JONESBORO — Five recipients of the 2020-21 Faculty Achievement Awards were announced during the annual Convocation of Scholars.

The awards, determined through a nomination and committee review process, are for significant and meritorious achievement in the respective categories.

The inaugural recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Research and Creative Activities is Dr. Travis Marsico, professor of botany and associate department chair.

The Advising Award went to Dr. Kellie Wilson-Buford, associate professor of history, who is the primary adviser to undergraduates and additionally oversees dozens of internships every year.

The first recipient of the newly created Emerging Faculty Scholar Award was Dr. Elizabeth Chamberlain, assistant professor of English. The award recognizes a pre-tenure faculty member for exceptional scholarly achievement.

Dr. Sarah Labovitz, associate professor of music and associate director of bands, was recognized with the Professional Service Award and Dr. Rachael Isom, assistant professor of English, received the Teaching Award.

Twenty-four faculty members who retired during the 2020-21 academic year were recognized for their longtime service and contributions. Each person retiring with 10 or more years of service also is awarded emeritus status.

Dr. Alexander Sydorenko, professor of history, has the longest term of service, with 48 years, followed by Dr. Gil Fowler, professor of journalism, with 42 years. Dr. Ralph Ruby, who died in November, had 41 years of service.

Other retirees with more than 30 years of service included John Salvest, professor of art and Dr. Richard Wang, associate professor of political science, 34 years; Dr. Rick Lott, professor of English, 32 years; Dr. Sandra Bevill, professor of business communication, Cathy Hall, associate professor of nursing, and Dr. Edward Hammerand, associate professor of computer science, and Dr. Jeff Jenness, associate professor of computer science, all 30 years.

Retirees with 25-29 years were Dr. David Gilmore, professor of microbiology, and Judith Pfriemer, assistant professor of nursing, both 29 years; Dr. Richard Burns, professor of English and folklore, 28 years; and Dr. Anne Grippo, associate dean and professor of biology and Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and professor of physical therapy, both 26 years.

Those retiring with less than 25 years of service were Karen Blue, assistant professor of nursing, and Collin Pillow, instructor in media and journalism, both 23 years; Helen Duclos, instructor in English, 22 years; Dr. Joe Nichols, professor of educational leadership, 20 years; Dr. Diane Gilmore, instructor in biology, and Dr. Gregory Phillips, professor of agriculture, both 19 years; Karen Fullen, program director of social work, 17 years; Cindy Nichols, instructor in curriculum and special education, 16 years and Annette Bednar, assistant professor of clinical lab science, 11 years.

In addition, several individuals attained service milestones of 55, 35, 30, 25, 20 and 15 years.

Dr. Jerry Crawford in economics attained 55 years, while Denise Manning in mathematics reached 35 years.

Those with 30 years of service were Dr. Sandra Bevill, Dr. Deborah Chappel Daniel, Cathy Hall, Dr. John Hall, Dr. Robert Lamm, Dr. Farhad Moeeni, Dr. Sarath Nonis, Jeannean Rollins and Dr. Andrew Sustich.

Those reaching the 25-year mark were Dr. Blair Dean, Dr. Sarah Wilkerson-Freeman and Dr. Karen Yanowitz.

20-year veterans were Dr. Lisa Drake, Dr. Kelly Fish, Dr. Gauri Guha, Dr. Tillman Kennon, Dr. David Kern, Dr. Julie Lamb-Milligan, Dr. Pradeep Mishra, Dr. Joe Nichols, Dr. Amy Pearce, Judy Reed, Dr. Paula Ruby and Jody Walker.

Those attaining 15 years of service were Dr. Gary Edwards, Dr. Ashraf El Sayed, Dr. Dixie Keyes, Dr. Steven Green and Dr. John Mello.