Outstanding professors and other members of the Lafayette community were honored tonight for distinguished teaching, scholarly research, and service to the College at the annual pre-Commencement awards dinner.
President Alison Byerly, Provost Abu Rizvi, and Edward Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees, presented awards and citations.
Rizvi announced the appointments for six endowed chairs. Effective starting in the 2015-16 academic year, positions such as these are the highest academic honor given to a faculty member.
Byerly recognized Susan Niles, professor of anthropology and sociology, and Erol Ulucakli, associate professor of mechanical engineering, who are retiring and will be elected to emeritus status.
Nine other faculty members retired at the end of the fall 2014 semester and have been awarded emeritus status. They are:
Also, nine members of the administration have retired this academic year. They are:
Ahart recognized trustee Alan Griffith ’64, who will be elected to emeritus status and will receive the Lafayette Medal for Distinguished Service. Also leaving the board is Brent Glass ’69, who is retiring after 10 years as a term trustee, and Paul McCurdy ’82, who is concluding a five-year term as alumni trustee.
Ahart also announced that Harry Cherken ’68, Kevin Mandia ’92, Cynthia Paige ’83, and Pamela Passman ’83 will be elected to the board. They will begin five-year terms July 1.
The evening featured the awarding of prizes in recognition of exceptional teaching, scholarship, and service to Lafayette. The awards are funded through designated gifts to the endowment.
Marquis Distinguished Teaching Awards for distinctive and extraordinary teaching went to Lauren Anderson, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Steve Belletto, associate professor of English; Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures; and Lijuan Xu, instruction coordinator in Skillman Library. An endowed fund established by Walter A. Scott ’59 and his wife, Kate, provides for four annual awards.
Bruce Murphy, Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights, received the Mary Louise Van Artsdalen Prize for outstanding scholarly achievement. The award was established by Dr. Ervin R. Van Artsdalen ’35 in memory of his wife.
David Stifel, associate professor of economics, is the recipient of the James E. Lennertz Prize for Exceptional Teaching and Mentoring. Established by Leslie F. Muhlfelder ’81, the College’s vice president for human resources and general counsel, the award honors Lennertz for his exceptional teaching, devotion to students, and extraordinary ability to challenge students to realize their full intellectual potential.
Ethan Berkove, professor of mathematics, is the recipient of the Delta Upsilon Distinguished Mentoring and Teaching Award. The award was established in 2000 by alumni of the Lafayette chapter of Delta Upsilon fraternity on the 115th anniversary of its founding. It recognizes members of the faculty for distinctive and extraordinary teaching through mentoring, which may include advising, undergraduate research, independent study, or any of the many one-on-one mentoring activities that take place in a student-centered learning environment.
The B. Vincent Viscomi Engineering Prize for Excellence in Mentoring and Teaching was awarded to Polly Piergiovanni, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Viscomi, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering, taught at the College for 41 years, including 14 as head of civil engineering.
Jennifer Talarico, associate professor psychology, received the Carl R. and Ingeborg Beidleman Research Award recognizing excellence in applied research or scholarship. The prize was established by Carl R. Beidleman ’54, professor emeritus of finance at Lehigh University, and his wife, Ingeborg.
Ed Kerns, Clapp Professor of Art, and Suzanne Westfall, professor of English and director of the arts, received the James P. Crawford Award. Established by Jonathan Bernon ’84, the prize rewards a faculty member who has demonstrated a high standard of classroom instruction. The award honors the late James Crawford, who taught in the Department of Mathematics from 1957 to 2003.
Jamila Bookwala, professor of psychology, received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to campus life.
Ian Smith, professor of English, received the Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Award for superior teaching and scholarly contribution to his discipline.
Ingrid Furniss, assistant professor of art, and Carrie Rohman, assistant professor of English, received Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Awards in recognition of excellence in teaching and scholarship. Each will deliver a featured lecture during the 2015-16 academic year.
Also recognized were this year’s Jones Faculty Lecturers, Christopher Phillips, assistant professor of English, and Rebekah Pite, assistant professor of history.
Julia Nicodemus, assistant professor of engineering studies, received the John T. McCartney Excellence in Diversity Education Award.
Michael Butler, assistant professor of biology, and Joel Shelton, visiting assistant professor of government and law, are the recipients of Student Government Superior Teaching Awards.
Stephen Schafer, associate vice president for finance & administration, received the Cyrus S. Fleck Jr. ’52 Administrator of the Year Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the campus community. Cy Fleck, for whom the award, instituted in 2002, is named, served Lafayette as an administrator for more than four decades, including 32 years as registrar.
Emily Schneider, executive assistant to the provost, is the recipient of the Gary A. Evans Administrative Prize, presented to an administrator or staff member who has provided a high level of service to the College, its alumni, or students over a substantial period of time. The award was established by an alumnus in tribute to the extraordinary service of Gary A. Evans ’57 to Lafayette over more than three decades, including positions as director of admissions, vice president for college relations and development, and executive assistant to the president.
The members of the150th Lafayette-Lehigh/Campaign Kick-Off in New York City Task Force received the Daniel H. Weiss Award for Leadership and Vision. Established by Michael LeWitt ’70 and Lynne LeWitt P’13, the award is presented annually to a Lafayette-related individual or group of individuals who have demonstrated leadership and vision.
The recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes sustained, distinguished performance by members of the support staff, plant operations, public safety, and administrative staff, are Allison Blatt, operations director for the Williams Center; Nanette Cooley, interim director of Career Services; Simona Glaus, administrative assistant for dean of advising; and Brad Potts, director of sports performance. Blatt, Cooley, and Potts were recognized this evening. Glaus will receive her award at an event later this year.
Fran O’Hanlon, head men’s basketball coach, received the Maroon Club Athletic Staff Achievement Award. The award is given to a full-time athletics department staff member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the College and its athletics program.
Seven faculty members and eight administrators were honored for 25 years of service to Lafayette:
Seven faculty members received Joseph Johnson Hardy Memorial Fund Awards. The award was established in 1923 by Harry S. Gay 1882 in memory of Professor Hardy, who taught mathematics and astronomy at Lafayette from 1870 to 1915. The income from this fund is divided annually among the five members of the faculty who have achieved the longest continuous service to Lafayette without regard to rank. Honored were:
Elaine Stomber, associate College archivist, received the Daniel L. Golden ’34 Faculty Service Award in recognition of distinguished service to Lafayette through the Alumni Association and alumni activities.
A number of faculty promotions will take effect with the 2015-16 academic year. The following have been promoted to associate professor with tenure: Ingrid Furniss (art), Carrie Rohman (English), and Lauren Anderson ’04 (chemical and biomolecular engineering). Justin Corvino (mathematics), Laurie Caslake (biology), Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci (Spanish), Ida Sinkevic (art), and David Stifel (economics) have been promoted to full professor.