Faculty, administrators, and trustees gathered May 16 for a celebratory evening to honor the extraordinary achievements of colleagues throughout the 2023-24 academic year. President Nicole Hurd; D. Christian McCumber ’89, trustee; Forrest Stuart, vice president for enrollment management; Sherryta Freeman, director of athletics; Ernest Jeffries, vice president for inclusion; and John Meier, provost, presented awards to the honorees.

Below is a selection of images from the event and details about those who were honored.


Administrator Retirees 

  • Arlina DeNardo, director of leadership initiatives and senior development officer, Development and College Relations
  • Amy Gordon, users services specialist, Information Technology Services
  • Karen Howell, associate director, Recreation Services
  • Jeffrey Metz, senior associate director, Financial Aid
  • Rebecca “Becky” Rosenbaur ’84, director, Computer Graphics Lab, Information Technology Services
  • Pamela Murray, digital collections librarian, Skillman Library


Faculty Retirees

  • Jamila Bookwala, professor of psychology
  • Rosie Marie Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics 
  • Evan Fisher, professor of mathematics
  • Robert Mattison, Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Art 
  • John Nestor, professor of electrical and computer engineering
  • Michael O’Neill, professor of theater
  • Polly Piergiovanni, Air Products/Ghasemi Chair in Engineering for Interdisciplinary Teaching
  • Andrew Vinchur, Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology 
  • Skip (Walter) Wilkins, professor of music
  • John Meier, David M. ’70 and Linda Roth Professor of Mathematics and provost



Cyrus S. Fleck Jr. ’52 Administrator of the Year Prize

The Cyrus S. Fleck Jr. ’52 Administrator of the Year Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to the campus community by members of the Lafayette administrative team. 

  • Louise Frazier, associate director, Admissions 

President Hurd shared: “Louise’s colleagues say, ‘No one on campus deserves this recognition more than Louise.’ Louise’s efforts are evident in her care and concern for students and her perspective on access and equity. Louise tirelessly works to support our students when they arrive through the Team Success Program.”

  • Tingting Kang, director of English for Academic Purposes Center, Office of Advising and Co-Curricular Programs

President Hurd shared: “Dr. Kang has demonstrated a strong level of collaboration with different offices, departments, and institutions to promote cultural exchange and campus inclusivity. She has partnered with many administrators and faculty members from various departments, as well as other international student educators, to develop curriculums, programs, and conferences for international students and to promote diversity and inclusion in the community.”

Gary A. Evans Administrative Prize

This award is presented to an administrator or staff member who has provided a high level of service to the College, our alumni, or students over a substantial period of time.

  • Ana Ramirez Luhrs, co-director of College Archives and Distinctive Collections

President Hurd shared: “Ana’s care and concern for every person she interacts with are well known throughout the Lafayette community. She is collegial and fair-minded. She has recently worked on the Diversity Committee and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, where she co-chaired the Connecting Beyond Lafayette working group. Her dedication to students and alumni from the Posse program is remarkable. Ana is a valued librarian on campus and a very active member of the Easton community through the Easton Area Public Library and the Friends of Historic Easton Cemetery.”

Daniel H. Weiss Award for Leadership and Vision

This award is presented annually to a Lafayette-related individual or group of individuals who have demonstrated leadership and vision. 

  • Financial Aid Team

Forrest Stuart shared: “Never once did the Lafayette College financial aid team say, ‘Well, we just can’t do anything.’ They are a solutions-oriented group. Lafayette’s reputation has been heightened by their commitment to every person and family. I have never recommended an entire team for an award in my 35 years of higher education experience. I did this year, and congratulate all of you on earning this award.”

Lafayette College Distinguished Service Award 

Introduced in 2008, this award is presented annually to one or more employees from among the administration, support staff, or plant operations. 

  • Arlina DeNardo, executive director of leadership initiatives and senior development officer, Development and College Relations 

President Hurd shared: “Arlina has given 35 years of service to Lafayette College and exceeds the description of the Distinguished Service Award. Arlina is sought out for advice by our colleagues in our division, key partners across campus, and our external constituencies.”

  • George Rupple, custodian, Finance and Administration 

President Hurd shared: “George is an invaluable member of our team, tirelessly dedicating himself to ensuring the cleanliness, safety, and overall functionality of Farinon College Center. George’s commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of his work.”

  • Joyce Wallace, office assistant, Williams Center for the Arts 

President Hurd shared: “Joyce has been the rock of the Performance Series. Joyce is the joyful and supportive keeper of administration knowledge. She is always positive and eager to do a job well done.”

  • Judy Reed, budget manager, Finance and Administration 

President Hurd shared: “Judy has been the go-to person within the department. Judy has extensive knowledge of policies and procedures, and a breadth of knowledge that she doesn’t hesitate to share across campus, which has allowed her to be a critically important resource for the College.”   

  • Karen Yaskanin-Jones, human resources and tuition coordinator, Finance and Administration

President Hurd shared: “In Karen’s time with the College, she has totally upgraded the role of her position. When projects arise, Karen does not hesitate to lend her expertise or jump in to share the workload. Karen has developed processes and implemented the use of technology to best support them. Karen is a resource for DocuSign and is always willing to help others use the tool.”

Maroon Club Athletic Staff Achievement Award

This honor is awarded to a full-time Athletics Department staff member who has demonstrated outstanding service to Lafayette College and our athletics program. This award is the highest honor the Maroon Club can bestow upon an athletics staff member.

  • Steve Plunkett, director of strength and conditioning

Sherryta Freeman shared: “Steve works tirelessly to push our student-athletes to their limits and beyond in the weight room. He has an unbelievable rapport with the student-athletes and builds long-lasting relationships with them. During senior exit interviews, students express gratitude and admiration for his commitment to developing both physical and mental strength. To make sure all 23 teams are accommodated in the weight room, Steve’s days start early in the morning and last well into the evening. As a colleague, he brings positive vibes to our department as he is friendly, personable, and funny. Steve, you are truly deserving of the Maroon Club honor.”



Nine faculty members have been promoted to associate professor with continuous tenure effective in academic year 2024-25:

  • Michael Bertucci, chemistry 
  • Daniel Griffith, chemistry
  • Amy Guisinger, economics
  • Hafsa Kanjwal, history
  • Allison Lewis, mathematics
  • Hongxing Liu, economics
  • David Mante, civil and environmental engineering
  • Carlos Tavares, anthropology and sociology
  • Joy Zhou, mathematics

Six members of the faculty have been promoted to the rank of professor, also effective at the start of the next academic year:

  • Michael Nees, psychology
  • Seo-Hyun Park, government and law
  • Megan Rothenberger, biology
  • Joshua Smith, mechanical engineering
  • David Sunderlin, geology and environmental geosciences
  • Ge (Frank) Xia, computer science

Joseph Johnson Hardy Awards

This honors the five faculty who have achieved the longest continuous service, without regard to rank:

  • Howard Schneiderman, professor, anthropology and sociology (51 years)
  • Ilan Peleg, Charles A. Dana Professor of Government and Law (50 years)
  • Rosie Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics (44 years)
  • Clifford Reiter, professor, mathematics (41 years)
  • Nancy Waters, associate professor, biology (39 years)

Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Lecture Awards

These awards are presented annually to faculty in recognition of their teaching and scholarship. Each recipient presents a lecture on their research during the upcoming academic year.

  • Melissa Gordon, associate professor, chemical and biomolecular engineering

Meier shared: “Professor Gordon has remarkable skill in presenting her students with clear and detailed content that engages them. A particular strength in demonstrating real world applications, she makes content approachable and digestible to students regardless of their learning style. Her robust research agenda, supported by NSF grants, is wide-ranging and pertinent to the advancement of technology in various fields.”

  • Hafsa Kanjwal, assistant professor, history 

Meier shared: “Professor Kanjwal has a particular strength in exploring theoretical frameworks and interweaving them with the study of history. Her teaching is inherently linked to her own research program, which is presented in a manner that challenges students with globally-oriented, multilayered, and multiperspective opportunities to study the past.”

Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Award

This award is presented to a member of the faculty judged by colleagues to be a superior teacher/scholar.

  • Laurie Caslake, professor, biology

Meier shared: “Professor Caslake’s work to build an inclusive biology classroom for all students is commendable. A teacher-scholar model, her approach to mentoring and her willingness to teach errant sections of courses, bringing in student co-authors on publications and presentations, and her highly collaborative scholarship efforts show she is indeed a champion of teaching and research.”

Carl R. and Ingeborg Beidleman Research Award Fund

  • Dru Germanoski, professor, geology and environmental geosciences

Meier shared: “Professor Germanoski is renowned across the country for his contributions in applied research in earth surface processes, including the Bushkill Creek watershed, and is a respected voice here in Easton and the Lehigh Valley. He is actively pursued to present at workshops and has earned the status of being a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Indeed, he exemplifies the teacher-scholar model.”

Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching 

  • Tim Laquintano, associate professor, English 

Meier shared: “Professor Laquintano’s approach to AI literacy not only engages and teaches students, but he disseminates his knowledge to teach his colleagues as well. Professor Laquintanto invented more than a dozen new writing assignments, regularly tests new language models, and keeps up with the latest and greatest technology, clearly presenting courses that are engaging and challenging.”

 Vincent Viscomi Engineering Prize for Excellence in Mentoring and Teaching

This award is given to a member of the engineering faculty who has most exemplified outstanding mentoring and teaching.

  • Joshua Smith, professor, mechanical engineering

Meier shared: “A curriculum builder with dynamic awareness to the needs of his students, Professor Smith is a successful mentor who has 13 of his students among his co-authors. Students love Professor Smith and praise his help in guidance in their academic and nonacademic pursuits. As was said by a colleague as part of his promotion review, if there was a ‘faculty Pepper Prize,’ Professor Josh Smith would surely deserve it.”

James P. Crawford Award

This award honors a professor demonstrating a high standard of classroom instruction.

  • Alexander Brown, associate professor, mechanical engineering 

Meier shared: “Professor Brown is an intentional teacher and researcher, grounding every topic in tangible need so that students are motivated to understand the material. This reflective and thoughtful pedagogical approach drove him to design, fabricate, and develop portable workstations for the fall 2020 fully remote course offering.” 

Delta Upsilon Distinguished Mentoring and Teaching Award

This award recognizes faculty members for distinctive and extraordinary teaching through mentoring.

  • Andrew Clarke, assistant professor, government and law 

Meier shared: “Professor Clarke has shown tremendous initiative in creating the Gov Lab, which provides students opportunities to engage in research as well as leadership and management experience to EXCEL Scholars. Professor Clarke, having a consistent record of advising, is considered an approachable professor whom students know cares about them and their success. 

Ann V. McGillicuddy-De Lisi Faculty Academic Adviser of the Year 

This award honors Ann V. McGillicuddy-DeLisi, a beloved member of the Lafayette faculty who had a tremendous impact on her students and colleagues. 

  • Rosie Bukics, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Economics  

Meier shared: “Professor Bukics is an academic adviser extraordinaire! She has a no-nonsense approach that allows her to push her advisees—and any other student who falls in her orbit—to be their best selves.” 

James E. Lennertz Prize for Exceptional Teaching and Mentoring

  • Arielle Mensch, assistant professor, chemistry

Meier shared: “Despite starting her career in the height of remote instruction, Professor Mensch established herself in the department and fostered a strong connection with the students. She is a dedicated research mentor, who is consistently offering informal and formal advising to students. She not only shares her passion for her field but leaves her students with appreciation for it.”

Mary Louise Van Artsdalen Award

  • Paul Barclay, professor, history 

Meier shared: “Professor Barclay, a celebrated historian, is dedicated to linking the research he undertakes with his teaching. His work facilitates the College’s goals of active participation in a more thoughtful and engaged global world, which includes conducting rigorous research on the City of Easton.”

  • Manuel Ospina-Giraldo, associate professor, biology

Meier shared: “Professor Ospina-Giraldo is recognized for his scholarly contributions on genome annotation and the potential role of molecules in pathogenicity. He has been Co-PI on at least five external grants: three from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one from the National Science Foundation, and one from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.”

Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award(s)

  • Christa Kelleher, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering
  • Jennifer Kelly, associate professor, music
  • Elaine Reynolds, professor, biology 
  • Caroline Séquin, assistant professor, history

Provost Meier shared: 

“Assistant Professor Christa Kelleher, a Lafayette alum and a recipient of the Kohout Early Career Award from the Hydrogeology Division of the Geological Society of America, of the College, utilizes her professional connections to incorporate top approaches and tools into course content. She designs courses with intention and promotes learning by emphasizing teamwork and collaboration, empowering students to learn problem-solving skills as they learn content.”

“Associate Professor Jennifer Kelly is the author of In Her Own Words: Conversations with Composers in the United States. She is an active guest conductor and clinician, with ‘her ensembles known for their energy, dynamic versatility, innovative programming, and impactful storytelling.’ She has been awarded a variety of grants, including one from the Hearst Foundation, to develop new commission projects and, as former Director of the Arts, to serve the arts at Lafayette.”

“Professor Reynolds takes to heart pedagogical innovation and pushes students as well as herself to achieve excellence in the classroom. She ensures that all students have the support and resources they need to succeed. She has taught over 170 research students on projects aimed at using computational tools to model neurosystems, exploring causes and treatments of epilepsy, and the intersection of art, neuroscience, and food.”

“Assistant Professor Séquin offers a student-centered teaching approach that empowers students to develop their critical thinking and self-reflection skills. She is intentional in engaging students, helping them develop transferable skills that aid their professional development, furthering their ability to sharpen their ability to see history with a new set of eyes.” 

John T. McCartney Excellence in Diversity Education Award

This recognition is sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Development and the dean of Advising and Co-Curricular Programs, and is presented to a faculty member or an administrator whose commitment and service to diversity on campus promotes awareness and a positive learning environment for all students. 

  • Caroline Lee, professor, anthropology and sociology

Student Government Association Superior Teaching Awards 

Humanities and Social Sciences 

  • Joseph Shieber, professor, philosophy (posthumously)

Natural Sciences and Engineering 

  • Christa Kelleher, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering

Distinguished Leadership in Community-Based Teaching and Research 

  • Nandini Sikand, professor and chair, film and media studies

Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Engagement Pedagogy 

  • Elaine Reynolds, professor, biology

Ilan Peleg Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award 

Chip Nataro, chemistry  

Eric Ziolkowski, religious studies



  • Daniel Sabatino, associate professor, mechanical engineering, has been reappointed as the Robert W. Adenbaum ’49 Scholar in Entrepreneurial Studies.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Sabatino brings an entrepreneurial spirit, both in his scholarship and in his teaching. His commitment to student learning is evident in both his intellectual challenge and personal encouragement that he offers his students.” 

  • Markus Dubischar, associate provost and associate professor, has been reappointed as the Charles Elliott Scholar of Latin and Greek.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Dubischar is a scholar of both Greek and Latin. Perhaps his work on Greek tragedy has proven to be helpful in his administrative roles at the College, including his work as our liaison to the Middle States accrediting commission.”

  • Megan Fernandes, associate professor, English, has been reappointed as the Writer-in-Residence Scholar, a role that is funded by the Francis March Endowment. 

Provost Meier shared: “A widely published poet, Professor Fernandes has authored two published books and co-authored another.”

  • David Sunderlin, professor, geology and geosciences, has been appointed the new recipient of the John H. Markle Professorship.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Sunderlin is a transformative teacher and mentor which is evident with the number of awards that he has received such as Faculty All-Star Award, James Crawford Award, and the Exemplary Teaching Award. He is equally adept at teaching in the classroom and in the field, and he has a particular strength in mentoring. He has supervised dozens of honors thesis students and EXCEL Scholars. It is no surprise that many of his students refer to him as a ‘rock god.’”

  • David Brandes, professor, civil and environmental engineering, has been appointed the Air Products/Seifollah Ghasemi Chair in Engineering for Interdisciplinary Teaching.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Brandes has taught many different courses in civil and environmental engineering, and those outside the department. He balances the priorities in multiple areas well, such as building innovative courses, chairing and supporting the Integrative Engineering Program, mentoring research students, and advising students in both civil engineering and environmental studies. With research expertise in hydrology and hydraulics and in movement ecology of raptors, he has an extensive record of collaborative scholarly work, including dozens of refereed journal publications in both those areas as well as book chapters presented at many conferences. He was just recently announced as a leader for a multidisciplinary sustainability project based on an island off the coast of Brazil that was purchased by Fernando Lee, from Lafayette’s Class of 1924.”

  • David Nice, professor, physics, has been appointed the Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Nice endeavors to make all of his classes accessible to all students and encourages women toward STEM careers. He led an effort to reformulate the physics introductory course sequence and recently redeveloped astrophysics, making it accessible to a wider range of students. He uses his co-teaching opportunities wisely, working closely with new faculty members while mentoring them. He has a heavy advising load and meets with all of his students a few times each semester. He is recognized in the field as an international expert in the field of pulsar astronomy and successfully incorporates his students into his research program.”

  • Lisa Gabel, dean, natural sciences, has been appointed the William C. ’67 and Pamela Rappolt Professor in Neuroscience.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Gabel’s research on early detection for developmental dyslexia has resulted in a patent. She conducts research in brain interface technology and has been a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. She was a recipient of several grants and fellowships, most recently from the National Institutes of Health for this research in unlocking the code for early detection of reading disorders, and the Lee Pesky Learning Center Foundation for examining cognitive performance of individuals with developmental dyslexia.”

  • Jennifer Talarico, professor and department head, psychology, has been appointed the Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Psychology.

Provost Meier shared: “Professor Talarico regularly contributes to the psychology curriculum and is an outstanding model for a Lafayette teacher-scholar, mentoring over 60 research students. Her research on autobiographical memory has appeared in top-tier journals, has been cited nearly 3,000 times, and she has given multiple commentaries in well-known media outlets. She serves as department head and has served on the Promotion, Tenure, and Review Committee. She was elected to the governing board of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.”

  • Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci, professor and assistant head, languages and literary studies, has been appointed the Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Languages and Literary Studies.

Provost Meier shared: “A dedicated, creative, and engaging educator, Professor Geoffrion-Vinci brings a students-first approach to her teaching. She has designed and instructed courses in Spanish, directed several honors thesis students and independent studies, and is a valued adviser to her students and colleagues alike.”


Faculty Board Service Recognition

The following faculty associates served on board committees and completed their terms this year:

  • Adam Biener, Audit Committee
  • Ben Jahre, Educational Policy Committee
  • Elaine Reynolds, Educational Policy Committee
  • David Brandes, Financial Policy Committee
  • Lawrence Malinconico, Financial Policy Committee
  • Stephen Kurtz, Grounds and Buildings Committee
  • Eric Ho, Grounds and Buildings Committee


Categorized in: Academic News, Faculty and Staff, Featured News, News and Features

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