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History professor Fernandez awarded 2010 Dux Academicus Award

Loyola press release - January 24, 2011

Professor of history Mark F. Fernandez, Ph.D., was awarded Loyola University New Orleans’ top faculty honor, the 2010 Dux Academicus Award, during Faculty and Staff Convocation on Friday, Jan. 21.

The award is the highest honor a professor can receive for excellence in teaching and scholarship. It recognizes a faculty member who “is able to impart the knowledge and wisdom of the humanities, sciences or the professions to students in a manner consistent with the unique philosophy of Loyola University New Orleans as a Jesuit institution of higher education.”

Fernandez, who has been a member of the faculty since 1992, was nominated by colleagues, students and former students who submitted letters describing his teaching style and his contributions to his field. In one recommendation letter, a former student wrote of Fernandez’s passion for teaching, dedication to students and immense knowledge of history.

“I have rarely encountered a scholar of his magnitude and intelligence, or a teacher of his skill and compassion,” said Rachel L. Henderson ‘08. “Dr. Fernandez transformed my interest in the story of history into a true passion.”

His colleagues wrote of his service to Loyola and his commitment as a teacher. They also noted his contributions as an active historian who has helped to redefine scholarship in the field of history.

“I feel humbled to be included among the list of previous Dux Academicus honorees,” said Fernandez after receiving the award from Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “I'm extremely proud and honored to share the title with my colleagues in the Department of History who have received the award in previous years, especially Fr. James J. Pillar, O.M.I., who's position I filled after retirement, and my dear friends Sr. Mary Grace Swift, O.S.U., Bernie Cook, and Nancy Anderson.”

A native New Orleanian, Fernandez received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of New Orleans and his doctorate from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. His recent scholarly activities include “A Law unto Itself?: Essays in the New Louisiana Legal History” and “From Chaos to Continuity: Evolution of Louisiana's Judicial System, 1712-1862,” which won the Louisiana Literary Award from the Louisiana Library Association in 2002.

He also served as guest editor for the Journal of the West's 2004 Louisiana Purchase edition. In 1993 and 1997, Fernandez received grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to direct summer institutes for teachers. He received a commendation from the American Association for State and Local History for his 1997 summer institute, "New Orleans through Its Sources."

In 1999, Fernandez received one of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Special Humanities Awards for his work with the summer institutes. He is a past president of the Louisiana Historical Association and a board member of the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival.

For more information, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.