Faculty honored at Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition Ceremony

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May 23, 2008

Faculty and staff members from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, and Saint John’s University, Collegeville, were honored at the Academic Affairs Awards and Recognition Ceremony May 6 at Gorecki Dining and Conference 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 – Stephen Saupe, professor of biology. S. Mary, a noted biologist, 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 Saint Benedict is celebrated through the recognition each year of a faculty member who represents the best teaching and learning at CSB and SJU. She served as president of CSB from 1963-68.

Saupe has taught at CSB and SJU since 1981. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Lynchburg (Va.) College, and completed his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include the studies of the secondary metabolism in plants and fungi, especially the phenomenon of cyanogenesis, and floristic studies of plants and fungi. He is the curator of the CSB/SJU Bailey Herbarium and the editor of the CSB/SJU Biology Department Newsletter.

Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award – The Rev. Mark Thamert, OSB, associate professor of German. 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.

Thamert, an associate professor of Germanic languages and literatures, has taught at CSB and SJU since 1984. The native of Owatonna, Minn., received a bachelor’s degree in German and his master’s of divinity degrees from SJU, and a doctorate degree in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. While combining his teaching and graduate studies at Princeton, he was named “Teacher of the Year.” Thamert regularly escorts groups of undergraduate students on study abroad programs in Germany, Italy and Austria. He also served a term as president at Saint John’s Preparatory School, Collegeville.

Linda Mealey Teacher-Scholar Award – Aubrey Immelman, associate professor of psychology. The Linda Mealey Teacher-Scholar Award is given annually to a faculty member who exemplifies demonstrated excellence in scholarship as well as teaching, conducts student/faculty collaborative research or creative work and excels in the mentoring of students. In recognition of the late Linda Mealey’s contributions to the CSB/SJU community, this award is named in honor of Mealey, who received the award in 2002.

A native of South Africa, Immelman has taught at CSB and SJU since 1991. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Port Elizabeth; an honors bachelor’s degree from the University of South Africa; and master’s and doctorate degrees from University of Port Elizabeth. In 1999, Immelman established the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, a faculty-student collaborative project with the mission of conducting psychological assessments of candidates for political office and disseminating the findings to professionals, the national media and the public.

Recognition was given as follows:

Advising awards: Social sciences, Mary Jepperson, assistant professor of accounting and finance; Natural sciences, Mani Campos, associate professor of biology; Cross divisional, Sarah Pruett, English as Second Language coordinator; Fine arts, Samuel Johnson, assistant professor of art; Humanities, Br. Dennis Beach, OSB, associate professor of philosophy.

Tenure: Bernadette Elhard, assistant professor, nutrition.

Tenure and promotion to associate professor: Kelly Berg, communication; James Crumley, physics; Karyl Daughters, communication; Janna LaFountaine, physical education; Linda Shepherd, nutrition; Nelsy Echavez-Solano, Hispanic studies.

Promotion to professor: John Olson, economics; Edward Turley, music.

Professor emerita:  S. Nancy Hynes, OSB, English; S. Helen Rolfson, OSF, theology; Vera Theisen, French.

Professor emeritus: Jack Farley, management (posthumously); Rev. Allan Bouley, OSB, theology; Robert Fulton, chemistry; Rev. Kevin Seasoltz, OSB, theology; Rev. Hilary Thimmesh, OSB, English; Philip Welter, music.

Outgoing department chairs: John Hasselberg, associate professor of management; Jeffrey Kamakahi, associate professor of sociology; Daniel McKanan, associate professor of theology; Anna McKenna, associate professor of chemistry; Gary Prevost, professor of political science.

Service as acting department chair: Leigh Dillard, assistant professor of theater; Janelle Hinchley, adjunct assistant professor, social work; LuAnn Reif, associate professor of nursing; Elisabeth Wengler, associate professor of history; Gladys White, associate professor of Hispanic studies.

Outgoing division head: Frank Rioux, professor of chemistry.

Outgoing joint faculty assembly chair: Virginia Arthur, professor of management.

10 years of service: Carie Braun, associate professor of nursing; Brian Campbell, associate professor of music; Philip Chu, associate professor of biology; Martin Connell, associate professor of theology; Larry Davis, professor of geology and biology; Derek Larson, associate professor of history and environmental studies; Daniel McKanan, associate professor of theology; David Mitchell, assistant professor of biology; Rachelle Parsons, associate professor of nursing; Laura Rodgers, professor of nursing; Rev. Anthony Ruff, OSB, associate professor of theology; Elaine Rutherford, associate professor of art.

15 years of service: Charles Bobertz, professor of theology; Jose Antonio Fabres, associate professor of Hispanic studies.

20 years of service: Carolyn Finley, professor of music; Henry Jakubowski, professor of chemistry; Cheryl Knox, associate professor of biology; Janet Neuwirth, associate professor of nursing; Lisa Ohm, professor of German; James Read, professor of political science; Wendy Sterba, professor of German; Richard Wielkiewicz, professor of psychology.

25 years of service: Annette Atkins, professor of history; Gary Brown,  associate professor of mathematics; Michael Gass, associate professor of mathematics; S. Mary Reuter, OSB, associate professor of theology and Companions on a Journey; S. Helen Rolfson, OSF, associate professor of theology.

30 years of service: Daniel Steck, professor of physics; Greg Walker, professor of music.

35 years of service: David Bennetts, professor of history.

40 years of service: Frank Rioux, professor of chemistry.

45 years of service: Robert Dumonceaux, Regents professor of mathematics.

50 years of service: Wim Ibes, professor of music.

55 years of service: John Gagliardi, Regents professor of physical education.

Retirement: Rev. Allan Bouley, OSB, professor of theology; Robert Fulton, professor of chemistry; S. Nancy Hynes, OSB, professor of English; S. Helen Rolfson, OSF, associate professor of theology; Rev. Kevin Seasoltz, OSB, professor of theology; Vera Theisen, professor of French; Rev. Hilary Thimmesh, OSB, professor of English and President Emeritus; Philip Welter, associate professor of music.

In addition, the creation of the S. Linda Kulzer, OSB, Gender Education and Development Award was announced at the event. The award will be given annually – beginning in 2009 – to recognize a member of the CSB/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.