Faculty honored at Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition Ceremony

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May 14, 2014

From left: Kate Graham, Christina Hennessy and Christi Siver.

Faculty and staff members from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University were honored at the Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition Ceremony May 12 at the Gorecki Center, CSB. 

In addition to recognition for years of service, promotions, contributions as department chairs and leaders, the following awards were presented: 

S. Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award:
Christi Siver, assistant professor of political science 

S. Mary, a noted biologist who was a 1933 graduate of CSB, served students at CSB and SJU for more than 35 years with intelligence, dedication and affection. The difference S. Mary made in her lifetime of teaching at CSB is celebrated through the recognition each year of a faculty member who represents the best teaching and learning at CSB and SJU. S. Mary served as president of CSB from 1963-68. This award has been presented yearly since 1995. 

Siver, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 2010, has three goals as a teacher: build students' knowledge about international relations and comparative politics; develop their research, critical thinking and communication skills; and foster their identities as responsible young scholars. She has earned a reputation of being willing to spend enormous amounts of time one-on-one with students. Her passion for research and communication comes from participation in competitive debate. Siver has continued to be involved in debate at CSB and SJU, helping to form a speech and debate team, and also serves as the managing director of the Women's Debate Institute, a non-profit organization which runs a debate camp for high school girls. Siver believes debate builds confidence in students and the ability to civically disagree with others fosters discussion on important social questions.  

Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award:
Kate Graham, associate professor of chemistry

This award is named in honor of Spaeth, who served as dean at SJU for nine years in addition to service as a professor of liberal studies from 1979 until his death in 1994. Each year, Spaeth's commitment to excellent teaching is remembered by honoring a faculty member who brings a special passion and mastery to the classroom and the learning community. This award has been presented yearly since 1995. 

Graham, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 1995, encourages students in their development as scientists and people while striving to develop educational styles that are accessible to all students and maintaining high academic standards. She has led the development of workbooks for four introductory courses in chemistry, which include 2,000 pages of guided inquiry and problem-based learning activities. Together with Ed McIntee, associate professor of chemistry, Graham established the S-STEM FoCuS program with funding from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships and infrastructure to support traditionally under-represented groups of students to major and succeed in chemistry. She has also guided 60 students in their research projects. 

S. Linda Kulzer Gender Educator Award:
Christina Hennessy, associate professor of gender studies and Hispanic Studies

This award recognizes a member of the CSB and SJU faculty whose work has been especially important to gender education development. S. Linda, CSB's vice president for academic affairs from 1977-85 and a professor emerita of education, was a pioneer in the colleges' earliest efforts to integrate gender into the curriculum. 

Hennessey, who has taught at CSB and SJU since 2002, has been actively involved in gender education since 2006. She has been a member of the advisory board for the Nancy Hynes Institute for Women's Leadership, and has developed and taught courses on gender issues in both the gender studies and Hispanic studies departments. In 2011, Hennessey published a book on Greek artist, feminist and activist Melina Mercouri, which is part of the "Women's Library" for Ediciones del Orto, Spain, which features the most important female figures in the world. Hennessey has also published six papers on gender topics, most recently on the 2001 economic crisis in Mexico and Argentina and its impact on gender inequalities and the lack of legal protection toward women.    

Additional Recognition and Years of Service Awards:

Academic advising awards: Bob Bell, assistant professor of accounting and finance; Barbara May, associate professor of biology.

Alcuin and Clemens Library Information Literacy Award: Christi Siver, assistant professor of political science.

Tenure and promotion to associate professor: Carol Brash, art; Bret Benesh, mathematics; Ben Faber, psychology; Md Abul Fazal, chemistry; Jessica Harkins, English; Theresa Johnson, education; Scott Murphy, art; Allison Spenader, education; Steve Welch, accounting and finance.

Promotion to associate professor: Sarah Yost, physics and astronomy.

Promotion to professor: Phil Chu, biology; Nelsey Echávez-Solano, Hispanic studies; John Hasselberg, global business leadership; Marina Martin, Hispanic studies. 

Special appointments:

Professor emeriti and retirement: Annette Atkins, history; Dave Bennetts, history; Margaret Cook, languages and cultures; Larry Davis, geology and biology; Bob Dumonceaux, mathematics; S. Ephrem Hollermann, OSB, theology; S. Mary Reuter, OSB, theology; Dale White, music; Gladys White, Hispanic studies. 

Special thanks:
Outgoing department chair, program director and acting department chair:
Richard Bohr, Asian studies; Karen Erickson, languages and cultures; Bernie Elhard, nutrition; Henry Jakubowski, chemistry; Scott Johnson, political science; Janna LaFountaine, exercise, science and sport studies; Jean Lavigne, environmental studies; Madhu Mitra, English; Rodger Narloch, psychology; Linda Shepherd, nutrition.

Outgoing Joint Faculty Senate Chair: Pam Bacon, associate professor of psychology. 

10 years of service: Jon Armajani, associate professor of theology; Warren Bostrom, associate professor of accounting and finance; Kari-Shane Davis Zimmerman, associate professor of theology; Janelle Hinchley, adjunct instructor of first-year seminar; Nicholas Jones, associate professor of chemistry; Julie Strelow, associate professor of nursing.
15 years of service: Matt Callahan, instructor of FYS; Bruce Campbell, professor of Hispanic studies; Ron Pagnucco, associate professor of peace studies; Linda Tennison, associate professor of psychology; Corey Shouse Tourino, associate professor of Hispanic studies.
20 years of service: Richard Bohr, professor of history; Patricia Bolanos-Fabres, associate professor of gender studies and Hispanic studies; Gordon Brown, associate professor of biology; Jayne Byrne, associate professor of nutrition; Terence Check, professor of communication; Kate Graham, associate professor of chemistry; Br. Luke Mancuso, OSB, associate professor of English; Paul Marsnik, professor of global business leadership; Sheila Nelson, associate professor of sociology; Vilma Walter, instructor of Hispanic studies.
25 years of service: Jeanne Cook, professor of communication; Margaret Cook, professor of languages and cultures, Jennifer Galovich, associate professor of mathematics; John Hasselberg, associate professor of global business leadership; Madhu Mitra, professor of English; Elena Sanchez-Mora, professor of Hispanic studies; Fr. Mark Thamert, OSB, associate professor of languages and cultures;  Marcus Webster, professor of biology.
30 years of service: Noreen Herzfeld, professor of computer science and theology; Wendy Klepetar, professor of global business leadership; Anna McKenna, associate professor of chemistry; Scott Richardson, professor of languages and cultures; Tom Sibley, professor of mathematics; Steve Wagner, professor of philosophy; Liz Wurdak, professor of biology.
35 years of service: Jim Makepeace, professor of sociology; Dale White, professor of music.
45 years of service: Axel Theimer, professor of music.
50 years of service: Jim Smith, SJU athletics.