Thirteen Syracuse professors receive emeriti status
Thirteen Syracuse professors receive emeriti statusMay 05, 2001Jonathan Hayjhay@syr.edu
Professors Phillip Church, Donald F. Cortese, Donald C. Dittmer, John R. Elliott Jr., Elizabeth C. Essman, Daniel Field, Garth H. Foster, Samuel V. Kennedy III, Peter T. Marsh, David L. Miller, Robert N. Oddy, James N. Ridlon and James B. Wiggins will be granted emeriti status by Syracuse University at Commencement on May 13. Phillip Church Church, professor of mathematics in The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), will retire after completing 43 years of service. Church, who was named the Francis H. Root Professor of Mathematics in 1976, has recently been conducting research to examine the singularities of differentiable mappings and their relation to nonlinear elliptic partial differential equations. Church joined the SU faculty as associate professor of mathematics in 1962, from his position as a mathematician for the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, N.J. He was elevated to the rank of full professor in 1965. He was named the Syracuse University Scholar/Teacher of the Year in 1989. The award followed the culmination of a 12-year research project on the structure of a nonlinear elliptic operator. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. He was a Future Professoriate Mentor at SU and served on the A&S tenure committee. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wesleyan University in 1953 and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1959. Don Cortese Cortese, professor in the School of Art and Design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will retire after 26 years of service to the University. Born in Chicago, Cortese studied drawing and painting at the Art Institute of Chicago and earned a master’s degree in fine arts at SU in 1964. He was then awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and spent the next year touring Central America as a visiting artist. He traveled to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras, where he completed a series of drawings and paintings on paper that were subsequently shown in a solo exhibition in Honduras.
After he returned to the United States, Cortese was appointed an instructor in drawing and printmaking at SU. During the course of his career, he has exhibited extensively in regional, national and international drawing and print competitions. In 1975-76, he served as art coordinator for SU’s Division of International Programs Abroad in London, where he developed an interest in English Private Press books and the art and craft of hand papermaking and typography. When he returned to Syracuse, Cortese received a Ford Foundation grant to establish and teach a hand papermaking course. This unique workshop was supported by and located in the Department of Pulp and Paper in the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. In 1982, Cortese was awarded a grant from SU to attend the International Paper Conference in Kyoto, Japan, during which he also traveled to villages in Central Japan to document the ancient art and technique of Japanese hand papermaking. Later that year, Cortese helped develop a program on hand papermaking, printing and book arts in the University’s new studios for printmaking at the Comstock Art Facility. Since then, Cortese has traveled extensively in Italy and Belgium to conduct print and papermaking workshops and to study the art form in an international arena. In 1994, Cortese was one of 12 artists in New York state to receive an Artists Projects: NYS Regional Initiative Grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation. His work is featured in “Printmaking-A Primary Form of Expression” (University of Colorado Press, 1992) and “The Best of Printmaking: An International Collection” (Rockport Publishers, 1997). Cortese is listed in Who’s Who in America, and his work is part of many collections, including those of the Uffizzi Gallery, Florence; the Frans Masereel Museum, Belgium; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Library of Congress; the Boston Public Library; the Houghton Library of Harvard University; the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. Donald D. Dittmer Dittmer, professor of chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences, will complete 39 years of service. Dittmer’s recent research interests include the synthesis of optically active molecules that are particularly important in the synthesis of pharmaceutical products. For example, the optically active allylic amines he has produced can provide precursors for compounds useful in AIDS therapy and in the regulation of blood pressure. His research involves investigations of nucleophilic reductions triggered by the element tellurium. The use of the telluride ion provides the key to unlocking novel organic reactions. The work is environmentally friendly in that the tellurium is recovered. Zero-solvent reactions are being explored to eliminate the problems of their disposal. Dittmer spent time as a research chemist for E.I. du Pont de Nemours’ Central Research Division before joining the SU faculty as associate professor of chemistry in 1962; he was promoted to full professor in 1966. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has worked on research sponsored by the National Science Foundation in the study of small-ring sulfur compounds.
Dittmer earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1950 and a doctoral degree in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953. John R. Elliott Jr. Elliott, professor of English in The College of Arts and Sciences, will retire after completing 27 years of service. Elliott received a doctoral degree from the University of California-Berkeley in 1964 and taught at the University of California-Santa Barbara before joining the SU faculty in 1974 as associate professor of English. He was promoted to professor in 1982, the same year he was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Award to study at Oxford. While there, he worked on an NEH Summer Grant as a project consultant for “Records of Early English Drama,” one of his areas of expertise. He was the U.S. representative to the International Society for Medieval Theatre from 1992 to 1995, and he is the founder and director of “The Seventh Heaven Players,” a student-community theater company in Syracuse devoted to the performance of pre-Shakespearean drama. Elliott has focused much of his teaching efforts at SU on medieval and Elizabethan drama, Shakespeare, and Renaissance poetry and prose. He was the chairman of the English department curriculum committee in 1986-87. He has four published books and will soon publish “Records of Early English Drama” through the University of Toronto Press. Elliott earned a bachelor’s degree in history and literature at Harvard University in 1958 and a master’s degree in English at Cal-Berkeley in 1960. Elizabeth C. Essman Essman ’75, G’78, Ph.D. ’94, associate professor of nursing in the College of Nursing, completes eight years of service. Essman helped develop a family primary care nurse practitioner program in 1996 that provided students with the knowledge to treat families across the life span–from prenatal to geriatric care. Essman also provided clinical instruction to senior students in a community health agency setting. Along with her service at SU, Essman is a respected figure in nursing throughout Central New York. She developed and implemented a research study comparing the clarity and effectiveness of different forms of nursing care plans used in community health setting for the Onondaga County Health Department. She has also spent time as a faculty member of the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome, and was the associate director of the Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital School of Nursing from 1988 to 1991. Essman is a member of the New York State Nurses Association, the CNY Coalition for Adult and Continuing Education and is on the Board of Directors of the Syracuse University College of Nursing Alumnae Association.
Daniel Field Field, professor of history in The Maxwell School, will retire after 25 years of service. Field joined the University as an associate professor of history in 1976. He was promoted to professor in 1994. Prior to coming to Syracuse, Field was assistant professor of history at Barnard College of Columbia University and an associate of the Russian Institute from 1970 to 1976. He was a teaching fellow in history and in history and literature at Harvard University from 1966 to 1968, and an instructor and lecturer in history at Harvard from 1968 to 1970. He was a lecturer in history at Brandeis University from 1965 to 1966. He was named a research fellow of the Institute of History of the Academy of Science of the U.S.S.R. in 1978 and 1981, and was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in 1964-65, 1978 and 1981. He received fellowships from the Russian Research Center numerous times. In 1990-91, Field was a senior fellow of the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union. His publications include “The End of Serfdom: Nobility and Bureaucracy in Russia, 1855-1861” (Harvard University Press, 1976), “Rebels in the Name of the Tsar” (Houghton Mifflin, 1976) and numerous journal articles. Field received a bachelor’s degree in history and literature, a master’s degree in Russian regional studies and a doctorate in history from Harvard in 1959, 1962 and 1969, respectively. Garth Foster Foster Ph.D.’66, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, (ECS) will complete 37 years of service. Foster was the director of ECS’ computer engineering program from 1984 to 1990 and again from 1996 to 2000. After spending two years as a graduate assistant at SU, Foster was hired as an instructor in 1964. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1967, associate professor in 1973 and professor in 1979. Foster was one of the key faculty members of ECS’ off-campus education centers that were open from the early 1950s through 1990. The centers provided graduate education for engineers in a number of disciplines in a variety of regional industries. While at SU, Foster has specialized in the study of computer programming languages, particularly APL, operations systems and computer architecture. In 1979, Foster was named “Person of the Year” in data processing in Syracuse, awarded by the local chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Association for System Management and the Data Processing Management Association. Foster received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming in 1960 and a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from SU in 1966. Samuel V. Kennedy III Kennedy, associate professor in the newspaper journalism department of the Newhouse School, will retire after 25 years of service.
Kennedy joined the Newhouse faculty as assistant professor in 1976 and was promoted to associate professor in 1980. He is a former chair of the newspaper department. He previously served as an adjunct professor and taught news writing and news editing at Auburn Correctional Facility, where he started a prison newspaper. From 1960 to 1975, he worked at The Citizen-Advertiser in Auburn, where he was editor/managing editor from 1970 to 1975. He has been executive secretary to the New York State Society of Newspaper Editors since 1982 and serves as a consultant to the Jewish Observer in Syracuse and the Independent newspaper in Montrose, Pa. Kennedy is also a writing coach for The Finger Lakes Times in Geneva. He presented workshops on “Making Your Writing Exciting” for the New York Press Association and was the originator and a participant in the part-time copy editor program at the Syracuse Herald American. He pioneered the Ottaway Newspapers editorial quality study in 1988. Kennedy was the head of the newspaper division of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communications from 1984 to 1985. He is author of “The Last Muckraker: Samuel Hopkins Adams” (SU Press, 1999), as well as various journal articles. Kennedy has served as a member of the University Senate since 1978. Peter T. Marsh Marsh, professor of history in The Maxwell School and The College of Arts and Sciences, will retire after 34 years of service. Marsh joined The Maxwell School as associate professor of history in 1967 and was promoted to professor in 1978. He began teaching jointly in both the history and international relations departments in 1992. He served as chair of the history department from 1968 to 1970 and was director of the University Honors Program from 1978 to 1986. He was resident chair of the University’s program in Florence, Italy, in 1987 and 1988. He has been coordinator of the Maxwell Undergraduate Teaching Grant for the courses Global Community and Current Issues in the United States since 1992. Marsh was named an honorary professor in the School of History of the University of Birmingham, England, in 1997. He was the designer and director of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Project for Integration of Liberal and Professional Education from 1984 to 1986. Marsh received a bachelor’s degree with honors in modern history from the University of Toronto in 1958, and doctor of philosophy and doctor of letters degrees from the University of Cambridge in 1962 and 1995, respectively. Prior to coming to Syracuse, Marsh was an instructor and assistant professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan from 1962 to 1967 and a visiting tutor at the University of Sussex in 1966. Marsh was awarded the Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement in 1996. That same year, he was named a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in association with the University of Birmingham. He received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980.
He served as president of the Middle Atlantic States Conference on British Studies from 1994 to 1996, associate editor of the Journal of British Studies from 1979 to 1984, and national program chair of the North American Conference on British Studies from 1975 to 1977. Marsh’s publications include “Bargaining on Europe: Britain and the First Common Market, 1860-1892” (Yale University Press, 1999) and “Joseph Chamberlain, Entrepreneur in Politics” (Yale University Press, 1994), as well as numerous journal articles. David L. Miller Miller, professor of religion in The College of Arts and Sciences, will retire after 35 years of service to the University. Miller has specialized in the study of mythology, literature and culture from both a depth-psychological and a cultural-theological perspective. He has received numerous honors, including the Watson-Ledden Chair in Religion, the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professorship (1996-00) and a Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement (1994). The author of five books and more than 60 articles, book chapters and essays, Miller is widely sought as an invited lecturer or conference participant both nationally and internationally. He has addressed groups across the United States and in France, Germany and Japan, among other countries. He has conducted training seminars for psychotherapists at the C.G. Jung Institute in Switzerland. Miller has contributed much to the Department of Religion and its educational program, particularly the graduate program. His contributions have been multiplied several fold by the students he has helped train for careers in the field and by his significant intellectual contributions to the larger profession. He holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the International Society for Humor Studies, Phi Beta Kappa and the Association for the Study of Dreams. He is a fellow and member of the board of the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture, and served as its president from 1992 to 1993. Robert Oddy Oddy retired from Syracuse University in 1997 to pursue a full-time career as a stained-glass artist after teaching in the School of Information Studies for 15 years. Educated in England, Oddy earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and computing at the University of Durham in 1966 and 1971, respectively, and a Ph.D. in information retrieval in 1974 at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He moved to Syracuse in 1981 to pursue an academic career in information retrieval-theories, computer system design issues and human behavioral aspects. In particular, he tried to develop an understanding of information representation and retrieval as an interactive communication process. Two years later, Oddy says he began to discover the potential of stained glass as an artistic medium for himself, which took him by surprise. “I’m rather glad of the unpredictability of life,” he says. “The misguided teen-aged me wanted to be a mathematician in some British university. Luckily, I never was, and eventually I found myself enjoying life in Central New York and making stained glass windows.”
Oddy taught himself the art, beginning with a basic “how-to” book and simple tools to make a number of small ornaments and kaleidoscopes. He made his first window, “Bamboo,” in 1984 and found that he preferred making windows to other stained glass objects. “I think of the process as similar to painting–exploring form, color and light-and windows give me greater opportunity to do this,” Oddy says. Most of his work is commissioned from home or through his Web site (www.RobertOddy.com). While he came to SU to pursue an academic career and ended up an artist, Oddy says the two are not entirely unrelated. “Part of the pleasure of computer programming was to see sometimes quite smart program behavior emerge out of the mass of intricate detail that we had to code,” Oddy says. “I get a similar thrill out of seeing a desired visual effect, or the whole picture, emerge from the assembly of a multitude of painstakingly chosen and shaped little pieces of glass. If you do it right, the viewer no longer ‘sees’ the individual pieces.” James A. Ridlon Ridlon, professor and former chair of the Department of Foundation in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will retire after 36 years of service to the University. Ridlon, an All-American football player for SU, returned to the University in 1965 after spending eight years in the National Football League, six with the San Francisco 49ers and two with the Dallas Cowboys, where he finished his career as an All-Pro defensive back under Tom Landry. Ridlon began his career at the University as an assistant football coach and lecturer in the University’s School of Art, while completing his graduate studies in fine arts. Ridlon was appointed a full professor in 1974. Ridlon is well-known for his assemblages-three-dimensional collages. In 1990, he completed “Magical Memories,” an 8-by-12-foot assemblage in commemoration of Disneyland’s 35th anniversary year. The work was on display in the mall leading to Disneyland’s main entrance throughout 1990. The work contained more than 2,000 items, including a set of Disneyland blocks (vintage 1970s), a Disneyland Monorail Game (circa 1960) and a stuffed Mickey Mouse doll hugging a stuffed Minnie. Other well-known works include an assemblage Ridlon created to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ABC’s Wide World of Sports, in which he incorporated such items as Arnold Palmer’s driver, Peggy Fleming’s figure-skate blades and Muhammad Ali’s robe. In 1988, Ridlon was commissioned to design and sculpt the Outland Trophy, one of college football’s most prestigious awards, presented annually by the Football Writers’ Association of America to the most outstanding interior lineman in college football. Ridlon’s work has been displayed in more than 30 major one-man shows and numerous group and competitive national and international exhibitions, and in more than 500 public and private art collections throughout the world. He is the 1989 recipient of the United States Sports Academy’s Sports Artist of the Year award. James B. Wiggins Wiggins, professor and former chair of the Department of Religion in The College of Arts and Sciences, will retire after 39 years of service to the University. Wiggins is one of the country’s foremost religion scholars. He served nine years as the executive director of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the largest scholarly and professional organization for the study of religion. He represented the AAR on the American Council of Learned Societies, and he promoted the work of the AAR in the international arena through contact with organizations and scholars in numerous foreign countries. Wiggins has served as president of the board of directors of the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center, and he is a member of the boards of CONTACT and the Interreligious Council of Central New York.
He has taught at all levels of the curriculum and has been a faculty advisor for more than 20 doctoral degree candidates and participated as a dissertation committee member for more than 20 other doctoral students. He was director of graduate studies for the religion department from 1975 until his appointment as department chair in 1980, a position he held until 2000. Wiggins is recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Service (1992) and the Eliphalet Remington Chair in Religion, a position he has held since 1999. He has an outstanding record of service to the University, including service on the Faculty Council and the University Senate. He is also the University marshal. He is author or editor of four books, and numerous journal articles and book chapters, and has lectured widely at universities and scholarly conferences across the United States.