What I'd Like for You to Know About Me – Fall 2012
Stan A. Napper
I am entering my 29th year on the faculty of Louisiana Tech University and my 9th year as Dean of the College of Engineering and Science. I must bleed red and blue because my B.S. and Ph.D. degrees are from Louisiana Tech University (in Biomedical Engineering). I love my profession, this institution, and this community. I love being a professor because I enjoy the interaction with undergraduate and graduate students. I enjoy seeing the transitions and the maturing that occurs in college. I like to teach, especially using cooperative and active learning methods. I like being involved in research (some basic and some applied). I like being involved in service activities through student organizations (like Tau Beta Pi, Biomedical Engineering Society, and Alpha Eta Mu Beta), through administration, and through various professional organizations (e.g. American Society for Engineering Education, ABET). I like making a difference in the lives of individuals.
I am called the Thigpen Professor, in honor of one my esteemed predecessors, Dean Jack Thigpen. As a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, my early research was in mathematical modeling of physiological systems but my later research was in engineering education and in exploring applications of artificial intelligence in biomedical engineering. Projects have included expert systems for prescription of assistive devices (in augmentative communication and in adaptive driving), cognitive orthoses, and AI-based ECG arrhythmia diagnosis. To support this work, and in collaboration with others, I have been able to obtain over $5M in external funds for Louisiana Tech, and publish 44 professional articles. My primary professional goals now are to increase the ability of our College to serve students through excellent education and research. I believe this will be achieved through continued innovation in our educational programs (e.g. integrated curricula and project-driven learning) and in our research programs (providing opportunities for direct experience and for additional funding for students). This has led to an increased level of national prominence for Louisiana Tech University.
My wife, Vicki, has studied long and hard for her demanding profession and I consider her the ultimate career woman. She is a homemaker, loving wife and mother; we have been married for 32 years. We have six sons and two daughters. Samuel is 27, graduated from La Tech with a BS in Finance, and works as a Credit/Risk Analyst for Community Trust Bank here in Ruston. He is also pursuing an MBA at Louisiana Tech. Joseph is 24, completed his bachelorŐs degree from Tech, and is now enrolled in seminary in New Orleans. Beverly Ann and Adam (twins) are almost 22 and both are students at Louisiana Tech. Beverly Ann is taking a year off to travel and minister with Life Action Ministries. Adam works at Backus True Value Hardware and should graduate with his BS in Finance in 2013. Aaron is twenty and also a student at La Tech; he is also taking a year off to travel and minister with Life Action Ministries. Daniel is 17 (11th grade), and Mary Suzanne is thirteen and a half (8th grade). We are teaching them at home, which is one of the greatest privileges, responsibilities, and joys that you could know. Our oldest son, Benjamin, went to heaven ahead of us (May 2002, head-on collision with 18-wheeler). He was a wonderful friend and helper to me and to his siblings. He was 19 and a sophomore here at Tech.
I would also like for you to know that, as important as my profession is to me, and as much as I love my family, my priority and devotion is to God. The support, the hope, the source of my life is found in the Word of God (Holy Bible) and in my personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Because I am able to personally confirm that God is real, alive, active, and true (even in the hardest of days), my view of the world is entirely Christian. My desire is to represent Him well and to demonstrate His love and all the fruit of the Holy Spirit. My family participates in worship and other activities at Cook Baptist Church. Cook has been a second family and home for us; ministering with us and to us for over 30 years (www.cookbc.com).