TROY—An Atlanta professor has been awarded Troy University’s highest faculty honor.
Dr. Leora Waldner, an assistant professor and coordinator of the Southeast Region’s Master of Public Administration Degree Program, based in Atlanta, was bestowed the Wallace D. Malone, Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award by Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Ed Roach during the University’s annual Faculty and Staff Convocation Friday.
“Our honoree is an outstanding scholar and teacher,” Dr. Roach said in his introduction. “We are very fortunate at TROY to have a scholar of this caliber.”
Designed to recognize those who have exhibited excellence through outstanding teaching, public service, publications and research, the Wallace D. Malone Award is presented annually to a full-time TROY faculty member. Recipients are first nominated by their deans, department chairs or their peers, and then selected by a committee for the honor.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work with our outstanding faculty, and to be able to concentrate on making our students’ dreams come true,” Dr. Waldner said.
Dr. Waldner credited her students for pushing her toward excellence in teaching.
“What motivates me is when I hear from students who say ‘I’m really using what you taught’ or ‘I’m succeeding because of that class’,” she said. “That’s what makes teaching worthwhile for me.”
The award consists of a $1,500 cash prize and a medallion to be worn with academic regalia. The award is made possible through a $100,000 endowment by the SouthTrust Corp. Wallace Malone, former chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SouthTrust, served as a TROY trustee from 1975-1995.
Dr. Waldner, who supervises about 70 MPA students at the Atlanta site, and teaches both on-site and online courses, completed her doctorate degree at the University of California at Berkley in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She had previously received master degrees at UC-Berkley in the Environmental Planning Joint Degree Program, and earned a bachelors degree at UC-San Diego. She spent a year of her doctoral program at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
She joined the University’s full-time faculty in 2004, having previously served as an instruction assistant since 2001. In addition to two stints in the classroom at UC-Berkley, she has more than 10 years of experience working for local governments and private planning firms.