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Meet the 2012 Excellence Award recipients
October 23, 2012Tweet
The following faculty and staff members received their Excellence Awards at a banquet on Oct. 18.
Scholarship and Creative Activities
Susan L. Bane
Susan Bane has established a national and international reputation as an exceptional scientist in the area of the microtubular protein tubulin and the characterization of the folding and modes of action in Taxol as an anti-cancer agent. She serves as a role model for female students in chemistry and
biochemistry. With a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Davidson College and a PhD in biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, she held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia in bioorganic chemistry before joining Binghamton University in 1985. Since 2003, she has also served as Director of Binghamton University’s Biochemistry Program. The holder of two patents, she uses the principles, theories and tools that have been traditionally applied to small molecules and applies them to investigate biologically important systems, drawing from diverse areas of chemistry and biology to explore a biological system. Continuously support by grants totaling $3 million from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, she has over 75 publications in leading journals, has averaged over 100 citations of her work each year of the past five, and has garnered 1,488 citations and a Hirsch H-index of 22. Her work has been highlighted in journals including the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Biochemistry, the Journal of Organic Chemistry and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Well respected in her field, she also serves as a reviewer for numerous journals, is associate editor of the Journal of Fluorescence and is known by colleagues as a true collaborator.
Thomas M. Wilson
Thomas Wilson has built an uncommon career as a major intellectual player in four areas of anthropological research, earning an international reputation as a scholar who has made signal and lasting contributions to his field and a wide area of other social science disciplines. A member of Binghamton
University’s faculty since 2002, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, a master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University, master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology from City University of New York and a Certificate in Comparative Politics from The European University Institute. He has been a visiting professor at The Queen’s University of Belfast, where he is an Honorary Professor in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work; and is a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Binghamton. A prolific scholar, his research and scholarship spans the anthropology of European integration and Europeanization, the comparative anthropology of Ireland, the anthropology of international borders, and the study of how drinking and alcohol figures in social and political constructions of self and society. His research in Ireland continues to be important to understanding the European Union, and he has established border studies as an intellectual crossroads for scholars interested in boundaries and boundary-making. Co-author of two books, editor of 15 others as well as seven volumes and five special editions of journals, in 2005 he won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award and the UK, English language Best Wine History Book for his book, “Drinking Cultures: Alcohol and Identity.”
Called a major player and true innovator in the field of microelectromechanical (MEMS) and nanoelectromechanical (NEMS) devices, Mohammad Younis has greatly advanced the knowledge of these complex systems, and through innovation has put this knowledge to practical use. He joined the faculty at
Binghamton University in 2004, after earning his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan, and master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He holds a patent for a smart MEMS switch that is triggered by shock and acceleration, combining the function of a sensor and a switch into a single microdevice, and he has a patent application for a reliable switch that is triggered by the detection of a specific gas or substance. He has also submitted four new technology disclosures relating to his primary area of research in nonlinear systems. He has published nearly 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Nonlinear Mechanics; the Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurements, and Control; the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems and the ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics, and he has more than 300 citations since 2005. His peer-reviewed conference papers number more than 60, and he has been an invited speaker at nine seminars in the United States and abroad. A reviewer for a dozen journals, he has chaired more than a dozen technical sessions at symposia and uses his creativity and knowledge to mentor, educate and guide several graduate students.
Heather D. DeHaan
Heather DeHaan is an engaged, inspiring and caring teacher and mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students who also serves as a linchpin figure for her department, serves as director of undergraduate studies and brings a tireless curiosity and enthusiasm to the classroom. She received her
bachelor’s degree in history with a French minor from Redeemer University College, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Toronto. In 2005, she was hired to reinvigorate Binghamton University’s program in Russian history. Called an innovator in the classroom, she seeks to teach critical thinking skills and uses this philosophy to inform all of her teaching. Using film clips, photographs, Power Point and other visual materials, coupled with lively narrative, she engages students and creates a classroom environment where students from diverse backgrounds can excel. As a demanding but fair teacher, she uses a supportive teaching style to enable her students to meet expectations and learn deeply, challenging them to make connections in course materials beyond commonly held assumptions. She is generous with her time outside of class as well, advising and guiding students based on how they best work and learn, and organizing activities such as documentary film presentations for the campus and community. Currently working on a book, “Stalinist City Planning: Professionals, Performance, and Power,” she has also published in journals including the European History Quarterly and the Canadian Journal of History, authored several book reviews, and made invited lectures in the United States, Canada and Russia.
Randy L. Friedman
Randy Friedman is a master at modeling the skills he seeks to develop in students, engaging them in disciplined inquiry and discussion, and honing their higher-level thinking skills. He teaches challenging courses designed to help students develop the skills and habits of mind that are the special province
of the liberal arts – to read carefully and critically, to appreciate texts and their arguments, to ask fundamental questions, and to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to answer them. After earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Yale University, he attended The Hebrew University for three years before earning his master’s and doctorate in religious studies from Brown University. He joined Binghamton’s faculty as a visiting professor in 2005, and became an assistant professor in 2007. He also serves as director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Judaic Studies. He was instrumental in developing the new religious studies minor and has helped revise the Judaic studies major and minor and several new courses. Whether he is teaching in a small class or large room, he requires and achieves active participation from students. By wandering deep into a room and maintaining eye contact in a friendly way, he is able to generate a sense of intimacy even in large lecture halls. His style enables him to tease coherent and reasonable thoughts from students that he can then build upon. A sought-after presenter, he has published in refereed journals and also serves as a referee for several journals.
Charles Goodman is that rare person who combines passion for his discipline with creative pedagogy; is dedicated to students, challenging and encouraging them at all times; and is highly effective in the classroom. With a joint appointment in the departments of Philosophy and Asian and Asian
American Studies, he brings versatility to the classroom that students respond to. A specialist in Buddhist philosophy, he teaches the Law and Justice course that is considered the linchpin of one of the largest majors at Binghamton, yet attending his large class in the Lecture Hall is just like having a conversation with him: enthusiastic, engaging and somewhat loud. He believes it is crucial to make a constant effort in the classroom to challenge students’ ingrained beliefs and unquestioned assumptions, and he sees teaching as a way to continue developing his own understanding. He brings a high degree of clarity and a wide-ranging knowledge to the topic at hand. He earned his bachelor of arts in physics from Harvard University and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Prior to joining Binghamton’s faculty in 2002, he taught at the University of Michigan and was a Bradley Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. He has published one book, been a reviewer for several journals and presented at nearly three dozen conferences in the United States and India. He has also been a visiting professor at the Central University of Tibetan Studies and received an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant.
Douglas H. Summerville
Douglas Summerville is a dedicated and caring teacher who invests his time to guide and challenge students. Called a constant mentor and student advocate, he also mentors junior faculty in teaching effectiveness. With an exceptional ability to present complex material to students in ways they can
grasp and understand, he was awarded the inaugural Outstanding Instructor Award by students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He works his magic in the classroom by connecting theory to concrete examples and always striving to keep his courses relevant and engaging. He played a key role in developing the computer science curriculum and works to ensure new methods and techniques balance solid theoretical knowledge with the ability to apply the tools, skills and techniques in modern engineering practice. For example, he uses robotics to bridge theory and practice in the STEM disciplines, and has developed online lab-based courses in engineering. His goal is to maximize the long-term retention of students by making them active participants in their own learning. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and has master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Binghamton University. He joined the faculty at Binghamton in 1999, and has served as undergraduate program director for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 2008. He is also the co-author of three books and is funded with grants totaling over $3 million from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and DARPA.
Leo Wilton is an inspirational and caring teacher who works tirelessly as a mentor to help students gain confidence in their abilities and realize their potential. After earning his bachelor’s degree in English and Africana studies from Binghamton University and his master’s degree and PhD in counseling
psychology from New York University, he started at Binghamton as an adjunct, then visiting assistant professor, in 2001, before accepting a tenure-track position in 2003. He has taught at New York University and Columbia University Teachers College, and been a visiting professor at the University of California at San Francisco’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Known for using his scholarship to inform every class he teaches and every student he mentors, he connects students with the world beyond campus through community-based projects. Even in large classes, he learns each student’s name and his pedagogical style is student-centered with a focus on building partnerships in the classroom so student voices are at the center of discourse. He has served as interim co-director of the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies Program, as program director for the Grenada Study Abroad Program and as chair of the Department of Human Development. He also serves on a number of editorial boards and as a reviewer for several journals. His research grants total over $1.7 million from funding agencies including the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A committed educator, outstanding mentor and leader who provides expertise to students, colleagues, his profession and the community, Mark Fowler earned his PhD in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. His extraordinary service improves programs and provides a model to which
others can aspire. A member of Binghamton’s faculty since 1999, he has continually been involved in service to his department and the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. His role in preparing his department’s 150-plus page report for reaccreditation cannot be understated, nor can his contribution to the site visit, which resulted in reaccreditation for six years – the best possible outcome. He has played a key role in revamping his department’s undergraduate curriculum and assessment process and serves on several committees for the Watson School, including chairing its Graduate Studies Committee. He works across disciplines and schools as well, having served on the joint Engineering-Mathematics Committee, the Graduate Cabinet, University-wide search committees, the Faculty Senate and the University Personnel Committee, among others. He is known for his support and mentoring of students, in particular of international students, which is called student-centered and compassionate. Beyond Binghamton, he helped develop and instruct for the SUNY On-Line BEE Degree Program and he has reviewed electrical engineering programs for other schools and universities. His community outreach includes working with middle schools for Math Day, presenting at Math Camp for Ithaca College, responding to “Ask a Scientist” questions, and working with programs that encourage middle-school and high-school students to pursue their interest in engineering.
Richard E. Lee
Richard Lee’s service grows out of his appreciation for and commitment to the structure and values of the University. He has effected positive change and given generously of his personal time in service to the University and to the larger world community of scholars. He holds a bachelor’s degree in
political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from Binghamton University. He has stepped into the role of director of the Fernand Braudel Center, strengthening and expanding its scope. Under his direction, the center is thriving and significantly contributing to the intellectual environment and instructional goals of the University as well as to the global community of scholars. His philosophy of service: a dollop of altruism, more than a pinch of humanity, and some sense of the reasonable and the practical. He lives that philosophy, as shown by his service on numerous committees and as a committed participant in the annual Advocacy Day in Albany. His service as chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee is called exceptional. He has been the voice of the faculty with the University’s senior administration, redefining the position through active collaboration and a proactive manner in both short- and long-term matters that affect the well-being of faculty, the strength of the University and the vitality of shared governance. Stellar examples of his leadership and service include his role in improving the campus budgeting process and in successfully establishing procedures to elect faculty representatives to the Presidential Search Committee.
Angelique Jenks-Brown continually demonstrates distinction in providing library research and instructional support to faculty and students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology form Skidmore College and a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Though her subject focus is psychology, geology and environmental studies, she has also served as temporary liaison to the education, student affairs administration and women’s studies departments. She has also taken over and expanded the instructional services program for the University’s Libraries, helping to develop research tools to guide people in various stages of the research process. For example, she has helped select software and development guidelines for short tutorials; successfully pushed for the production of Research Assignment Calculator, a time management tool for researching and writing papers; frequently tailored PowerPoint presentations with handouts for certain staff as well as non-native English speakers to help them better understand the resources available to them; recommended books to faculty; and guest-lectured in classes to explain the benefits of using library resources to students. She has oversight of the University Map Collections and has organized and maintained the collection magnificently, improving access as a result. She has also been a helpful advisor to departments as they’ve determined how best to use resources to meet instructional needs in today’s economic environment. Her philosophy of librarianship is to connect students, faculty and staff to research resources, which she does admirably, interjecting instruction whenever possible and infusing every conversation with instructional elements.
Edward Shephard has done truly exemplary work as an individual librarian committed to collection development and managerial work, even as he trains and supervises others to achieve the high goals and standards that he sets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Cornell University; a master’s
degree from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on early modern French and German history, and medieval French history; a Master of Library Science from SUNY Albany; and public library director certification from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. He has published extensively, curated art exhibitions, composed numerous musical pieces and taught at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Dijon, France, and Johns Hopkins University, as well as at Binghamton University. His scholarship and his fluency in French with basic comprehension in German, Italian, and modern and ancient Greek, as well as his bibliographic knowledge of Latin and Spanish, all support his activities on behalf of Binghamton University, its faculty and students, as well as the many professional activities he pursues. Called a leader in helping the University’s Libraries continue to provide an outstanding level of service to students and faculty, he has built a first-rate collection in his subject areas and made purchases that benefit the University community as a whole. He alerts faculty to resources that will be of value to them in the classroom and for their research and scholarly activities, designs custom bibliographic workshops and presentations for classes and stays abreast of fast-paced changes in the digital age of librarianship.
Kelly Wemette, director of the Office of Strategic and Fiscal Planning, holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from SUNY Plattsburgh and a master in social sciences with a concentration in public administration from Binghamton University. It is nearly impossible to define the breadth and depth
of her contributions to the University, which include oversight of faculty personnel procedures as primary contact and chief interpreter for all promotion and tenure cases, detailed and ongoing analysis of academic affairs budgets totaling more than $100 million, development of databases that detail faculty contributions and management of the ongoing regularized budget process for all vice presidential divisions. She is an unimpeachable model of integrity, willing to help others at any time and effective in everything she does, modeling the importance of learning new techniques and approaches. As an “early adopter”, she enhances her ability to assist the institution and takes initiative to look for ways to improve current practices. She is meticulous and takes special care to check and recheck her analysis, and her attention to detail and understanding of how seemingly diverse items impact each other is extraordinary. She is well versed in both the campus and SUNY financial systems and is a trusted, reliable and invaluable resource for people across all divisions of campus. There is no other who approaches her job with more determination and desire to get it right, and colleagues without fail praise her for being conscientious, professional, collegial and positive about every endeavor she undertakes.
Kathleen Brunt earned her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and her master of public administration from Binghamton University. As assistant dean for academic affairs for Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, she plays a critical role in managing the implementation of curriculum for the
University’s largest school. Her responsibilities are varied and complex, ranging from academic honesty, enrollment management and student appeals, to Harpur College Council, college standing committees and student orientation. Yet, she continually seeks ways to grow as a professional and consistently goes well beyond the expectations of her position. With an eye for detail and the ability to explain complicated matters to faculty, students and parents, she lends energy, professionalism and a strong commitment to student success and to the highest standards of academic integrity to all she does. She was the point person for the transition to Banner and has worked to improve the system. She is a font of knowledge on all things curricular and academic for faculty and chairs, exhibiting patience and a strong work ethic at all times, and she balances concern and compassion for students who find themselves facing serious academic consequences. Her grasp of rules and regulations is unmatched, allowing her efforts overseeing honesty, petitions and course distribution to contribute significantly to the effectiveness of Harpur College. Colleagues note that she is smart, creative, caring, accessible, conscientious, helpful and one who makes good decisions that benefit Harpur College and the University. She is the model of a professional staff member.
Kathryn (Kate) Hastings, secretary 2 in human resources, came to Binghamton in 2000, as a keyboard specialist in human resources, where she worked for two years before moving to a secretary 1 position in the Watson School. She returned to human resources in 2004, where she serves as the secretary
to the director. In her position, she provides direct administration support to the director, coordinates budget and administrative operations for the larger office and supports core human resources transactional operations. She is known for her ability to calmly work under stressful situations relating to confidential and sensitive matters, and as she interacts with senior staff, University directors and managers, union presidents and attorneys. Her work is called extraordinary. Proactive in completing tasks, she has streamlined often-complicated functions such as when she created a mechanism to track the human resources business cycle for five different payrolls and five different bargaining units. She also coordinates and schedules all labor management meetings and agendas, and organizes all hiring, scheduling and training of student employees, including spending time on the weekends to accommodate student schedules. As the Office of Human Resources has moved and consolidated offices, she has been integral in leading operational changes that resulted in a smooth transition while down four staff members. A self-starter who is always willing to help no matter the task, she approaches her work with an unusual sense of dedication and meets each challenge with unflappable patience. She is the consummate professional and a genuinely compassionate and caring person.
Katharine (Katie) F. Ellis
A graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a degree in mass communications, Katie Ellis has worked in the Office of Communications and Marketing for over 18 years. She originally worked in media relations, and for the past several years she has coordinated internal communications including Inside,
Dateline, B-line and the Binghamton University Magazine. She serves as point person for emergency communications; writes and edits for a wide variety of campus publications, offices and the Web; and provides issues management support. Few people on campus contribute as tirelessly as she does to the numerous behind-the-scenes efforts that keep the University running smoothly. Her service on numerous committees; coordination of campus communications on topics ranging from swine flu, to construction projects, to NYSUNY 2020; and her support across all divisions is impressive. She serves on and has chaired the University’s State Employees Federated Appeal committee, and has been an active volunteer for the University’s faculty and staff campaign in support of the Binghamton Fund. Her solid insight, judgment and willingness to help are valued by colleagues who call on her to ensure their messages are accurate and clearly communicated to appropriate audiences in a timely manner. Sometimes referred to as “the answer lady,” she frequently responds to questions from colleagues and members of the community. Detail-oriented, yet able to focus on the big picture, she manages a large and diverse group of projects at any point in time, crafting and communicating messages that touch the entire University and its many constituents.
Kristi Murray Costello
Kristi Murray Costello, associate director of first-year writing, earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature and her master’s degree in rhetoric and composition from Southeast Missouri State University and her PhD in creative writing from Binghamton University. She has a true passion for building the
community around her, serving as a constant and unwavering mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students. Her immense love for teaching shines through as she mentors graduate students who aspire to become better teachers. Her investment in developing students to succeed has made a difference in their lives. She has re-imagined and revised the area-based WRIT111 course, and her strong, effective leadership in developing the curriculum and in training graduate students to teach the course have made her a role model to others. She has become an active Fellow of Hinman College and is stepping up to work with all of the residential areas to coordinate and develop the area-based sections of the course. Her enthusiasm and dedication are apparent at all levels, whether through her attendance at student poetry readings, concerts, comedy shows and other events; through her steadfast encouragement of students as they seek to publish or attain scholarships, internships and jobs; or through her seemingly constant availability to students and colleagues who have questions or need assistance. She has an ability to make everyone she interacts with feel appreciated and welcomed and she is called an authentic and sincere educator who is an inspiration to each and every one of her students.
Lois B. DeFleur Faculty Prize for Academic Achievement
Recipient of the inaugural Lois B. DeFleur Faculty Prize for Academic Achievement, Laura Bronstein is an innovative leader and promoter of interdisciplinary collaborations and discourse. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Union College, her MSW from
the University at Albany and her PhD in social work from Barry University in Florida. Named one of the 10 most influential social work scholars over the past decade, her path-breaking work reflects creativity and enduring impact, as evidenced by her 2003 article published in Social Work – “A Model for Interdisciplinary Collaboration” – that was recently recognized as the eighth most-cited piece of professional social work literature in the last decade in The British Journal of Social Work, one of the leading peer-reviewed journals in her field. With few disciplines including collaboration as an element of professional education and development, she has developed a national model that provides a context for education endeavors as well as implementation in practice settings, such as the partnerships established through the SHARE Project under the Center for Best Practices in Full-Service Schools and the inter-professional service learning opportunities under the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education. Called a thought-leader and one of a handful of outstanding researchers in the United States on interprofessional practice by colleagues, her work sets the stage for more interprofessional curricula and the advancement of care coordination roles of social workers in aging and behavioral healthcare. She has developed an important tool that advances interprofessional collaboration and builds capacity in institutions around the country.
Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring
Anna Tan Wilson
Anna Tan Wilson earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of the Philippines, her master’s in biochemistry from University College of London and her PhD in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has compiled a remarkable record of achievement in fostering undergraduate research as program director of multiple Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants and a long-running National Institutes of Health grant, as well as the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program. The HHMI programs have provided Binghamton students with enhanced curriculum and broader research opportunities, and the Bridges program has engaged underrepresented minorities from community colleges in science research and encouraged their enrollment at Binghamton University and other four-year institutions. Overall, these grants have enabled nearly 200 students to work on research projects at Binghamton University. Her colleagues praise the research conducted by her students as high-quality, original, creative and carried out thoroughly and methodically. For the most recent HHMI grant alone, four students have co-authored three different journal articles and two have co-authored a conference paper. In her own laboratory, she has mentored approximately 90 students, where she excels in assisting them with the technical aspects of research, ensuring they truly understand what they are doing and that they are acquainted with trends and methodologies in modern biochemistry. Her students say she helps them find opportunities and try new things, encourages them to find mentors throughout their lives, and provides the optimal environment for learning and becoming successful in research.
University Award for Excellence in International Education
Suronda Gonzalez has an exceptional commitment to and passion for internationalization at Binghamton University that is evident in all that she does. Her contributions to Binghamton’s international mission as a student, alumna and staff member are broad and deep. With a master’s degree and PhD
from Binghamton, she has published on immigration, citizenship and ethnicity in academic journals and taught in the History Department. As co-creator and founding director of the Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC) program, and as director of the Global Studies minor, she provides constant encouragement to students as they bring a global perspective to their own education. Few can match her impact as a mentor to both undergraduates and graduate students, as she works to design curriculum, train instructors, recruit faculty and integrate study-abroad experiences into the broader curriculum. A gifted facilitator who has fostered in students the ability to identify and articulate what they’ve learned, she is relentless in her pursuit of international partners to assist in developing creative ways to bring international experiences home to students. Also a co-founder of the Binghamton University Globalistas (BUGS), a group of students, faculty and staff that pushes for international programming in every possible venue, she has organized events, secured funding and helped develop an online portal to unite and showcase the many global elements of campus. Her sustained enthusiasm and deep appreciation for all things global has made a real difference to students and has helped to build bridges to new ways of understanding our world. (249)