SEC announces 2016 Faculty Achievement Award winners

Brent Funderburk, an MSU William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art, has been named a 2016 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipient. (Photo by Russ Houston)Contact: Bryant Welbourne, Southeastern Conference

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Recipients of the 2016 SEC Faculty Achievement Awards were announced by the Southeastern Conference office on Wednesday. These annual awards recognize faculty members from every SEC university who have outstanding records in teaching, research and scholarship.
To be eligible for the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, the individual must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and have a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.
“The SEC Faculty Achievement Awards provide a unique opportunity for our conference to recognize the work of world renowned faculty members from each of our 14 universities,” said Nicholas S. Zeppos, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University and President of the Southeastern Conference. “This year’s winners represent some of the brightest and most accomplished individuals in their disciplines, and I offer each of them my sincerest congratulations.”
SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners receive a $5,000 honorarium from the Southeastern Conference and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year, to be named in April, receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized at the SEC Awards Dinner.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “The SEC is honored to support the scholarship and research of these 14 men and women, who represent nearly 14,000 full time, tenured professors in the SEC. We appreciate all they have done to empower and encourage students to make a difference, and to positively showcase the Southeastern Conference within the region and around the world.”
Selected by a committee of SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference, which sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.
Below are the 2016 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients.
University of Alabama, Seth Panitch, Professor of Theatre
University of Arkansas, Dr. Rodolfo Nayga, Jr., Professor and Tyson Chair in Food Policy Economics
Auburn University, Dr. Hanqin Tian, Solon and Martha Dixon Endowed Professor
University of Florida, Dr. Jose Principe, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering
University of Georgia, Dr. Milton Masciadri, Distinguished University Professor of Music
University of Kentucky, Dr. W. Brent Seales, Professor of Computer Science
Louisiana State University, Dr. Isiah Warner, Boyd Professor of LSU System
University of Mississippi, Dr. Joey Granger, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor
Mississippi State University, T. Brent Funderburk, William L. Giles Distinguished Professor
University of Missouri, Dr. Glen Cameron, Professor of Journalism
University of South Carolina, Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor
University of Tennessee, Dr. Susan Riechert, Distinguished Service Professor
Texas A&M University, Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio, Regents Professor of Educational Psychology
Vanderbilt University, Dr. Sankaran Mahadevan, John R. Murray, Sr., Professor of Engineering
About SECU
The Southeastern Conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its fourteen member universities. The goals of the SECU academic initiative include highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty and universities; advancing the merit and reputation of SEC universities outside of the traditional SEC region; identifying and preparing future leaders for high-level service in academia; increasing the amount and type of education abroad opportunities available to SEC students; and providing opportunities for collaboration among SEC university personnel. To connect with SECU online –; on Facebook – TheSECU; on Twitter – @TheSECU; on Instagram – @TheSECUniversity; and on YouTube – SECUniversity.