Hank Mullins, a faculty member for nearly 30 years in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), passed away in July at age 69. Mullins grew up in the Hudson Valley village…
Nine Faculty Members Recognized With Meredith Teaching Recognition Awards
Nine Syracuse University faculty members have been honored for their excellence in teaching with the Meredith Teaching Recognition Award.
In 2001, the Meredith Professorship Program was expanded to create the award, which recognizes exemplary teaching by non-tenured faculty in two areas.
The Meredith Early Performance Award recognizes faculty who have completed two years of teaching at Syracuse University. This year’s seven honorees are: Lamis Abdelaaty, assistant professor of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; Tripti Bhattacharya, Thonis Family Professor: Paleoclimate Dynamics and assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences; Jonathan French, assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; Carolyn Hedges, assistant professor of communications in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; Brittany Jakubiak, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Beth Myers, Lawrence B. Taishoff Professor of Inclusive Education and executive director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education in the School of Education; and Beth Patin, assistant professor in the iSchool.
The Meredith Continuing Excellence Award recognizes faculty who have five or more years of teaching experience at Syracuse University. This year’s two honorees are Michael Fudge, professor of practice in the iSchool, and Shannon Gardner, teaching professor in the College of Law.
Meredith Early Performance Award
Abdelaaty is also a senior research associate in the Campbell Public Affairs Institute. Her research and teaching interests include international relations, human rights and humanitarianism, and asylum and migration. Her recent book, “Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees” (Oxford University Press, 2021), asks why countries open their borders to some refugees while blocking others, and why a number of countries have given the United Nations control of asylum procedures and refugee camps on their territory. The project draws on her doctoral dissertation, which received the Best Dissertation Award from the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association. Abdelaaty’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the American Philosophical Society.
Bhattacharya’s work focuses on understanding the physical mechanisms that govern rainfall variability in the tropics and subtropics. She uses state-of-the-art methods in organic chemistry to reconstruct past rainfall, and uses climate models to pinpoint the physical drivers of climate change over geologic time. Her interdisciplinary work is at the forefront of the fields of paleoclimatology and climate physics. She teaches courses on climate dynamics and climate change, and her teaching at all levels is inspired by the goal of making complex concepts in climate science accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. Bhattacharya emphasizes a “systems approach” that conveys a holistic sense of the Earth as made up of different interacting systems that regulate long-term climate.
French teaches introductory chemistry courses in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on how to make the general chemistry classroom a more inclusive environment. He has done that by creating a learning assistant program to help support general chemistry. The program trains students, who have previously demonstrated mastery of the course, to return to the course and help facilitate active learning with the current cohort of students in general chemistry. He has worked diligently to meet students’ schedules, including moving his office hours to 8 to 9 p.m. three nights a week.
After earning master’s and doctoral degrees from the Newhouse School, Hedges worked in the industry and academe for six years before returning to Newhouse in 2017 as the inaugural director of the school’s online master’s degree program. Her experience with online instruction became a major asset to the school last spring, as faculty worked to shift to this model in the wake of the pandemic. During the summer, Hedges worked with other faculty members on a subcommittee to present best practices and advice for teaching in a hybrid format. She helped overhaul the Newhouse School’s flagship COM 107 course through the creation of course modules accessible through Blackboard and by revising the grading rubric. Liked and respected by students, Hedges consistently garners above-mean scores on student evaluations. “She kept morale up as COVID locked us down, and I am so grateful that she brought her best to every class,” says one student.
Jakubiak is a member of the Department of Close Relationships and Healthy Living Lab in the Department of Psychology and is a faculty affiliate with the Aging Studies Institute and the Center for Aging and Policy Studies. Her research is focused on interpersonal support processes that regulate stress, encourage autonomous goal pursuit, and enhance relationship quality across the lifespan. Her teaching interests relate to basic and advanced social psychology courses as well as statistics and research methods courses.
Myers is director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education and teaches in School of Education’s Inclusive Elementary program. She oversees InclusiveU, a federally recognized model program for college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is the Assistant Director for the Center on Disability and Inclusion, where she works on projects that serve students, families and teachers such as the New York Mid-State Regional Partnership Center, the School-Age and Early Childhood Family and Community Engagement Centers, and Pre-Employment and Transition Services for Students with Disabilities. Myers has provided school consultations for, and staff development to, over 60 school districts. She has been the faculty liaison to the Syracuse City School District for the SUITR Program, a master’s residency program in urban special education. Her book, “Autobiography on the Spectrum: Disrupting the Autism Narrative,” was published in 2019 by Teachers College Press.
While Patin has received the award for early career excellence, she joined the iSchool with more than 20 years of teaching experience with every age from preschool to doctoral students. She currently teaches LIS 511, the introductory library professions course, and a class on cultural competency. Her research focuses on the equity of information in two research streams: crisis informatics and cultural competence. She is the co-founder of the Library Information Investigative Team research group. Currently, she is working on projects about epistemicide and critical community resilience and the roles libraries play during crisis. She is a member of the Advisory Board on the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.
Meredith Continuing Excellence Award
Fudge’s areas of research and teaching center around digital transformation and the impact of information technology on society, with a focus on how systems, software, data and technical architectures contribute to the transformation of organizational models and processes that affect everyday lives. He is faculty advisor for the NEXIS (New Explorations in Information Sciences) Lab and mentors students in independent study projects. Fudge is a member of the Center for Emerging Network Technologies (CENT) Lab, where he studies the technology infrastructures necessary to support digital transformation. He brings to the classroom more than 25 years of career experience and 20 years of teaching experience, and has extensive depth of knowledge in databases/data warehouses, systems administration and software development. He teaches courses that compliment his expertise in Python programming, databases, data warehousing, NoSQL and Cloud. He became an AWS Educate Cloud Ambassador in 2020.
Gardner has been a member of the College of Law faculty since 2010. She teaches a number of legal writing classes in the Juris Doctor (J.D.) program and Introduction to the American Legal System in the Master’s of Law (LL.M.) program. As part of the international program, she has taught courses on the American legal system around the world, including in Lebanon and Italy, and presented at conferences regarding teaching American law to international students. Gardner is a past recipient of the Lex Lucet Mundum Award, chosen by LL.M. students to recognize the professor who has made a significant impact on the successes and experiences of the LL.M. students during their studies.