Dear Colleagues, Next Monday, Jan. 24, we begin the spring semester. This will be the fifth semester that we will be doing our work under the frustration and exhaustion that comes from enduring this seemingly never-ending pandemic. While I think…
Four Faculty Members Honored as Meredith Professors of Teaching Excellence
Two cohorts of the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship of Teaching Excellence have been named this year.
The 2020-23 Meredith Professors are Melissa Chessher, professor and chair of magazine, news and digital journalism in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and Elisa Macedo Dekaney, associate dean of research, graduate studies and internationalization in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and professor of music education in VPA and the School of Education. Their Meredith terms will run from 2021-24.
The 2021-24 Meredith Professors are Tina Nabatchi, Joseph A. Strasser Endowed Professor in Public Administration and professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School, and Margaret Voss, associate professor of nutrition and food studies in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.
Over the last 20 years, Melissa Chessher has taught more than 100 courses to nearly 2,000 students at the Newhouse School. She serves as the faculty adviser for five campus publications and frequently teaches courses devoted to magazine article writing and the creation of multimedia projects. Student work for these classes has earned significant, national awards from Hearst, Broadcast Educators Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Chessher has established partnerships to diversify the industry through the creation of fellowships for students of color, and she serves as chair of the Newhouse School’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) Committee. As department chair, she helped shepherd the merger of the magazine program with the newspaper and online journalism program and helped reshape the curriculum to meet the demands of 21st-century journalism through the use of technology, hands-on experiences and professional projects that earn industry recognition. For her Meredith project, Chessher has proposed a collaborative project that pairs students in Nottingham High School’s audio class with students, professors and Newhouse alumni; provides Nottingham students with equipment and software; and trains them to create audio diaries chronicling their senior year.
Elisa Macedo Dekaney
In addition to her administrative role as VPA’s associate dean of research, graduate studies and internationalization, Elisa Macedo Dekaney teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of choral music, music education, music research and world music. Her courses are purposefully developed to incorporate multiple music forms from various time periods and locales. She has designed, implemented and delivered several unique courses, including Music and Genocide; Culture, Music and Food of Brazil and World Music and the Interdisciplinary Curriculum.
Dekaney is the co–founder and director of Samba Laranja: the popular Syracuse University Brazilian Ensemble, which is open to all students across the University. Recently, she has served as the conductor for the Syracuse University Concert Choir and the Syracuse University Women’s Choir. She is an active researcher, clinician and choral conductor in the United States and abroad, and her studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Her my most recent book, “Music at the Intersection of Brazilian Culture: An Introduction to Music, Race and Food” (Routledge, 2021), is an attempt to introduce Brazilian music through a decolonized approach. For her Meredith project, Dekaney aims to unpack the social construction of knowledge through the lenses of critical social justice by re-conceptualizing music curricula and critique practices through students’ agency.
Tina Nabatchi, director of the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) in the Maxwell School, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of public administration and an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Her research focuses on citizen participation, collaborative governance, conflict resolution and challenges in public administration. She teaches in multiple Maxwell degree programs, including the master in public administration (M.P.A.), the Ph.D. in public administration, and the online executive master of public administration (E.M.P.A.). She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, monographs and papers, and has authored or edited three books.
A leader in online education in the Maxwell School, Nabatchi chaired the academic oversight committee for the school’s online E.M.P.A. through 2U. For her Meredith Project, Nabatchi has proposed developing an 18-credit interdisciplinary undergraduate online minor in conflict and collaboration, as well as an online workshop series aimed at a wide variety of professionals working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Margaret Voss is also a faculty affiliate in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience. She teaches courses in nutritional biochemistry, nutritional genomics and metabolism at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Her academic specialty is vertebrate metabolism and physiological ecology, and she has a specific interest in how humans change their environment and the consequent health repercussions for both human and non-human vertebrates.
Voss is a supporting partner of the One Health Initiative, a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Throughout her career, Voss has included students in her research and has been active as a student advisor. She has also been an innovator in the classroom, developing online classes early in the online teaching movement and adopting technology to support and complement in-person instruction. For her Meredith project, Voss will develop a website with experiments based in biochemistry that can be conducted online with materials found in most kitchens. Each module will be paired with case studies, videos and other instructional materials.