Six College of Arts and Sciences faculty were recognized for excellence in service and advising when the college hosted its annual faculty awards dinner March 30 in the University Center’s Asa Packer dining room.
“I continue to be inspired by the service activities produced by our faculty,” said Donald Hall, dean of the college. “Lehigh’s reputation for academic excellence is not possible without the passion and commitment of our faculty. As I reviewed the nominees for recognition in our three different college sectors— arts/humanities, natural sciences/mathematics, and social sciences—I was extremely impressed with the contributions these faculty have made toward the college’s academic mission.”
Three faculty— James Peterson, James Roberts, and Kelly Austin—were recognized for their service to college.
Peterson, associate professor of English and director of the Africana studies program, was cited for his work increasing the visibility of Africana studies, both on and off campus, his commitment to chairing or co-chairing nine search committees, co-chairing Lehigh’s Martin Luther King committee and being instrumental in being provocative programing to campus, and spearheading the successful funding for Black Publics/Lived Experience: Africana Studies and the Public Humanities at Lehigh University, the $500,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Roberts, associate professor and vice chair of chemistry, serves as sole Head Usher, assisting the University Marshal at university events such as commencement, doctoral hooding ceremonies, Founders’ Day, Honors Convocation, and Presidential installations. He served head liaison with the university’s technology services during an upgrade of the networking system in Mudd building, overseeing the installation of more than 900 cables in the building and ensuring connections for every room in the building, and serves as chair of the department’s safety committee. At the college level, he serves as an advising mentor and is a member of Alpha Chi Sigma, a national professional organization supporting the chemistry profession. Roberts is also a member of the Lehigh Philharmonic Orchestra, playing in the French horn and trumpet sections. He also performs with various community musical organizations, and serves as scoutmaster for a local troop.
Austin is assistant professor of sociology and director of the health, medicine and society program. She is also a core faculty member of global studies, sustainable development, and women, gender and sexuality studies. She co-chairs the Grants for Experiential Learning in Health committee, coordinated three joint faculty hires, spearheaded the effort the create the HMS major and created an internship program for HMS minors. Austin also serves as a member of the Health College committee.
Also presented were the Schaufeld Awards for Advising Excellence. These awards are made possible through the generosity of Lehigh alums Fred and Karen Schaufeld. Fred is class of 1981 and Karen is Class of 1983. Karen holds a B.A. in English and Government, serves as a member of the college’s dean’s advisory council, and is a trustee to the university. This award recognizes extraordinary efforts in undergraduate student advising. Faculty receiving the awards were are Gordon Bearn, Susan Zczepanski, and Jessecae Marsh.
Gordon Bearn is professor of philosophy. He is known for working with students outside the classroom as well as inside, and within the department he advises half of the majors and he regularly advises at least one senior thesis student, and has advised as many as three in one year. Bearn regularly advises independent student projects and is advisor to the undergraduate philosophy club.
Susan Szczepanski, associate professor of mathematics, was cited for her work advising more than 30 non-majors over last two years, many of whom declare a math major and study with her. Szczepanski serves as content specialist and mentor to College of Education students who are pursuing Pennsylvania Department of Education certification and serves as adviser for the Lehigh chapter of the mathematics honors society Pi Mu Epsilon.
Jessecae Marsh, assistant professor of psychology, not only engages in traditional advising of psychology majors, but does a great deal of advising for the fast-growing Health, Medicine, and Society program. She will be assuming the director’s position this summer. She often joins department chair Gordon Moskowitz to meet with parents who are visiting campus with children who are considering Lehigh, taking the time to discuss the department’s curriculum. She also serves as faculty advisor for the undergraduate psychology club and the external honors society Psi Chi.