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MSU recognizes faculty and staff with 2022 Distinguished Service Awards

2022 Distinguished Service Awards PictureMorehead State faculty has announced the recipients of the 2022 Distinguished Service Awards, which recognize faculty and staff for their service to the campus community and their fields of study.     

Craig Dennis, Eagle Success Program Coordinator, was awarded the Distinguished Staff Service Award. Dr. Robyn Moore, associate professor of photography, received the Distinguished Creative Productions Award. Dr. Janet Ratliff (Class of 1991, 1992), Elmer and Donna Smith Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor of Management/Entrepreneurship, was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Dr. Lisa Shannon, professor of social work, received the Distinguished Researcher Award.  

A native of West Liberty, Dennis is a three-time graduate of MSU, holding a bachelor’s degree in business management, a master’s degree in adult and higher education with an emphasis in student services and an MBA. He is working on his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky. Craig began his career at MSU in 1989 as a residence hall director and area coordinator in the Office of Student Housing. In 2000, Dennis became the first full-time professional academic advisor to advise MSU's then-named Department of Elementary, Reading, and Special Education in the College of Education. He took on his current role as the Eagle Success Program Coordinator in 2006. Dennis was elected to Staff Congress and served for 12 years, including two terms each as secretary, vice chair and chair. He was also elected and served one term as the MSU Staff Regent. A graduate of the President’s Leadership Academy, he also worked with the MSU Foundation as a unit development officer and co-chair of the Campus Giving Campaign. Dennis has worked closely with several student groups on campus, including being the staff advisor for the MSU Residence Hall Association for five years and campus advisor for Theta Chi Fraternity for 23 years. He is also an Eagle Ally and a mentor with the DREAMS program.   

Dr. Robyn Moore is a photo-media artist and filmmaker originally from Virginia. She joined MSU's Department of Art and Design in 2015. Her research interests include deep time, biosemiotics, geology, phenomenology, empathic imagining and how visibly material photographic practices can encourage new ways of seeing and sensing other beings and landscapes. Moore received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Virginia Tech; an MFA in photography and experimental film from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University; and a Ph.D. in Visual Arts (Photomedia) from Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. Moore's artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the South Australian Museum and the National Archives of Australia; the San Francisco International Film Festival; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Harvard University; and the Houston Center for Photography. This past spring, a series of Dr. Moore's photopolymer gravure etchings was selected as a finalist for the René Carcan International Prize for Printmaking, held in Brussels, Belgium, and was the sole US resident to receive this honor. This fall, Moore's series of landscape etchings titled Being in the Land will be shown in a solo exhibition at the Remarque Print Workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   

Dr. Janet Ratliff earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing in 1991 and a Master of Business Administration in 1992; she received her Ed.D. in Instruction and Administration from the University of Kentucky in 2008. She began her career at MSU in 1992 as an instructor in management before obtaining her current position as Elmer and Donna Smith Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor of Management/Entrepreneurship. Since coming to MSU, Ratliff took 111 students on education abroad experiences to 11 different countries. She was selected to serve on the Standards Business and Education Advisory Panel for Financial Literacy for the State of Kentucky to identify the fundamental content requirements for the mandated high school financial literacy standards. Ratliff designed and organized an annual on-campus business pitch competition and prepared students for state business pitch competitions. She has hosted entrepreneurial competitions throughout southeastern Kentucky for more than 5,000 middle and high school students, who created more than 1,753 student-run businesses. Ratliff has written, received and implemented grants totaling $450,000 and published and presented at 20 national conferences. Last year, she received the Appalachian Teaching Project grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, which she utilized to develop a Level UP course for MSU in partnership with Hazard High School.  

Dr. Lisa Shannon graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2000, later enrolling in UK's Master's in Social Work program. She earned her master’s degree in social work in 2003 before earning a Ph.D. in Social Work from UK in 2007. Shannon gained extensive grant writing experience before coming to MSU in 2010 as a tenure-track assistant professor in social work. She is currently a professor of social work, primarily at MSU Prestonsburg. Her current extramurally funded projects focus on evaluations of community-based substance abuse treatment programs. She is the evaluator for multiple Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) projects examining outcomes associated with community-based services like drug court and other specialty courts and Volunteers of America. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded Shannon to conduct a statewide evaluation of all types of Kentucky specialty courts and multiple BJA-funded evaluations of specific specialty court sites using evidence-based or best practices. Shannon is also a member of the executive committee/board for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, an editorial board member for the "Advancing Justice and Drug Court Review" journals, and a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health. 

For more information, contact the Division of Academic Affairs, at 606-783-2002 or visit

Photo, left to right: MSU awarded 2022 Distinguished Service Awards to faculty and staff at Fall Convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Winners were Dr. Robyn Moore (Distinguished Creative Production), Craig Dennis (Distinguished Staff Service Award), Dr. Lisa Shannon (Distinguished Researcher Award) and Dr. Janet Ratliff (Distinguished Faculty Service Award).