McNeese faculty receive Pinnacle Excellence Awards

L'Auberge du Lac Parent Company Pinnacle Entertainment Honors 6 McNeese State University Professors for Educational Excellence

$30,000 awarded to recipients of annual Pinnacle Excellence Awards  

LAKE CHARLES, La. — L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort, a premiere destination resort in Lake Charles, La., in conjunction with parent company Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., recently honored six acclaimed professors from McNeese State University with Pinnacle Excellence Awards. The annual awards were established in 2003 as part of a partnership between Pinnacle and McNeese to recognize outstanding faculty achievement.

L'Auberge Senior Vice President and General Manager Geno Iafrate and McNeese State University President Dr. Philip Williams presented the educators with checks totaling $30,000 during an awards ceremony held February 8 at the McNeese State University Business Conference Center in Lake Charles.

The 2010/2011 Pinnacle Excellence Award winners are Keith Credo, College of Business; Dr. Linda Hurst, Burton College of Education; Dr. Zhuang Li, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology; Jan Scott, College of  Liberal Arts; Twila Sterling-Guillory, College of Nursing; and Dr. Justin Hoffman, College of Science. Each winner received a $5,000 check and a commemorative award statue.

"We congratulate these Pinnacle Excellence Award winners for their academic contributions across such varied disciplines," Mr. Iafrate said. "Higher education is vital to the economy, culture and vibrancy of Southwest Louisiana, and we're pleased to recognize McNeese faculty for their outstanding work."

"We deeply appreciate Pinnacle Entertainment and L'Auberge for their ongoing commitment to supporting improved student learning and academic success at McNeese State University," Dr. Philip Williams, McNeese president, said.

Recipients are chosen by a committee comprised of fellow educators and administrators. Each of the winners submitted a proposal to the committee for consideration, outlining how the award money would be used to enhance educational programs. To be eligible for the awards, nominees also needed to receive positive performance evaluations from their students.

"We are proud to support McNeese in its commitment to academic excellence," said Iafrate. "An educated workforce is crucial to bolstering our tourism and hospitality industry as we work together to establish Southwest Louisiana as the premier resort destination on the Gulf coast."