University Awards 2000
Intercom Special Section
The Faculty/Staff Recognition
Awards Program luncheon will be held at noon
Faculty Teaching Award
George W. Atherton Award
Alumni Teaching Fellow Award
Excellence in Advising Award
McKay Donkin Award
Administrative Excellence Award
Academic Integration Award
Support Staff Award
Equal Opportunity Award
Five faculty members will receive 1999-2000 Faculty Scholar Medals for Outstanding Achievement.
Londa L. Schiebinger, professor of history of science, will receive the Arts and Humanities Medal; Ross C. Hardison, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and Webb C. Miller, professor of computer science, will share the Life and Health Sciences Medal; Vincent H. Crespi, assistant professor of physics and the Downsbrough professor, earned the Physical Sciences Medal; and Linda M. Collins, professor of human development and family studies and director of the Methodology Center, will receive the Social and Behavioral Sciences Medal.
Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers reviews nominations and selects candidates.
Schiebinger receives this award for her work in defining the field of the history of gender and science as presented in many scholarly papers and her three books, The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern Science (Harvard U. Press, 1991); Nature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science (Beacon Press, 1993); and Has Feminism Changed Science? (Harvard University Press, 1999).
Currently at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin as the first woman historian to hold the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, Schiebinger is internationally recognized for provoking a broad reassessment of the relationship between conceptions of "value-free" science and the role of women in the early modern world.
At Penn State she has received the Roy C. Buck Essay Prize in 1990, The Weiss University Endowed Fellow in Humanities in 1991, the Award for Enhancement of Undergraduate Instruction in 1991 and the Class of 1933 Distinction in the Humanities Award in 1994.
Hardison and Miller share their prize for their collaborative work in developing new computational methods for the analysis of gene structure and function. Their work is embodied in a Web-based computer server, the Globin Gene Server, that has become an international resource for DNA comparisons, hemoglobin mutations and other computer tools and information.
Hardison's research focuses on the molecular basis of gene regulation and evolution. He received a National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award in 1987-1992 and shared an Award in the Special Recognition Program for Collaborative Instructional and Curricular Innovation for the course "Genetic Analysis" in 1998-99. He is an associate editor of Genomics.
Miller's research investigates computer algorithms for molecular biology and he currently focuses on developing algorithms and software for analyzing DNA sequences and related types of data from molecular genetics. He serves on the editorial boards of Gene-COMBIS, Bioinformatics, Journal of Computational Biology and Genome Research.
Crespi is honored for his series of seminal contributions to the field of nanoscale carbon materials, specifically fullerenes and nanotubes. Although a theoretician, he has had strong interaction with experimentation and is a world leader in elucidating the formation and physical properties of carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. His work is promising for the rapidly expanding field of nanotechnology.
Crespi received a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 1998 and an NSF CAREER award in 1999. In 1998 he received a Research Innovation Award. He has been awarded a U.S. patent on novel carbon metals and nanoscale devices. Crespi was recently appointed the Downsbrough Professor of Physics.
Collins receives her award for developing analytical methods for longitudinal research in human development. Her method, Latent Transition Analysis, solves a problem at the heart of the empirical analysis of human development, how to estimate and test models of stage-sequential behavior change.
In 1987, Collins was elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology and in 1995 was president of that society. In 1996 she was named a fellow of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association and in 1997 she was named a fellow of the American Psychological Society. While at the University of Southern California, she received the Psychology Department Mentorship Award and the Psychology Department Teacher of the Year Award. She is associate editor of Prevention Science.
Roger M. Downs, professor of geography, and Jill L. Findeis, associate professor of agricultural economics and demography, have been selected as recipients of the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Downs has been head of the geography department since 1994. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving education at all levels, and his motivational teaching style consistently results in student evaluations among the highest in the department. One of the early winners of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Matthew J. and Anne C. Wilson Teaching Award, Downs generates a high level of loyalty and respect among his students, and his professional involvement and focus on scholarship makes him a source of support and vision for colleagues.
He received his bachelor's degree in 1966 and Ph.D. in 1970 in geography, both from the University of Bristol.
Findeis has been a member of the agriculture faculty since 1982. She has received acclaim from colleagues and students alike for her energetic and stimulating teaching style and involvement outside the classroom. In addition to teaching various undergraduate and graduate courses at Penn State, Findeis has taught in the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Agricultural Sciences. She was previously honored with the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.
She received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1974, a master's degree from the University of Idaho in 1978 and a Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1982, all in agricultural economics.
The Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching recognizes outstanding efforts among Penn State's tenured faculty, employed full-time for at least five years, with undergraduate teaching as a major portion of their duties. Milton S. Eisenhower was president of Penn State from 1950 to 1956.
Del Duca receives faculty award
Louis F. Del Duca, associate dean and professor of law at The Dickinson School of Law, has been chosen to receive the W. LaMarr Kopp Faculty International Achievement Award. This award honors faculty members who have made a noteworthy contribution to Penn State's international mission.
A nationally recognized authority on commercial law, Del Duca has played a key role in establishing Dickinson's LL.M. program for foreign lawyers, which, since 1968, has acquainted hundreds of international students with the Anglo-American legal system.
In 1981, Del Duca, fluent in Italian and well-versed in Italian law, established the law school's summer seminar in Florence, Italy, combining the expertise of American and European faculty. In 1985, he set up a similar "Capitals of Europe" seminar which this summer will be held in seven European cities extending from The Hague to Budapest.
Del Duca is a member of the U.S. Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on International Trade Law and the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law. He also serves as a United States collaborator to the International Institute for Unification of Private Law (Unidroit) in Rome.
Robert F. Nicely Jr., professor of education, is the recipient of The Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by a faculty member who effectively guides and nurtures the collegial and professional development of junior faculty.
The junior faculty noted that Nicely supported, inspired and guided them during their formative years on the Penn State faculty. They said that he provided a model for professionalism and for a balanced approach to faculty responsibilities, was an empathetic listener, a great source of information and went above and beyond in developing a mentoring program for junior faculty in the college. He modeled the integration of teaching, research and scholarship, and service, and helped them to get involved in meaningful integrative activities.
Holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies, Nicely teaches graduate courses including the colloquium for new doctoral students, contemporary school curriculum, curriculum evaluation, and issues and trends in school programs. He supervises the internship in education administration, and supervises master's and doctoral research theses.
He previously has served in several administrative roles in the College of Education, including acting dean and associate dean with major responsibilities for continuing and distance education and other outreach programs.
Nicely has been recognized for outstanding research, leadership, publications and service by a number of state and national professional organizations, and in 1994 received the Penn State Vice President's Award for "the highest standards of quality, leadership and vision in the organization and administration of Continuing and Distance Education."
Bruce E. Ellis, administrative director of undergraduate programs in the Smeal College of Business Administration, will receive the Staff Excellence Award. It is presented to a staff member who has demonstrated, practiced and provided leadership in the philosophy of continuous quality improvement, team spirit and managerial excellence.
Among the technological and administrative innovations he has established, is the transformation in the college Advising Center to accommodate services for an increase of 2,700 students over the past five years. He also introduced electronic scheduling and communications systems, trained staff, and was instrumental in getting private funds to create a computer-based advising area. His "Academic Advising Plan," which he prepared for the University Advising Council, also has won praise.
Ellis has been a long-time member and served
as chair of the Undergraduate Recruitment Subcommittee of the Equal Opportunity
Planning Committee. He also is known for his commitment to youth, including
having been on the board of the Centre County Youth
Edgar P. Yoder, professor of agriculture and extension education in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Gordon W. Blood, professor and head of the department of communications disorders in the College of Health and Human Development, are the recipients of the Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.
Yoder, well known for his "open door" policy for students and colleagues, arranges for study groups to meet with him to discuss coursework and for review sessions, an especially helpful strategy for international students who often are in their first semester and coping with language and culture adjustments.
One of his doctoral students praised his ability "to engage the adept without alienating the slow learner." More than 100 of his advisees are employed in major universities and corporations, and seven have won the prestigious Kozak Phi Delta Kappa Leadership and Research Award.
In sheer numbers, Blood has served as a remarkable role model for junior and senior colleagues. He has taught 35 different courses since he began teaching 21 years ago. He has directed 74 research papers, theses and dissertations during his teaching career. At Penn State, he single-handedly revised the graduate practicum courses for student externship in speech pathology and taught that course for five years.
Among his teaching innovations was to design three-week intensive courses for the summer sessions in the area of swallowing disorders. He received no release time or extra compensation for these activities. He also has crafted a clinical course for educating graduate students in the treatment of stuttering.
The Graduate Faculty Teaching Award recognizes tenured faculty members who have excelled both in teaching at the graduate level and in supervising thesis work of graduate students.
Four University faculty members will receive the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.
They are: Robin G. Becker, associate professor of English and women's studies, University Park; John C. McWilliams, associate professor of history, Penn State DuBois; Wayne J. McMullen, associate professor of speech communication, Penn State Delaware County; and Arthur C. Miller, professor of civil engineering, University Park.
Becker, a nationally recognized poet, is honored for her selfless efforts to help students excel in writing. She is described by students and colleagues alike as a demanding yet generous teacher who uses her contacts with the literary community to find outlets for her students' work.
She encourages her students to see themselves and each other as artists learning their craft. As a teacher, she respects the dynamic relationship between the imagination and the trained mind and nurtures both aspects in her students.
Most of all, Becker wants her students to write better through constant writing, reading and critical analysis -- and they rise to meet the high level of her expectations because of her attentiveness. Many of her students rate her courses as the best, or among the best, they have ever taken. Although Becker's classes are intense, her warmth of manner and sensitivity make her students feel that they have become an extended family.
McMullen is described by his students and colleagues as a person who goes to extraordinary lengths to carry out his responsibilities as a teacher and adviser. He takes extra measures to make his classes meaningful and effective, and sets high standards that challenge his students in the art and science of communication.
McMullen strives to make abstract concepts so real that they become a part of the students' lived experience, and he does this by implementing active learning strategies in every course that he teaches.
An important key for him is to learn how to connect with students on their level, and this ability to relate to a wide spectrum of students has made him a positive presence on campus. His classes are well organized and are enlivened by his vivid conversational style of lecturing.
In 1997 he was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the Delaware County campus.
McWilliams is honored for his career as a master teacher who challenges his students to learn and grow into responsible citizens. He is described as a caring mentor who guides students to achieve the highest professional quality in their work. His students and colleagues say that his classes are stimulating learning experiences that help develop strong reasoning skills and empathy for fellow citizens.
McWilliams places a strong emphasis on broadening the world view of his students, many of whom have spent their lives in small towns. His students say that learning about his extensive travels -- such as a recent trip to South Africa -- have helped them to appreciate the universal characteristics of the human experience.
In 1987 and 1997, he was named Professor of the Year by the Penn State DuBois Delta Mu Sigma honor society.
Miller's dedication to meeting student needs has had a significant impact on the courses taught within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He believes that teaching goes beyond the classroom -- it encompasses an entire lifestyle.
In keeping with this philosophy, Miller is the organizing force behind numerous student activities and serves as the adviser to the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter.
He teaches teamwork and community spirit as displayed in the projects he has implemented in his classroom. He and his students were actively involved in designing and building bridges at Spring Creek Park, Boalsburg Shrine and Lake Raystown.
Miller's effectiveness as a teacher had previously been recognized by the Penn State Engineering Society, which honored him with the Premier Teaching Award in 1999 and the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1989. He has also been the recipient of several awards for advising and mentoring students and a faculty service award of conferences and institutes from the National Education Association.
The award, named after Penn State's seventh president, was established in 1989 as a continuation of the AMOCO Foundation Award. It honors excellence in undergraduate teaching.
John A. Johnson, professor of psychology at Penn State DuBois, and Michael P. Johnson, associate professor of sociology, women's studies and African and African American studies at University Park, have been named recipients of the Alumni Teaching Fellow Award.
The award was established in 1985 by the Alumni Association, the Undergraduate Student Government and the graduate Student Association to honor distinguished teaching and offer encouragement and incentive for excellent teaching. Recipients are expected to share their talents and expertise with others throughout the University system during the year following the award presentation.
John A. Johnson, who joined the DuBois campus faculty in 1981, has taught 17 undergraduate courses and designed numerous honors seminars and independent studies courses there. He also has worked with graduate students at University Park. He has been a Fellow of the Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning since 1996. In 1997, he was a co-recipient of the Provost's Collaborative and Curricular Innovations Special Recognition Program Award and in 1998 received a first place STAR Project Award from the Jack P. Royer Center for Learning and Academic Technologies.
Michael P. Johnson joined the Penn State University Park faculty in 1972. He is credited with helping to shape the curriculum in sociology and women's studies to address diversity issues. He has taught courses on gender, racism and sexism, close relationships, family sociology and related topics. In 1995 he was honored with the Outstanding Teaching Award in the College of the Liberal Arts.
The University's annual Excellence in Advising Awards will be presented this year to Laura S. Brown, a senior undergraduate studies adviser in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and John J. Coyle, a professor of business administration in the Smeal College of Business Administration.
The award acknowledges excellence in advising, academic and career guidance and assistance to students in decision-making and goal-setting.
Brown, an academic adviser for more than 20 years, believes that advising is a remarkable privilege, and a powerful opportunity to influence the quality of life for students and an impact on their future.
Brown acts as a guide to help students learn new survival skills and successfully navigate the University's policies and procedures. Brown writes and maintains the University Undergraduate Advising Handbook, and has coordinated a series of advising brown-bag lunches for interested faculty and staff at University Park. She joined Penn State in 1974.
Coyle has been actively involved in student advising, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels on an individual basis as well as with student organizations during his 39 years at Penn State.
Advising demands commitment, a broad perspective, and a proactive approach to students, Coyle believes. Each semester Coyle reviews the grades of his advisees and sends them a letter, to offer help if their performance has been unsatisfactory, to encourage those who are doing well but can do better, and to praise those who are doing outstanding work. He also sends a letter of congratulations to students in his classes who earn an "A" and offers to meet with them about their future plans.
In the future, Coyle hopes to expand his advising activities through some small-group, brown-bag lunches with different groups of students.
Coyle joined Penn State as a faculty member in 1961.
Diane M. Enerson, director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), has been selected as the recipient of the McKay Donkin Award.
Enerson has served as director of CELT since she arrived at Penn State in 1991. Her contributions to the welfare of the faculty as a resource for good teaching and learning practices is recognized across every discipline on campus. Her ability to instill or reawaken an interest in teaching, as well as her love of the University, have made her an invaluable component of Penn State's teaching mission.
She received a B.S. in food technology from Penn State in 1968; a master's degree in special education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976; and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Chicago in 1991.
The McKay Donkin Award, established in 1969, honors the late McKay Donkin, who served as vice president for finance and treasurer of the University from 1957 to 1968. It is presented to a full-time faculty or staff member or retiree who has contributed most to the economic, physical, mental or social welfare of the faculty.
James W. Purdum, general manager of Hospitality Services in Auxiliary Services, is the recipient of the 2000 Barash Award for Human Service.
The Barash Award is given to a full-time faculty, staff or student living in the University Park area who has contributed most to local human causes and public service activities, aside from regular duties.
Purdum has been recognized in particular for his tremendous commitment to the welfare of people with mental and development disabilities including the creation of the Opportunity Network for Employment, which provides employment opportunities to area people with disabilities. He also is honored for his leadership of The Arc of Centre County, the Centre County United Way and its Day of Caring, Pennsylvania Special Olympics, Central Pennsylvania Festival of The Arts, Pennsylvania ADA Coalition and the Centre County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Betty J. Roberts, assistant vice president for business services for the past five years, will receive the Award for Administrative Excellence, which recognizes a staff or faculty member whose performance methods and achievements exemplify administrative excellence.
She is known for accountability, customer service, innovation and financial stability. She has implemented the Oracle Purchasing system for the purchasing department, and the Oracle Financial Reporting System for the whole unit that enables Business Services, Auxiliary Services, the Office of Physical Plant and other offices to make better management decisions.
Another example of her leadership is a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management strategy that integrates parking, public transit, ride-share and bicycle transportation. She also led the task force on the Visa Purchasing Card program and facilitated the development of the first Penn State Copyright Policy.
Roberts is a member of the Board of the Regional Hemlock Girl Scouts, State College Kiwanis and the Penn State Faculty/Staff Club and on the Board of Editors of Quality in Higher Education.
She also is a member of several University committees, including the Council on Continuous Quality Improvement and the University Planning Council.
Gary W. Petersen, distinguished professor of soil and land resources at Penn State, has been selected to receive the President's Award for Excellence in Academic Integration. The award recognizes excellence in the integration of teaching, research and service.
A faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Petersen is internationally recognized for his research on the application of soil and agronomic sciences to planning the uses and management of land.
Petersen chaired and helped organize the college's first graduate and undergraduate research exhibition in 1995. As co-director of Penn State's Office for Remote Sensing of Earth Resources, Petersen develops and coordinates interdisciplinary projects involving intercollege personnel.
Petersen's involvement in outreach has helped build partnerships with business and governmental organizations. He has taken part in many service activities at local, state, national and international levels;.
Petersen joined Penn State in 1965.
Linda M. Roan, staff assistant in the Department of Accounting in The Smeal College of Business Administration, will receive the Support Staff Award.
The award recognizes high-quality performance, including customer service, commitment to quality improvement, outstanding skills and abilities, teamwork and professionalism.
Roan, whose responsibilities center on academic matters for faculty and students, celebrates 25 years with Penn State and the department. She is known for improvements she made to the department news-letter for students, DOLLAR$ and $EN$E, which she edits, and departmental materials for students.
She is a mentor to other staff and is recognized as a great resource for faculty. She helps with textbook and course procedures, organizes and maintains dossiers and knows University procedures and policies.
Roan also is a believer in staff development for herself and staff, and often takes courses on management, supervision and using computer technologies.
Andrea Commaker, counselor for the Multicultural Resource Center, Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, is the recipient of the James Robinson Equal Opportunity Award.
The award recognizes a full-time faculty or staff member who promotes the concept of equal opportunity through affirmative action and contributes to the improvement of cross-cultural understanding.
Commaker is honored for her 13-year dedication to the interests and success of minority students at Penn State above and beyond the call of duty. In addition to counseling, she has been a mentor to many students of color and has strongly advocated for them, both individually and as a group within Penn State and the larger community.
She also has played a significant role in expanding and improving the Multicultural Resource Center's services.
Finally, she has taught numerous courses in both the College of Business and the College of the Liberal Arts in which she has substantially and creatively integrated multicultural issues into the curriculum.
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