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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation honored five faculty members at a banquet on Thursday, 23 March 2017.

Dr. Michael Totaro, associate professor of computing and informatics, received the Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award. (Dr. Chad Parker, associate professor of history, also received this award.) The award is presented for commitment to teaching, innovation, and pedagogical scholarship. It was established in 1992 and renamed in 2008 to honor Ray Authement, the University's fifth president.

Totaro has been a driving force in UL Lafayette’s School of Computing and Informatics since its inception in 2011. He joined the University’s faculty in 1996 and taught in the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration for 15 years.

He is a two-time winner of the John T. and Sandra B. Landry Award for Teaching Excellence and a four-time recipient of the UL Lafayette Award for Excellence in Academic Advising.

He serves as the School of Computing and Informatics’ associate director for academic affairs and undergraduate education.

In his letter nominating Totaro for the Authement Excellence in Teaching Award, Dr. Xindong Wu, program director of the School of Computing and Informatics, wrote that the professor’s commitment to remaining current in his ever-changing field guarantees his students will learn latest and best practices.

“In fact, many of his students’ group projects require significant interactions between informatics students and firms in industry, thereby providing students with opportunities to learn experimentally the ‘unstructured’ problems facing informatics professionals on a nearly daily basis,” Wu wrote.

Photo: Dr. David Danahar, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs (left) and Board of Trustees Member Jim Slatten (right) present Dr. Michael Totaro with his award.