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Chancellor’s Citations to be presented April 10
Chancellor’s Citations to be presented April 10January 20, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
The Chancellor’s Citations, among SU’s highest honors given each year to recognize the outstanding contributions made by faculty and staff to the University’s mission, will be presented at a ceremony April 10 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center. SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor will present six faculty and staff members with Chancellor’s Citations for Distinguished Service, Exceptional Academic Achievement and Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs.
The 2006 honorees are Mark Bowick, professor of physics; Steven Cohan, professor of English; Michael Flusche, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and associate professor of history; Domenic Iacono, associate director of the University Art Collection; Owen Shapiro, professor of transmedia studies; and Christopher Walsh, dean of financial aid and scholarship programs.
Recipients of the Chancellor’s Citation receive a special art object created by a member of the faculty in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, together with a citation statement recognizing their accomplishments. They are honored in the company of colleagues, family and past recipients of the award.
Mark Bowick, Professor of PhysicsChancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement
In the time it takes most professors to conduct groundbreaking research, garner the esteem of colleagues and make contributions to one field study, Mark Bowick has succeeded in two. He is known throughout the University and in the international academic community as an expert in theoretical particle and condensed matter physics, having made award-winning discoveries in both areas while remaining dedicated to teaching and advising responsibilities.
Born in Rotorua, New Zealand, Bowick received his bachelor’s degree in 1977 from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He earned his master’s degree and a Ph.D in theoretical particle physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979 and 1983, respectively. Bowick came to SU in 1983, following post-doctoral research positions at Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1993 and to full professor in 1998.
In the 10 years following his doctoral studies, Bowick made major advances in the fields of particle physics, string theory and quantum gravity, including experiments using liquid crystals to understand what may have happened in the moments following the Big Bang. Additionally, he wrote several award-winning papers on super string thermodynamics and black hole physics. He won first prize in the 1986 Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition for his writing on the fate of black holes in their last stages of evaporation.
In 1993, Bowick became interested in condensed matter physics, specifically the study of membranes and the physics of curved surfaces. Some of his most recent work centers on the century-old “Thomson problem,” which deals with the irregular packing of particles on a spherical surface, posed by Nobel Prize winner J.J. Thomson in 1906. Bowick discovered irregularities in the structure of particles assembled on the surface of a sphere, which he called “scars.” The discovery represents a major step in solving what is considered one of the top 10 mathematics problems of the 21st century.
“I marvel at the breadth, depth and creativity of Mark’s research,” says Edward Lipson, professor and chair of the physics department. “He is one of those heroic souls who likes to take on hard problems. Mark is a brilliant, original and productive researcher with a strong interdisciplinary perspective. He is one of our finest teachers in classes large or small.”
Over the course of his career, Bowick has made a transition few physicists attempt or accomplish. He has been published in top journals such as Physical Review Letters, Science and Nature, and was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society. Those who have collaborated with Bowick note his prowess as a theorist and experimentalist, describing him as a scientist possessed of both an innovative spirit and an eye for the finest detail. He is regarded by his peers and friends as an exceptionally gifted, interdisciplinary scientist whose past and continuing success are a testament to his vast appetite for knowledge and unwavering commitment to excellence.
Steven Cohan, Professor of EnglishChancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement
English Professor Steven Cohan started his academic career as an expert in narrative theory. In 1988, he and SU colleague Linda M. Shires authored a well-respected text on the subject, “Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction”(Routledge). But then he veered off in another direction-film.
“That Cohan managed to move from one field to another with even a modicum of success is unusual enough in one’s academic career,” says Josh Stenger, assistant professor of English and film studies at Wheaton College and a former graduate student of Cohan’s. “To do so with the kind of success Cohan has found is virtually unheard of.”
Cohan has become one of academe’s leading authorities on masculinity in film. He is the author of “Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties” (Indiana University Press, 1997) and “Incongruous Entertainment: Camp, Cultural Value, and the MGM Musical” (Duke University Press, 2005), along with numerous articles and book chapters, and has edited several anthologies and the series “In Focus: Routledge Film Readers” with Ina Rae Hark. Beginning with “Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema” (Routledge, 1993), the groundbreaking collection of original essays that he co-edited with Hark, he has changed the field. Combining gender and queer theory with cultural studies, his work closely examines representations of masculinity both on film and in their historical contexts.
“In the early 1980s, feminist film theory had begun to revise theoretical models of representation and reception, reshaping film studies as a discipline,” says Shires, who nominated Cohan for the Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement. “But it paid little attention to masculinity, which was assumed to stand for a monolithic fixture against which femininity was defined. This may seem common sense now, but Cohan was among the first who widened the examination of gender issues from their early and important focus on femininity.”
Shires points out the frequency with which Cohan is cited in other scholars’ works in the field. “In addition, his books are widely used in courses in departments as different as sociology, architecture, English, film, American studies and communications,” she adds.
Cohan passes his enthusiasm for the field of film along to his students. “Though I did not enter SU intending to stay for the Ph.D., my experience in a course with Cohan during my second year as a master’s student caused me to re-think my initial plan to pursue a doctorate – at a different university,” says Stenger.
“He has the rare ability to engage students, undergraduate and graduate alike, completely in the material he sets before them,” says Amy Schrager Lang, SU professor of English and humanities. “This might seem no great accomplishment for a teacher in so popular a field as film, but Cohan is no ordinary film instructor. His courses are extremely rigorous, his syllabi model the serious study of culture, and his expectations of students are very high.”
Amy Villarejo, associate professor in the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance and director of the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Cornell University, met Cohan at a conference when she was finishing her dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh. She says he continues to mentor her today, and she can see the effect he has on others. “I have watched his graduate students encircle him at academic conferences with the kind of gratitude that is due one so wholeheartedly devoted to nurturing professional life in all of its complexity.”
Michael Flusche, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of HistoryChancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs
As Michael Flusche retires after a 36-year career at Syracuse University this May, he leaves a distinguished legacy of service and dedication that has enriched the University’s academic programs and the University community as a whole.
“In all ways, and every day, Michael Flusche is the standard bearer, the example, the mentor and my ‘go-to’ person, and I can’t image the past few years without his guiding counsel, calming voice and vast intellect,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “Michael’s contributions far exceed job expectations-expectations that could not possibly measure up to his contributions.”
Flusche joined SU in 1970 as a history instructor in The College of Arts and Sciences. He was promoted to assistant and associate professorships, and served as an associate dean in The College of Arts and Sciences before being named the University’s associate vice chancellor in 1986.
In that position, Flusche is responsible for general faculty matters and has served as an advisor to deans, department chairs and faculty members on personnel issues.He has been responsible for the approval of hundreds of faculty hiring letters and research leaves.He was the chief architect of the voluntary Supported Resignation Program in the early 1990s,the later Phased Retirement Program, and the Parental Leaves Policy,and is coordinator of the New Faculty Orientation Program, which for the past nine years has introduced new faculty and their partners to the campus and their new colleagues.The centerpiece of that program, the progressive dinner, has set the tone for fostering collegial interaction among faculty members across disciplinary and administrative boundaries.
Flusche spearheaded the creation of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorships for Teaching Excellence Program in 1995. “Working with the Meredith Professors, Mike has continued to emphasize to faculty members across campus the value that the University places upon excellent teaching,” says Michael Wasylenko, senior associate dean and professor of economics in the Maxwell School. “All of these efforts have served to improve instruction and learning outcomes at Syracuse University.”
Flusche is director of the University Lectures, the nationally recognized lecture series that has brought to campus individuals of exceptional accomplishment such as Denyce Graves, Rem Koolhaas, David McCullough, George Mitchell and August Wilson.
Flusche also coordinated the Academic Space Plan, an initiative to address academic space requirements, and chaired the committee that set the plan into motion. His 2005 webcast on the “Intentional Campus” attracted the largest audience that the Society of College and University Planners had experienced to date.
He coordinated a University-wide self-study process for regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 1988 and 1998, and is serving as an advisor for an upcoming Middle States self-study due in 2008. He has frequently served as a Middle States accreditation team member for theMiddle States Commission on Higher Education and the New England Association of Colleges and Schools, and serves on the Substantial Change Committee of the Middle States Commission.
Above and beyond his contributions to the University’s academic life, Flusche and his wife, Grace, have lived in the University neighborhood for decades. “Michael and Grace are well known for their blending of University and community,” says Freund, “especially hosting international dinners mixing students and faculty from diverse cultures and viewpoints.” Also active in community organizations, Flusche last year was named the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society “Man of the Year” for his fundraising efforts.
“Michael is an example of what is best about our faculty and administrators,” says Freund. “He believes that learning and education take place all over campus, not just in the classroom, and in that belief fosters that experience for all members of the University community.”
Domenic Iacono, Associate Director of the University Art CollectionChancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Service
Connecting people with art and art with people is a life’s work for Domenic Iacono. As he sees it, art behind glass (or in storage) pales beside art in action, in education. His 28 years with the University as registrar, curator, assistant director and associate director for the University Art Collection (UAC) attest to it.
In that time, Iacono has participated in growing UAC from “a small entity of prints, paintings, drawings and ceramics stored in the basement of the ‘old’ Lowe Art Center,” in the words of Don F. Cortese, professor emeritus and former head of the printmaking department, to “develop into outstanding collections of major world art available for scholarly research and readily accessible for student enjoyment and study.”
Iacono also developed a traveling exhibition program, now a major component of UAC activities, with as many as 12 offerings each year traveling to many types of museums. UAC staff members augment the shows with talks tied to exhibition contents.
Along with physical renovations required to accommodate growth and display of the collection, Iacono shepherded a conceptual renovation, bringing the University’s artwork resources back from the isolated periphery into the center of SU’s academic life. He worked to make people aware of UAC’s assets, introducing faculty to art, with fruitful results. In one case, a French class visited the gallery to examine works by French artists and discuss, in French, the social issues raised by the art.
From 1990-2003, Iacono was the central figure in constructing exhibition galleries for UAC, first at the Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, then in Sims Hall. Not just facelifts to the physical space, the area’s new form follows its educational function. Working galleries now exist where a kitchen once stood. Here, students can see and evaluate-out of the frame-the actual print they’ve read about in art history class. In these spaces and with Iacono’s help, Sandra Chai, assistant professor of fine arts, has set up specialized displays for upper-level and introductory large-survey courses in art history. She says, “The students are invariably amazed at the variety of artworks in the University Collection and the fact that they have the opportunity to examine the real thing.”
Iacono participated in a similar blossoming of gallery space at the Joseph I. Lubin House in Manhattan. In keeping with the University’s interest in broadening its presence in New York City, Iacono consulted on renovations to a room at Lubin House occasionally used for displays and helped develop Lubin’s exhibition program, emphasizing higher-quality shows twice a year. Following physical improvements, UAC assumed gallery management, premiering with an exhibition of rare Rembrandt prints, which Iacono curated. Now named the Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery, the exhibition space makes its mark on the city’s cultural map. When artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude mounted The Gates project in Central Park, Iacono recognized the opportunity. He managed several successful events tied to The Gates, including an exhibition of alumnus Albert Maysles films documenting early Christo work, which brought 1,500 visitors to Lubin House.
From outreach to new faculty to getting art visible in different campus locations to supporting exhibitions by special collections in other University departments, Iacono pursues his passions for print, paper, history and using art to stimulate new conversations. He also teaches museum studies in addition to the demands of his administrative position.
Not limiting himself to pure art, Iacono works with the Onondaga Historical Association, serving on its board and as a member of its collections committee. With a wish for “five more directors like him,” Paul Pflanz, OHA executive director, says, “His advice is excellent and well founded in considerable experience.”
Owen Shapiro, Professor of Transmedia StudiesChancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs
Owen Shapiro’s career embodies years of dedication and commitment to film and community at SU. He is a practicing filmmaker, directs the film program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, serves as associate editor for the award-winning Point of Contact magazine, and three years ago created the Syracuse International Film and Video Festival (SIFVF), of which he is artistic director.
Shapiro has worked at SU for more than 30 years, and in that time he has made extraordinary contributions to engaging the University with the wider world. He will be honored with the Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs.
As SIFVF artistic director, Shapiro manages all artistic and programming aspects of the festival, working alongside his wife, Christine Fawcett Shapiro, who serves as executive director. The festival has become a premier event since its inception, inspiring creativity, cultural celebration and economic opportunity for the City of Syracuse and Central New York. Shapiro’s work has allowed the festival to showcase films and videos that might not otherwise be seen in Syracuse, has put Syracuse on the map as an up-and-coming part of the film festival circuit, and has solidified partnerships with international film academies and archives, allowing the festival to truly call itself an international enterprise because of its global affiliates.
“As someone who has seen work done by festival directors, I know that setting up and maintaining a festival is a brave thing to do and a difficult task. Owen’s commitment to create an outstanding festival is infectious,” says independent filmmaker Carol Morley, an adjunct faculty member in SU’s London program and SIFVF judge.
Shapiro is director of the film program in VPA’s Department of Transmedia and works with students to help them become “strong, independent-thinking filmmakers,” says Corinne Wedlake ’07. As an educator, he generously shares his time, energy and intellect, and is devoted to engaging students with the larger community. Students in his course on film festivals work firsthand with visiting filmmakers in day-to-day operations of the SIFVF, exposing the nuances of finance, distribution and the variety of skills needed to see a film though from conceptual development to a screening of the finished work.
“Experiences of this nature are extremely important to the potential film artist in our programs, shaping their futures as directors or cinematographers,” says John Orentlicher, chair of the Department of Transmedia.
Shapiro has shepherded the film program to national recognition. He designed and developed the B.F.A. and M.F.A. curricula and cross-discipline courses in film and music, film and drama, and film and languages, literature and linguistics. He also designed space for the new film facilities in the Shaffer Art Building, including film editing, animation, sound and lighting studios, and a film studies research lab. He has taught film at the University since 1973 and chaired VPA’s former Department of Art Media Studies from 1992-95 and in 1999.
Actor and instructor Peter Weller G’04 believes Shapiro’s verve, enthusiasm and commitment to education are unequaled. “As a working craftsman in American arts and as a teacher myself, I know it is one thing to preach the ideals of higher education, and quite a different affair to implement them at the grass-roots level, i.e., the classroom. In my experience in the milieu of academia, there are very, very few folk whose dedication to service in higher education equals Mr. Shapiro’s.”
While Shapiro wears a multitude of hats, he is foremost a gifted and award-winning experimental documentary filmmaker whose work is integrated into his teaching. His films have been showcased and have garnered awards at film festivals around the world. According to Shapiro, the single most important event in his filmmaking career was in 1976, when Henry Langlois, a legend in the film world, presented “Homage: Owen Shapiro,” a retrospective at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris, an event that opened the door to many of his subsequent successes as a filmmaker.
“Owen certainly has done so much for the University in teaching, research and service programs,” says legendary documentary filmmaker and recent Arents Award recipient Albert Maysles ’49. “I know him best as filmmaker and initiator of the Syracuse International Film and Video Festival. He’s done a great job.”
Christopher Walsh, Dean of Financial Aid and Scholarship ProgramsChancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Service
Over the course of 25 years, Christopher Walsh has made a career of not only making college possible for generations of qualified SU students through financial assistance and scholarships, but also going to great lengths to help students with special circumstances continue their academic careers, which otherwise would have been discontinued by financial hardships. There are numerous stories, recounted by faculty and staff at the University, of Walsh dedicating himself to the cause of a particular student’s financial situation and personally meeting with the individual, and the person’s family, to provide and help identify the additional resources needed to complete the individual’s SU education.
“Chris has a palpable commitment to access and to diversity, and has been instrumental in developing a financial aid approach at SU that has dramatically influenced the ability of less-privileged students to attend,” says David C. Smith, vice president of enrollment management. “He has sought new ways of defining financial aid opportunities for students and families that have made what is inherently a very complex subject much more understandable.”
As dean, Walsh has oversight responsibility for the University’s financial aid program, amounting to more than $200 million annually, and is responsible for all aspects of undergraduate and graduate need-based financial aid programs. He also has been instrumental in assisting diverse populations of students succeed once they arrive at the University, remaining an active participant in the University’s Retention Council and lending his support to other retention programs such as SummerStart and Student Success Initiative that offer programmatic support for students considered to be at risk for attrition. Additionally, Walsh has supported SU’s commitment to diversity by designing, implementing and administering Project Link-Up, Syracuse University Challenge, the Haudenosaunee Promise Scholarship for Native Americans and the Higher Education Opportunity Program.
“Chris has been instrumental in supporting students who are a part of the Higher EducationOpportunity Program and the federal Student Support Services Program, as well as theNew York Gear-up program,” says Horace H. Smith, associate vice president for AcademicAffairs. “He has been a strong student advocate in providing mentoring and tutoring forstudents in the city school system.”
Walsh came to SU in 1980 from his alma mater, the University at Albany, where he was a financial aid advisor for two years. He worked in SU’s admissions, financial aid and central processing offices prior to becoming dean of financial aid and scholarship programs in 2001, overseeing a staff of more than 50. In 2005, New York State Gov. George Pataki reappointed Walsh to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Board of Trustees to serve as vice chairman. Among his many affiliations and past appointments, he has been a member of the NCAA Division I Academics/Eligibility/Compliance Cabinet since 2001 and a member of the National Association for Student Financial Aid since 1980.