Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, associate professor of food studies in Falk College, was interviewed for the Syracuse.com story “Why aren’t NY farm workers in the Covid-19 vaccine line?” Minkoff-Zern, an expert on the intersections of food and social justice, comments on the…
Five to be honored with 2002 Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citations
Five faculty and staff members will receive Chancellor’s Citations for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs, for Distinguished Service, and for Exceptional Academic Achievement Feb. 25 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center.
The honorees are Shiu-Kai Chin, Meredith Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS); Jake Crouthamel, director of athletics; Fred Manuel Frohock, professor of political science in the Maxwell School; James A. Schwarz, professor of chemical engineering and materials science in ECS and adjunct professor of chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences; and Eric F. Spina, associate dean of ECS and associate professor of mechanical, aerospace and manufacturing engineering.
Shiu-Kai ChinChancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs
When Shiu-Kai Chin was named a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in 1997, one of the questions he chose to explore more deeply during this Meredith tenure was “What are the lessons of lasting value for students at Syracuse University?” That question propelled him into a leadership role on the All-University Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee (AUSLOAC) and, ultimately, to a 2002 Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs.
“Those of us closely involved with AUSLOAC since the beginning understand the absolutely pivotal role Shiu-Kai’s leadership has played in shifting perspectives about assessment,” says Sandra N. Hurd, professor and chair of the law and public policy department in the School of Management. Hurd co-chaired the AUSLOAC with Chin. “He has pushed the University community-patiently, persuasively, but relentlessly-to think about how our students learn, what we want them to learn and how to assess what they are learning.”
According to Chin, assessment of student learning is not simply a matter of how well students can regurgitate the material presented in class. Assessment involves looking at what students are able to do as a result of encountering the class, and whether the course enabled them to make better use of critical thinking skills to solve problems.
The questions that need to be asked, Chin says, are “What are our hopes for students”; “What are we doing to realize those hopes”; “How do we know whether the hopes are realized”; and based on our observations, “What might we do differently and why?”
“In our efforts to assess student learning, we need to keep focused on the right questions,” Chin says. “Each of these questions are appropriate across disciplines, are respectful of knowledge and are good, intellectual questions.”
In addition to his role as co-chair of the AUSLOAC, and his teaching responsibilities in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, Chin is director of SU’s CASE Center, which plays a leading role in transferring technology, incubating new technology companies and providing technology direction in Central New York. Chin also maintains an active research program. During the past 10 years, he has been at the forefront of developments in the field of information security. He is one of the principal investigators in SU’s new Center for Systems Assurance and on a $1.9 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the SAID Project (Sense, Analyze, Interpret, Decide), among other projects.
Chin is also active in the Central New York community in a number of areas, including as a certified trainer in the Alternatives to Violence Project, a certified player and narrator in the Syracuse Mental Health Players, and as a leader of his faith community. Chin was also recently appointed to the Onondaga County/City of Syracuse Human Rights Commission, and he is chair of the commission’s Community Service Committee.
“Professor Chin is an extraordinary individual, whose activities in multiple and diverse areas have had a profound impact on a generation of students at the University and have enriched the greater Central New York community,” says Eric F. Spina, associate dean in ECS and a fellow Chancellor’s Citation honoree. “While he is being recognized for his role in assessment and student learning outcomes at SU, a full appreciation of his contributions can only be achieved by understanding the breadth and depth of his impact and his distinguished record at the University.”
Chin began teaching at SU in 1986. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering (1975), and a master’s degree (1979) and a Ph.D. (1986) in electrical engineering from SU. Before he began his teaching career, he was a research scientist at the Air Force Research Labs in Rome, N.Y.
Jake CrouthamelChancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Service
When Jake Crouthamel discovered he was to receive a Chancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Service, his first reaction was surprise. Then he set about to find those behind his nomination-the ones he dubbed “the perpetrators. “It didn’t take him long to track down Sue Cornelius Edson, director of athletic communications, and Barb Adams, associate director of athletics; and they were anything but repentant.
“For almost 24 years Jake has carried the flag for Syracuse University Athletics,” says Edson. “During that time his philosophy has not wavered: The program provides a sound educational experience for the student-athlete within the student-body. The term student-athlete is genuine at SU.”
Still, Crouthamel remains self-effacing about his success. “I’ve got no idea how I got this award,” he says. “As a matter of fact, I was so curious that I asked for the application, so I could check the criteria, which were ‘length of service,’ ‘leadership’ and ‘collegiality.’ I can certainly agree with the ‘length of service’ and ‘collegiality’ in terms of sharing of authority. Other than that, I don’t think there’s anything that makes my career here any more distinguished than that of a heck of a lot of other people.”
Others might not agree.
Under Crouthamel’s leadership SU Athletics has undergone major improvements in facilities (the Carrier Dome is just one example), conference affiliation and staffing. There have been 20 post-season bids and two NCAA championship game appearances for men’s basketball, 12 bowl berths since 1988 and an undefeated season in football, seven national championships in lacrosse, and post-season appearances in women’s basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, track and field and rowing. In just the third year of its existence, the women’s soccer team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, and the women’s softball team played its inaugural season in 1999-2000.
Crouthamel was named the 2000 Division 1-A Northeast Region Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics. He also won the 1999 National Football Foundation’s John L. Toner Award, which is presented annually to an athletic director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics, particularly college football.
But Crouthamel is not one for taking the credit alone; rather he sees himself as an “enabler.” “It takes good people to achieve success,” he says. “My management style is to get good people and make sure they know what they’re supposed to do and then hang on to their coat tails and let them take you.”
Adams puts it another way. “Jake listens,” she says. “His style is to gather information and then make decisions. For example, at staff meetings he throws a topic on the table, sits back with his hands raised at the back of his head, and listens to the conversation. Eventually the staff stops talking and stares at Jake. Then he will ask a few questions and give his opinion.”
Adams describes Crouthamel as genuinely interested in the successes achieved by his staff-something that has translated into impressive staff retention. His loyalty and protectiveness also extends to SU’s student-athletes, who he considers part of “the family.” “I see myself going to bat for the students,” he says. “It’s not always easy to help them adapt and adjust, but when you see them graduate and have success after college it’s very rewarding.” In 2001 the
Department of Athletics boasted a graduation rate of 81 percent, while the overall student body had a mark of 74 percent.
Hard work is important to Crouthamel, and he leads by example. He describes his role at SU as an “all-consuming” occupation that he lives and breathes seven days a week. Still, Crouthamel says the past 24 years have gone by quickly.
“There haven’t been many dull moments,” he says.
” I had no intentions of being here this long, but challenges became opportunities and departmentally we were able to take advantage of some of those opportunities and they just kept coming.”
As for the future, Crouthamel sees himself retiring at SU, but not for a couple of years. He still has some unnamed “facility goals” and he doesn’t yet see himself as a “drag” on the department. Judging by the comments of his staff-and others-he’s not the only one.
Fred Manuel FrohockChancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement
The word “eclectic” might have been coined specifically to describe the list of topics Fred Manuel Frohock, professor of political science in the Maxwell School, has pursued in his research. They include political philosophy, abortion, critically ill infants, alternative medicine and spiritual healing, and psychic phenomena. He is currently working on a project on religion and politics.
“Its depth of understanding and profundity is matched by a breadth that is truly remarkable and unusual,” says religion Professor David Miller of Frohock’s research. “The interdisciplinary nature of Professor Frohock’s work spans the technical fields of political science, history, philosophy, education and religion.” The depth and breadth of his work are two of the reasons Frohock was selected to receive the 2002 Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement.
“Fred Frohock has been an enormously prolific and productive scholar in his 30-plus-year career at Syracuse University,” says fellow political science professor Kristi J. Andersen in her letter nominating him for the Chancellor’s Citation.
“During that period he has published nine books with top presses, and 16 scholarly articles. Frohock is not only a nationally renowned political theorist, but is a recognized expert in bioethics, medical ethics and alternative medicine. This unique combination of scholarly interests is linked by Frohock’s concern about the way contentious issues and diverse perspectives are accommodated in modern liberal societies.”
Another thing that distinguishes Frohock’s work is its incorporation of the voices of real people, an unusual technique in academic works in political theory. It started when he was working on his 1984 book about abortion. He was going about it like the political theorist that he was-incorporating lots of theory, but no real-life experience. Then he realized he was writing on one of the more contentious issues in American society from the confines of his study.
“I suddenly thought, ‘What am I doing?'” he says. It struck him that he needed to include the voices of people on both sides of the abortion struggle. So he taught himself to do interviews and went out into the field. “I discovered that combining the views of activists with the best work in theory was a very powerful way to present arguments on the issue,” he says.
The resulting book, “Abortion: A Case Study in Law and Morals” (Greenwood-Praeger Press), was selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1984. Since then, Frohock has included interviews with practitioners in many of his publications.
Frohock thinks that his ability to interview people about important concerns may have originated in his South Florida youth, when he spent summers working at a variety of jobs. “I always talked at length with my coworkers and formed early the conviction that everyone has a story to tell that makes their life intelligible and justifiable,” he says. “To get at these stories is easy-say as little as possible and just listen to the person.”
That ability has helped him in researching such books as “Special Care: Medical Decisions at the Beginning of Life” (University of Chicago Press, 1986), “Healing Powers: Alternative Medicine, Spiritual Communities, and the State” (University of Chicago Press, 1992) and “Lives of the Psychics: The Shared Worlds of Science and Mysticism” (University of Chicago Press, 2000). The latter book tackled the type of question not often considered in political science tomes-whether psychic phenomena are “real.” He doesn’t give a yes-or-no answer, but concludes that scientific testing may not be the best way to evaluate these phenomena.
Frohock still does a lot of work in political theory. He published a more traditional political theory book, “Public Reason: Mediated Authority in the Liberal State” (Cornell University Press) as recently as 1999.
Frohock carries his enthusiasm for the various topics he investigates into the classroom. “When I was writing the abortion book, I brought pro- and anti-abortion speakers into my class,” he says. “When I was involved in the alternative medicine book, we discussed the issues in class with guest speakers who were practitioners. The public reason book came directly from a seminar in which I had eight superb graduate students discussing issues in political theory.”
Frohock is as devoted to teaching as he is to scholarship. “They complement each other,” he says. “The best teaching is drawn from the best research.” The courses he has taught range from graduate seminars in “The Logic of Political Inquiry” to cross-listed courses in “Healing Practices” to undergraduate offerings in “Political Fiction and Film.”
As a professor, Frohock has been active outside the classroom too. He proposed and organized SU’s study abroad program in Madrid and served as one of its first resident chairs from 1973 to 1974. He has also organized, and is the chair of, two SU summer programs in London, “Politics and Media in England” (begun in 1984) and “Graduate Internships in Politics, News and Public Policy” (which he started in 1996).
Frohock was instrumental in organizing the political philosophy major at SU, which he chaired from 1975 to 1977 and currently co-chairs. He chaired the political science department from 1985 to 1989. He is vice president and a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Ethics in Health Care, which he helped organize in 1995 and which began its first two-year course of study in 2000. He was named a co-director in 1994 of the Syracuse Consortium for the Cultural Foundations of Medicine, and has been its executive director since 2000.
James A. SchwarzChancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement
As a doctoral student at Stanford University, James A. Schwarz participated in vitamin C research with Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. As a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University, he studied oxide surfaces with Nobel Prize contender and renowned physicist and chemist Jack Linnett.
Schwarz, professor of chemical engineering and materials science in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) and adjunct professor of chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences, has mentored more than 35 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows over the past five years. In the more than 225 research articles he has authored over the years (which have resulted in more than 4,000 citations), his students’ names appear right alongside his. He has given his students, both graduates and undergraduates, the kind of research experience that sets them apart from the rest. Many have gone on to distinguish themselves in industry, academics, and the physics and chemistry communities.
Schwarz is known on the national and international levels for his pioneering research on the adsorptive storage of hydrogen on carbon and catalyst preparation, and holds 14 U.S. patents for his discoveries.
For his numerous academic achievements and contributions, Schwarz will be honored with a 2002 Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement.
He is grateful, yet humble, about the award. “It’s due to the fact that I have worked with a great bunch of people,” he says of the award. “I had the greatest team of postdocs that one could hope for.”
Schwarz’s colleagues agree wholeheartedly with the honor.
“Jim is a passionate researcher,” says Charles T. Driscoll, University Professor of Environmental and Systems Engineering and interim chair of civil and environmental engineering in ECS. “He embodies the spirit of the Chancellor’s Citation.”
“Professor Schwarz possesses the extremely active mind of a true scholar. His dedication to his own continuing education and to that of all in this community is unquestionable,” says Joseph Chaiken, professor of chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences. “He always exemplifies the drive to get ‘outside the box,’ bringing his creativity and energy to every problem in which I have seen him take interest. And he takes interest in almost everything that crosses his path.”
A native of New Jersey, Schwarz began his undergraduate work at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He started with mathematics, but soon discovered his passion was for physics and chemistry. He began working in the college’s undergraduate laboratories, and found his niche in chemical physics and applied chemistry. He received a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in chemistry from Stevens. After earning his doctorate in chemistry at Stanford University, he spent a year at Cambridge University, working with Linnett. “That was an experience,” Schwarz says. “He could walk into a room and tell me if my latest results were right or wrong.”
Schwarz then spent a year as a visiting scholar at the University of California-Berkeley, a year at Stanford as a postdoctoral fellow, and a year teaching applied mathematics at Mills College in California. He then spent seven years in industry, working at Chevron Research, where he learned the “nitty gritty” about catalysis, and Exxon Research and Engineering, where he gained valuable practical experience in catalysis. He then decided to make the switch to academics, and joined the SU faculty as an associate professor in 1979. He was promoted to full professor in 1985.
Schwarz’s primary research interest remained in the area of catalysis, but he also branched out into other areas, including materials and surface science. He received a grant that began a long association for the University with the Rome Air Development Center in Rome, N.Y. Together with his student researchers, Schwarz worked on several projects in the field of microelectronics, including microwave cathodes and thermionic emitters.
“If you look deep enough you can find good physics and chemistry in a lot of diverse areas,” Schwarz says.
Over the years, Schwarz has received nearly $5 million in research grants and contracts, including a grant from Brookhaven Labs to research the storage of hydrogen for potential fuel cell applications. In 1988, he received a U.S. patent for Modification/Metal Assisted Carbon Cold Storage of Hydrogen (MACS), a process by which surface-modified activated carbon serves as a safe and cost-efficient method of hydrogen storage. In 1990, he established the Laboratory for Advanced Storage Systems for Hydrogen within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, a laboratory dedicated to furthering hydrogen energy research. He also received a large grant from Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. to study the possibility of using hydrogen as a source of energy in the home.
Schwarz was awarded a Fulbright Award to study in Romania in 1998. He is a recipient of the Anaren Microwave Award for Research, and received the prestigious Langmuir Lectureship from the American Chemical Society in 2001.
“Professor Schwarz has had an unusually productive career, not only performing and publishing research work in many areas, but in involving and educating many students in the course of his research,” says Philip A. Rice, professor of chemical engineering and materials science in ECS. “His work has been innovative and is widely recognized by the scientific and technical communities.”
Schwarz is currently on a medical leave, recovering from an illness and a series of surgeries that took place in 2001. Even though he is focusing on his recuperation, he still remains heavily involved in his work. He was recently asked to be the editor of an online encyclopedia, “The Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology,” for Marcel Dekker NY. He is working with scientists from around the globe on the project, which he hopes will become a benchmark in the field of nanoscience. Two of his former postdocs, Christian Contescu and Karol Putyera, are associate editors on the project.
And even though Schwarz is a man of much accomplishment, one whose work has received national and international recognition and inspired students and colleagues alike, his thirst for knowledge has never been quenched. He spends five to six hours a day in front of his computer, working on the encyclopedia and expanding his interests, which have grown to include biology and medicine.
“I learn something new every day,” he says.
Eric F. SpinaChancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs
The University will recognize how much Eric F. Spina’s hard work and dedication has meant to the institution by awarding him a 2002 Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs.
Spina, associate dean of ECS and associate professor of mechanical, aerospace and manufacturing engineering, says he is honored by the award, but the greatest rewards in his 14 years at ECS have come in the day-to-day interactions he has shared with the outstanding students, faculty and staff of the college. His colleagues in ECS feel working with Spina has been rewarding as well.
“To receive the Chancellor’s Citation, the individual must have a record that demonstrates ‘not just a job well done’-or even many jobs well done-but evidence of ‘exceeding the boundaries of the expected performance, with evidence of exceptional contributions to the academic community, often at the price of a personal sacrifice,'” says Edward A. Bogucz, dean of ECS. “I strongly believe that Eric’s record of accomplishments meets these demanding criteria.”
After earning his doctorate from Princeton University in 1988, Spina joined the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Manufacturing Engineering (MAME) as an assistant professor.
“Even in grad school I knew that I wanted to be involved in all aspects of the academic community,” Spina says. “To me, that includes spending the time to become a good teacher and being engaged in service in a really deep and serious way. Other institutions at which I interviewed were almost completely focused on research and told me that I would have to do a little teaching. At SU, they enabled me to be the full faculty member I wanted to be. I’ve never been disappointed in SU in terms of allowing me to do what I want to do. When I taught, I was encouraged to put a lot of time into my teaching. When I’ve done research, I’ve been given the time to do it well. It’s been exactly the kind of institution I thought it would be.”
Spina was the associate chair of MAME in 1995 when Bogucz was the department chair. It was a time in ECS’ history when the college was facing a hiring freeze due to low enrollment numbers and had to downsize and refocus its goals. Spina and Bogucz were members of a team that focused the college’s resources in strategic areas of investment that the college is still geared toward to this day. Spina says the focus areas were successful beyond their highest hopes.
“The restructuring was nearly a three-year process that involved the whole college,” Spina remembers. “We couldn’t be the same college anymore, and deciding what we could be was a challenge in a number of ways. Everybody worked hard to make our vision for the college work, and the college has blossomed. It’s gratifying to see the focus areas we picked like environmental systems and information security gain national prominence and know that the college is positioned to be a leader in those areas.”
The strategic area of environmental systems has, through the efforts of Spina and others, been able to attract significant resources from the University, New York state and federal government agencies. The resources include a $4.5 million environmental systems laboratory in Link Hall and the creation of a $15.9 million New York State Center for Environmental Systems Quality (EQS). The EQS Center creates a world-class environment enabling Syracuse to be recognized as a leader in the field of environmental systems.
“While the dramatic success of the Environmental Quality Systems initiative is perhaps the crowning jewel of Eric’s many achievements in recent years, the depth and breadth of his contribution to the overall academic programs at Syracuse University are profound,” says John LaGraff, professor and chair of MAME.
Although Spina has had a profound impact on ECS, his time at SU has also had a deep impact on his own life. He developed a close friendship with Bogucz from the day he was hired, as the two shared many professional and personal interests. When the Boguczes had their first child, they asked Spina to be his godfather; for godmother, they asked Bogucz’s sister, Karen. Nineteen months later, Spina married Karen Bogucz.
“Some people in the college probably think that’s why I was named associate dean,” Spina jokes about his family ties. “Seriously, my wife and children are a great part of any success I may have at SU and I appreciate that they are so supportive when I am working late or here on the weekends.”
Spina says having children of his own has helped him understand the importance of the influence that educators have on students and their families.
“Every year, the two greatest days for me are the first and last day of school,” Spina says. “We spend a lot of time and energy recruiting freshmen and getting them ready for the first day of fall semester. Having the parents here for Opening Weekend and hearing from them that they are comfortable and happy that they chose ECS is very special. It’s a sacred bond-they trust us with their children.”
“During Commencement we have an awful lot of success stories from kids who have struggled, but made it through. You know you didn’t do it for them, but you know you had a hand in it. I have been very fortunate to work with people who are very good at what they do and care a lot about what they do. I think that is reflected in the good things that happen in this college every day.”