Recipients of the award must meet several criteria that include working with librarians to create assignments that will ensure a positive research experience for students, scheduling information literacy sessions for students and encouraging students to work closely with librarians to further their research.
According to Phifer, more scientific knowledge is available than ever before, but students can’t always trust what is available. Phifer’s students do library research in all courses, including introductory and laboratory courses.
“Evaluating information is harder to do today than it used to be,” he said.
“There is no scarcity of information, but one has to be careful in evaluating what is valid and valuable and what is not. I try to teach students how to evaluate sources including websites, online journals, traditional journals and government publications.”
Phifer was at Duke University before joining the faculty in the Scholars’ College in 1988. A strong advocate of research, Phifer has obtained more than $500,000 in extramural grants.
He has also published in leading scientific journals and made numerous presentations to state, national and international professional conferences.
Phifer was president of Northwestern State’s Faculty Senate in 1999-2000 and 2000-01 and has served on a variety of university committees,including chair of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board for two separate terms.
“I am very honored to receive this award since I knew Fleming very well and respect all that he did for the library and NSU,” said Phifer.
Thomas was director of libraries in at NSU from 2005-09 and was interim director in 2004-05.