana Kress of Centenary College the 1998-99 Louisiana Professor of the Year.

He is among the state and national winners announced today (Thursday, Oct. 8) by the Foundation's U.S. Professors of the Year program, which recognizes extraordinary dedication to teaching, commitment to students, and innovative teaching methods. The program, the only national award that recognizes college professors for their teaching, is considered the nation's most highly respected award to recognize "skillful, enthusiastic and innovative professors who encourage curiosity and understanding and who contribute to the development of mind and spirit."

Dr. Kress is associate professor of French at Centenary, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1992.

In his nomination of Dr. Kress, Centenary Provost Robert Bareikis said, "Dr. Kress's accomplishments would stand out anywhere … He has developed a major that has drawn a large number of students into his classroom. They come not only because of his reputation as teacher extraordinaire but also as someone who will be a friend and mentor, who will provide a course correction in student's' studies and even their personal lives, when needed, and who will prepare them for (and assist in finding entry into) prestigious graduate programs."

Dr. Bareikis said that it is notable that all of Kress's students who have applied to graduate programs "have not only been accepted but also received major fellowships -- for study in France, Canada, Belgium and Senegal; at French universities such as the Sorbonne and the University of Lille … and the majority of the prestigious graduate schools of the Big Ten."

Earlier this year, Kress was honored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities with its Special Humanities Award, in recognition of his major contribution to the humanities, including his groundbreaking research on the French artist Jean Despujols.

He has worked extensively with the Despujols collection at Centenary's Meadows Museum of Art and has established Le Tintamarre, an acclaimed French-language newspaper, which is produced entirely by students. "Dr Kress's impact extends far beyond our region," Bareikis said. "Each edition of Le Tintamarre brings additional tributes, not only for readers in this country but also from France."

Kress established the Theodore Beck Award for the outstanding senior French major, and helped secure several CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana) and Belgian government scholarships for Centenary students.

Other awards and grants received by Dr. Kress include a grant from the Shreveport Art Guild for photographic documentation of the Despujols collection, the Centenary Alumni Research Grant to fund research on Despujols, and the Outstanding Teaching Award at Centenary in 1997 and at Vanderbilt in 1989.

He earned the Ph.D. in French from Vanderbilt University (1992) and both the M.A. in French (1985) and B.A. in art history (1976) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition to teaching French at Centenary, he is associate curator of the Meadows Museum of Art.

In its Professors of the Year program this year, the Carnegie Foundation announced winners in 48 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select most of the state winners and the national finalists. The Foundation then convened a special panel, which selected the remaining state winners in addition to four national winners. Colleges and universities throughout the country nominated a total of 553 faculty members.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is a policy center located in Palo Alto, Calif. and is devoted to strengthening America's schools and colleges.

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of education institutions, with more than 2,800 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools as members. For further information about the award, contact Steve Weiss at CASE at 202-328-5900.

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