Friday, March 05, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Marshall mathematics professor honored by Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia as Professor of the Year

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Bonita Lawrence, professor and associate chair of mathematics at Marshall University, was named 2009 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia Wednesday evening at a banquet in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center in Charleston.

Lawrence, who was one of five finalists attending the banquet, received $10,000 and a trophy. The runner-up received $1,000 and the remaining three finalists received $500 each.

The Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia each year honors an outstanding faculty member at a West Virginia college or university.

“[At Marshall] I have found a nice home where I can teach young people about the beauty of mathematics in such a way that is a creative outlet for me,”  Lawrence said.  “I am happy.”

“As a teacher, her most distinguishing characteristic is her enthusiasm – enthusiasm for her students, for learning and for her great love of mathematics,” said Dr. Gayle A. Ormiston, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Marshall. “In her classes, her enthusiasm translates into the expectation that everyone is capable of learning even the most difficult mathematical material.”

Lawrence has been at Marshall since August 2001 when she was hired as an assistant professor of mathematics. She was promoted to associate professor in 2003, granted tenure in 2005 and promoted to professor in 2007. She received the Marshall University Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award for 2001 and 2006, the Marshall and Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award for 2004 and the Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award in 2009.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics in 1979 from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., her Master of Science in Mathematics in 1990 from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and her Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences in 1994 from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Lawrence is an avid knitter and says she enjoys teaching and learning from others about the craft.  She also is active in running, cycling, and rowing her sculling boat in the Ohio River.  A volunteer with the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington, she has been part of all the major refurbishing efforts that have occurred in the past four years. She is married to Dr. Clayton T. Brooks, who is also a member of the Marshall faculty.

For more information on the award, contact Lawrence at 304-696-3040.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197