Missouri Southern State University faculty members Dr. Anthony Adamopoulos, Dr. David Smith and Dr. Ree Wells-Lewis received special recognition during the 60th Commencement ceremonies at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on Saturday, May 11.   Students and colleagues nominating the teachers for the awards praised them for their commitment to students and to Missouri Southern.   * Dr. David Smith was named “Outstanding Teacher.” * Dr. Ree Wells-Lewis was named “Outstanding Teacher.” * Dr. Anthony Adamopoulos was named “Outstanding Faculty Advisor.”

Dr. David Smith:
Dr. David Smith,  CPA, professor of Accounting and head of the Accounting and Finance department at Missouri Southern, received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and his master’s degree in Accounting Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He received his doctorate in Accounting from the University of North Texas. He has been a consultant to Leggett & Platt and Eagle Picher and a Training presenter for the City of Joplin.  He currently oversees the VITA tax preparation assistance program at MSSU.  He joined the Missouri Southern faculty in 1995.   One student nominating Dr. Smith for Outstanding Teacher wrote, “The way he presents material is interesting, practical and applicable.  He gets you to think outside the box and really enjoys the material he is teaching. He takes the time to ensure that his students know where they stand.”

Another student wrote, “He truly cares about the Accounting program at MSSU and wants to be sure that every student is sufficiently prepared for a successful career.”

Dr. Ree Wells-Lewis: Dr. Ree Wells-Lewis, professor of Sociology, received her undergraduate bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree and doctorate in Sociology from Louisiana State University. She has written extensively, producing numerous articles, monographs, book chapters and presentations on topics related to Sociology.  She has served as a program evaluation researcher for Lafayette House in Joplin and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. She joined the Missouri Southern faculty in 1993.

One student nominating Dr. Wells for Outstanding Teacher wrote, “Dr. Wells-Lewis has always shown a concern for her students academically and personally.  She helps her students reach and achieve their full potential.  She is truly a role model for all women in higher education. She has inspired me to pursue my dreams.”

Another student stated, “Her passion about the subjects she teaches makes her courses enjoyable.”

Dr. Anthony Adamopoulos: Dr. Anthony Adamopoulos, associate professor of Psychology, received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology, his master’s degree in Experimental Psychology and his doctorate in Cognitive Psychology  all from the University of Kansas. He has delivered papers at a wide number of universities and professional organizations.  He has a specific interest in homograph meanings and lexical and phonological information in word recognition. He joined the Missouri Southern faculty in 2004.

One person nominating him as Outstanding Faculty Advisor wrote, “When advisees of his  are struggling, he does as much as he can to see that they find the assistance they need.  Before every scheduled meeting with them, he always reviews his previous notes and has recommendations ready before they step in the door.”

Another wrote, “He strikes a great balance when it comes to honest feedback, hopeful encouragement and a personal connection.  He is an ideal role model for faculty member who wants to be an outstanding advisor.”