Centenary College history professor wins lifetime service award

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Sam Shepherd, professor of history at Centenary, was honored with the Louisiana Historical Association (LHA)’s Garnie W. McGinty Lifetime Meritorious Service Award at the association’s annual meeting held March 28 through 31 in Lafayette. The McGinty Award recognizes distinguished contributions in the fields of teaching, scholarship, or service, both to the LHA and to the history profession as a whole. Shepherd plans to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.

The announcement and presentation of the McGinty Award was eloquently made by Centenary alumna Dr. Virginia Elaine Thompson ’94, associate professor of history at Louisiana Tech University. Thompson praised her former professor as “the epitome of the undergraduate educator,” highlighting his versatility in the classroom and especially his work in Centenary’s history senior seminar, where he “…takes eager young students of history and molds them into historians.”

“He has started many students down the path to a rewarding professional career in this course, including me,” shared Thompson. “What began as a research paper in his senior seminar became my dissertation, and later, my first book.”

Shepherd’s contributions to the LHA include serving as president in 2004-2005 and as a member of numerous committees. Following in the footsteps of her teacher and mentor, Thompson was elected as LHA president for 2019-2020 at this meeting. Another Centenary history graduate, Dr. Nathaniel G. Means ’95, was elected to the LHA board of directors. Means is professor of history at North Lake College in Texas.

The LHA meeting also gave a current Centenary history major a chance to present original research completed in Shepherd’s senior seminar in fall 2018. Amberlee Nix presented her research paper, “No Ordinary Time: Centenary College Women and World War II” at the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Regional Conference, which meets concurrently with the LHA.