Inaugural One University Awards Honor Campus Community Members
Syracuse University held the inaugural One University Awards Ceremony on Tuesday in Hendricks Chapel, honoring dozens of members of the University community for their scholarship, teaching, academic achievement, leadership and service.
Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly presided at the ceremony, which included remarks by Chancellor Kent Syverud and a performance by the University Singers under the direction of John Warren, associate professor and director of choral activities in the Setnor School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Two major University awards, the Chancellor’s Medal and the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence, were given. The ceremony also included the presentation of the Student-Athlete Award, the Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship; the Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence; the Teaching Recognition Award; the United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award; the 50-Year Service Award; and the William Pearson Tolley Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Lifelong Learning.
The Chancellor’s Medal was first presented in 1967 as the Centennial Medal on the occasion of Chancellor William Pearson Tolley’s 25th anniversary as chancellor. The medal is awarded to individuals in honor of their trailblazing and extraordinary contributions to the University, to an academic body of knowledge, or to society. On the 50th anniversary of the medal’s establishment, the medal was awarded to Sam Clemence, professor emeritus in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and interim dean of Hendricks Chapel, and his wife, Carolyn Clemence.
Chancellor Syverud spoke of the long histories of the awards and the fact that many were presented at locations away from the Syracuse University campus. There has often been long gaps in between the awards ceremonies.
“It is time to rededicate these honors,” he said. “We rededicate them by conferring these awards once again, in a new ceremony occurring in the heart and soul of our campus, Hendricks Chapel.
“It is so appropriate that we confer these awards, not in a country club or hotel, but in Hendricks Chapel,” Chancellor Syverud said. “It is appropriate because, just as these honors are being rededicated, so is this chapel, which is a living institution that is so important to this University and its future.
Also acknowledged during the ceremony were the University Scholars; Senior Class and School and College Marshals; Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars; and emeriti faculty. Those honored yesterday include:
This award is given to the male and female student athlete with the highest overall GPA.
Hendrik Hilpert, Whitman School of Management, with a 4.0 GPA: Hilpert is a two-year starter in goal for the Orange men’s soccer program and helped Syracuse advance to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. He was the 2015 Martin J. Whitman School of Management Freshman of the Year and a member of the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team.
Arianna Lee, College of Engineering and Computer Science, with a 3.962 GPA: Lee is in her second season with the Syracuse women’s rowing program. In her first year, she helped the Orange first varsity eight crew to a 12th-place showing at the 2016 NCAA Championship. She also received All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Team accolades.
Cameron MacPherson, College of Arts and Sciences, with a 4.0 GPA: MacPherson, grandson of former Syracuse head football coach Dick MacPherson, is a two-year letter-winner for the Orange football program. As a senior in 2016, he was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded to the country’s top football scholar-athlete, and earned CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America honors. MacPherson was a 2015-16 Remembrance Scholar.
Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship
First presented in 1992, this award recognizes graduate and undergraduate students who have significantly contributed to their communities through innovative public
scholarship and community engagement.
Farrell Greenwald Brenner is a women’s and gender studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences and citizenship and civic engagement major in the Maxwell School. A 2017 University Scholar and 2016-17 Remembrance Scholar, she has been a champion of those victimized by harassment or bullying and a passionate advocate for justice.
Andrew Ramos is a bioengineering major in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and a 2016-17 Remembrance Scholar. He has been part of the Excelerators student ambassador team, coordinated STEM exploration events for Syracuse youth, and co-founded the Syracuse University chapter of Engineering World Health.
Cara Levine is a doctoral student in counseling and human services in the School of Education. As a counselor, researcher and teacher, she has embodied collaborative and creative service and research that address some of the most dire needs in our communities.
Recognition of 50-Year Employees
Jack Graver, professor of mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences: Graver has held numerous departmental leadership positions and has regularly conducted in-service and summer workshops for public school teachers in Syracuse and elsewhere.
Donald Morton, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences: Morton pursues scholarship on Marxism, critical theory, critical cultural studies, gender and sexuality. He also has introduced several innovative courses into the curriculum.
Sarah Short, professor of nutrition science and dietetics in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. She has taught 14 courses in nutrition, sports nutrition, food science, minerals, biochemistry and education—connecting with about 1,100 students each year.
Class of 2016 Emeriti
Syracuse University faculty who have been honored upon retirement for their past and expected future contributions to the University and to their fields of study: Bruce Abbey (dean emeritus of the School of Architecture), Kristi Andersen, Karen Bakke, Benita Blachman, Philip Borer, Stuart Bretschneider, Ann Clarke (dean emeritus of the College of Visual and Performing Arts), James Dabrowiak, Helen Doerr, Linda Galloway, Martha Hanson, Jerry Kelly, Edward Lipson, Carla Lloyd, Arthur McDonald, Pamela Shoemaker, Clint Tankersley, Stuart Thorson.
Meredith Professors for Teaching Excellence
A substantial bequest from the estate of L. Douglas Meredith, a 1926 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, allowed Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw to create the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorships in 1995 to recognize and reward outstanding teaching at Syracuse University.
Sanjay Chhablani is a professor in the College of Law. For his Meredith project, he plans to develop a course using the television series “The Wire” as the basis for exploring the criminal justice system.
Jackie Orr is associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School. For her Meredith project, she plans to develop a course focusing on the emergent field of “arts-based research practice.”
Teaching Recognition Awards
The Teaching Recognition Award is sponsored by the Meredith Professors to benefit non-tenured faculty members. It recognizes excellence in teaching and fosters a culture of collegial mentoring among faculty members.
Todd Berger is associate professor in the College of Law and director of the college’s Criminal Defense Clinic, where students work with real clients and learn interviewing, counseling and other professional skills.
Jeffrey Gonda is assistant professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School. He focuses his research and teaching on U.S. history through the lenses of race and law.
Shikha Nangia is assistant professor in biomedical and chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Her research focuses on advancing the development of therapies to treat neuro-degenerative diseases.
Paul Prescott is an instructor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. He focuses on ensuring students develop analytical skills to better understand their own views as well as the divergent views of others—and to intellectually engage with the world.
Jonnell Robinson is an assistant professor of geography in the Maxwell School and the College of Arts and Sciences. She created and built the field of community geography, which has garnered international recognition and engaged students in community problem-solving.
C. Cora True-Frost is associate professor in the College of Law. She is recognized both as an important scholar and as a valuable mentor and teacher, helping students learn to analyze and question, and to understand the impact of the law on people.
United Methodist Scholar and Teacher of the Year
The Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church has sponsored the United Methodist Scholar and Teacher of the Year Award at Syracuse University each year since 1982 to recognize the teaching and scholarship of an outstanding professor. This award gives explicit emphasis to the dual nature of a faculty member’s responsibilities as a scholar or creative artist and as a teacher.
Thomas Perreault, professor of geography in the Maxwell School and the College of Arts and Sciences, is a dedicated teacher and mentor, consistently going above and beyond to support student success and graduate scholarship. He exemplifies the highest levels of integrity and justice—and a deep commitment to the wider community.
Chancellor’s Citation Awards
These awards were first presented to members of the University community in 1979 in recognition of outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship and creative work. Over time, the focus of the awards changed to reflect new priorities and institutional directions. This year, Chancellor’s Citations were presented in four categories: Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction; Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and University Initiatives; Excellence in Student Research; and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Student Research
Rachel Brown-Weinstock is a triple major in sociology, policy studies, and citizenship and civic engagement in the Maxwell School and the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a 2017 Senior Class Marshal, University Scholar and Remembrance Scholar. She explores the use of sociological research to advocate for better poverty-fighting policies and programs.
José Marrero-Rosado is a biochemistry major in the College of Arts and Sciences and anthropology major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School. He is a 2016-17 Remembrance Scholar and an award-winning researcher and presenter.
Carli Flynn, a doctoral student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, conducts research on urban water management with a focus on improving quality of life in cities.
Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the Student Experience and University Initiatives
Gerald Edmonds is an assistant provost in the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Programs. He has been a leading force for University-wide assessment and accreditation activities, including the Middle States accreditation self-study.
As director of the Disability Cultural Center, Diane Wiener coordinates campus-wide social, educational and cultural activities on disability issues for students, faculty, staff and community members. Her passion for recognizing the value and potential residing in each one of us has helped foster a stronger and more inclusive campus community.
Chancellor’s Citation for Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction
Jennifer Karas-Montez is assistant professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has earned national and international notice for her scholarship on the growing inequalities in life expectancy across gender, education level or geographical region.
Christopher Scholz is professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has distinguished himself as a leader in several overlapping fields of research, with major impacts on the geosciences.
Chancellor’s Citation Lifetime Achievement Award
Charles V. Willie is one of the nation’s most prominent black sociologists, with a powerful legacy of advancing access and opportunity for all. Educator and social activist, he has served as a court-appointed master, expert witness and consultant in many school desegregation cases. Throughout his career, he has leveraged the power of social research to advance the cause of justice. Willie received his Ph.D. from Syracuse in 1957 and went on to serve as chair of the Department of Sociology and vice president of the University. Today, he is a faculty emeritus of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
William Pearson Tolley Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Lifelong Learning
As one of the nation’s pre-eminent leaders in higher education, William Pearson Tolley served as Syracuse University’s chancellor for 27 years. The University established the Tolley Medal in 1966, in conjunction with the School of Education, to recognize strong scholarship and leadership in lifelong learning.
Ruth Colvin, a pioneer in promoting literacy among adult learners: Colvin is the founder of Literacy Volunteers of America. She launched the nonprofit in 1962 after reading a newspaper article about the high illiteracy rate in Onondaga County and deciding something needed to be done to fix the problem. Her community instruction model caught on, and in 2002, the nonprofit merged with Laubach Literacy to form ProLiteracy Worldwide—the largest adult basic education and literacy organization in the world today.
The Chancellor’s Medal is the University’s highest honor and is awarded to individuals in honor of their trailblazing and extraordinary contributions to the University, to an academic body of knowledge or to society. The medal, which was first presented in 1967, had not been awarded since 2012.
The Chancellor’s Medal has been awarded to princes, to philanthropists and to world and civic leaders. “Today, it also goes to cherished friends of the University,” said Wheatly during the presentation. “This year, we honor two people who have given of themselves for decades to support a strong, vibrant and caring University. In the process, they have enriched the lives of countless students, faculty and staff, and made a lasting impression on all who have known them. That they are part of our University family makes this presentation that much more special.”
The medal was awarded to Sam Clemence, professor emeritus in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and interim dean of Hendricks Chapel, and his wife, Carolyn Clemence.
The Clemences have been members of the University community for more than 40 years, during which time they have steadfastly supported students and colleagues. Sam mentored students from all over the world and encouraged students to study in Dubai. Carolyn, a former Navy nurse, quietly accompanied Chancellor Melvin Eggers to chemotherapy sessions.
Chancellor Syverud said the Clemences gave up their well-earned retirement to help the University through a key leadership transition at Hendricks Chapel. “For the last two years, Sam and Carolyn have devoted more than full time to the communities served by Hendricks Chapel,” the Chancellor said in a tribute video. “They have been everywhere—at student events, at religious services, at Commencement and convocations—and they have helped countless individual students and staff through times of testing.”
Chancellor Syverud said this isn’t surprising. “This is what Sam and Carolyn consistently did for our students and community, including in the College of Engineering and Computer Science,” he said.
“It’s been a wonderful 40-year adventure for us at this University,” Sam Clemence said upon receiving the award. “We are so grateful for the students.
“It’s been a privilege to be part of the great leadership of this University,” he said. “The future is bright, it’s glowing, and it’s glowing orange.”
The Clemences will now be able to embark on their well-deserved retirement. The chapel’s new dean, the Rev. Brian Konkol, will begin his tenure on July 15.
Among the other University community members honored at Tuesday’s ceremony were:
The scholarships were founded as a tribute to, and means of remembering, the 35 students who were killed in the December 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The students, who were returning from a semester of study abroad in London and Florence, were among the 270 people who perished in the bombing. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of distinguished academic work, citizenship, and service to community.
Current Remembrance Scholars are: Clayton Baker, Charlotte Balogh, Amber Barrow, Katherine Barymow, Jourdann Borski, Farrell Greenwald Brenner, Rachel Brown-Weinstock, Lynsey Cooper, Emily Dang, Malik Evans, Ryan Gibson, Kimberly Juarez, Joyce LaLonde, Emily Lindberg, Paola Louzado-Feliciano, José Marrero-Rosado, Kelsey May, Nigel Miller, Megan Minier, Claire Moran, Francis Morency, Genevieve Pilch, Andrew Ramos, Alexis Rinck, Miracle Rogers, Nedda Sarshar, Elaine Sartwell, Kelly Sheptock, Ilana Siegal, Samanatha Steinert, Patricia Terhune, Jamie Weiss, Terence Wells, Sarah Whittaker and Soleil Young.
Each year two students from Lockerbie, Scotland, are selected to study in Syracuse for one year. This is one way in which Syracuse University strives to fulfill its promise. To our communities, these students represent the 11 people who died in Lockerbie in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and our commitment to Remembrance. Current Lockerbie Scholars: Shona Beattie and Sian McLaughlin.
Senior Class Marshals
The Senior Class Marshals are distinguished individuals who exemplify the spirit of the senior class, exhibit excellent critical-thinking skills, and have excelled during their time at Syracuse. This year’s Senior Class Marshals are Rachel Brown-Weinstock and Nedda Sarshar.
School and College Marshals
Marshals for each of the University’s schools and colleges are selected for their distinguished achievement in scholarship, academic honors, student organization involvement, leadership and collegiality, as well as campus and community engagement and service.
College of Arts and Sciences
Lily Q. Sarkisian, Brandon Wilson, Soleil Young
College of Engineering and Computer Science
JiaJin Lei, Kayla Powell
School of Information Studies
Megan Minier, Kwabena T. Tettey
College of Law
Colleen M. Gibbons
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Ryan Gibson, Jamie Estevon Raines
David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
Nicole Laura Autino, Arielle J. Hall
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Katrina Lacey Springer
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Jessica M. Dunne, Kelly J. Sheptock
School of Architecture
Jon Anthony, Angela Copes
School of Education
E. Maria Sabik, Erica Wong
The Graduate School
Carly Jo Hosbach-Cannon
Martin J. Whitman School of Management
Lauren B. Knafo, Xinye (Cindy) Zou
University Scholar is the highest form of academic recognition Syracuse University bestows on an academically outstanding graduating senior in a baccalaureate degree program. This year’s University Scholars are: Farrell Greenwald Brenner, Rachel Brown-Weinstock, Hasmik Djoulakian, Emma Ettinger, Emily Fesnak, Anniya Gu, Evangeline Soileau, Genevieve Starke, Bryan Sweeney, Jessica Toothaker, Geoffrey Vaartstra and Soleil Young.