College Honors Faculty at Commencement
Campus News

Four Franklin College faculty received awards recognizing their scholarly accomplishments during the college’s 154th Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Sarah Mordan-McCombs, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence. The award, given by a vote of the Franklin College Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the president and provost and dean of the college, recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates extraordinary dedication and commitment in service to the college.

Mordan-McCombs is the division head for natural sciences, the Deppe Chair of biology and an associate professor of biology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from DePauw University and a doctorate degree in cancer biology from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied the role of vitamin D receptor in the development and progression of prostate cancer. She began teaching at Franklin College in 2009. In 2014, she received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. She is in current collaboration with Franklin students on researching neurodegenerative diseases. Professionally, she serves as an academy fellow and a member of the awards committee for the Indiana Academy of Science. Mordan-McCombs is a resident Greenwood.

 Kristin Flora, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Faculty Steering Committee Distinguished Service Award.  The recipient of this award is a faculty member who shows outstanding service to the college.

Flora is an associate professor of psychology at Franklin College and the Roscoe W. Payne Endowed Chair in Philosophy and Psychology where she also serves as the division head for social sciences. She has taught psychology at Franklin College since 2007, serving as department chair from 2009 – 2015. Flora earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology from Valparaiso University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Before coming to Franklin, Flora was a clinical outcomes analyst and research coordinator at a regional hospital in Wisconsin. There she was part of a team that performed extensive research on sports-related concussions, particularly in high school athletes. In 2013, the team’s manuscript was published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. Professionally, she serves as a member of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) Presidential Task Force on Undergraduate Research and is also a member of the Indiana Psychological Association’s Science and Education Committee. On campus, she dedicates her time as a co-adviser for the college’s Psi Chi chapter and serves as a team member of the college’s Intercultural Honors Experience. She has also been part of three study-abroad experiences at Franklin College. In 2011, Flora was named Academic Adviser of the Year and in 2018 she was awarded the Faculty/Staff Service Award, the highest award bestowed by student organizations through the Center for Student Involvement. She is a member of the Alpha Society and Alpha Lambda Delta honorary. Flora is a resident of Franklin.

Randall Smith, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.  The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits excellence in mastery of subject and effective communication, has respect for all students, and believes that all students can learn and provides helpful feedback to other students in a number of ways.

Smith is an associate professor of political science and serves as the department chair. He received his bachelor’s degree from Quincy University, his master’s degree from the University of Illinois – Springfield and his doctorate degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago. He joined the Franklin College faculty in 2009. While at Franklin, he has received the Clifford and Paula Dietz Endowed Faculty Travel Award and the Rinker Endowment Grant for Faculty Excellence. He received the Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Certification, through the American Political Science Association, in conjunction with the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools. He has guided the award-winning Model UN Team and is preparing to lead Franklin College students on a study-abroad experience to Japan. Smith is a resident of Greenwood.

Raymond Begovich, Ed.D., was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award.  The award recognizes a faculty member’s scholarly achievement at the college, as well as his/her work outside the college (publications, presentations, etc.). 

Begovich is a professor of journalism, joining the Franklin College faculty in 1999. He holds an associate’s degree from Lake Michigan College, a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, and master’s and doctorate in education degrees from Ball State University. Prior to coming to Franklin, Begovich was the vice president of a public relations agency. He also worked in health care, higher education, economic development and tourism. He continues to go back into the field, most recently spending two summers working full time with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Begovich is a member of the American Journalism Historians Association and a member of the Public Relations Division and History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Begovich has gained international distinction by discovering the first known film footage of President Franklin Roosevelt in his wheelchair, using the opportunity to deliver strategic messaging about media portrayals of people with disabilities. Begovich is a resident of Franklin.

Carlson receives emeritus status upon retirement

After 41 years of teaching at Franklin College, David Carlson, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and religion, retired at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. By a vote of the board of trustees of Franklin College, Carlson received emeritus status upon his retirement, and was recognized at Commencement.

Carlson joined the Franklin College faculty in 1978. He originally served as chaplain, a title he held until 1981. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wheaton College, a master’s degree in biblical studies from the American Baptist Seminary of the West and a doctorate in New Testament studies from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In addition, he has conducted post-doctoral studies at Duke University on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and at Indiana University.

Over the course of his long career at Franklin, Carlson earned numerous honors, including the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 1987 and the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence in both 1995 and in 2009. He is a former chair of the philosophy and religion department.

Carlson is also the author of several books, including Peace Be With You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World, which was selected as one of the Best Books of 2011 in the area of Spiritual Living by Library Journal. He is also the author of the Christopher Worthy/Father Fortis mystery series. He regularly contributes columns to local newspapers as well. Carlson is a resident of Franklin.

Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED May 23, 2019