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Faculty Convocation at Le Moyne College Honors Academic Excellence

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Le Moyne College celebrated faculty excellence at its spring convocation ceremony, held Thursday, April 15, in the Campus Center, by presenting several awards.

Before presenting the awards, Dr. Linda LeMura, provost and vice president for academic affairs, addressed the gathering. “I believe strongly that liberal arts become even more crucial to our common future in uncertain times such as these … The distinctiveness of a Jesuit liberal arts education is to guide our students to discern their greatest gifts and how best to use them in the promotion of a more just society.” (View full text of Dr. LeMura's remarks.)

The Francis J. Fallon, S.J. Endowed Professorship was presented to Donald C. Maldari, S.J., associate professor of religious studies. One of four endowed professorships at Le Moyne, it is a three-year professorship. In awarding the professorship, the review committee called Maldari’s scholarship “original, courageous and impressive.” He plans to work on a book about the ministerial crisis in the Church that the committee said would “be a crucially important contribution to contemporary debates” about the crisis. They additionally said, “Father Maldari’s efforts in his scholarship to break down the distinctions between the laity and the clergy, informed by his belief that a cooperative rather than competitive model of organization must inform changes in conceptions of the clergy and the future of the Church, will result in groundbreaking scholarship and will make Father Maldari a nationally, perhaps even internationally, known theologian. We feel that the Fallon will facilitate Fr. Maldari’s research and scholarship by creating a forum in which he can complete his important book project and continue to be a productive and engaged scholar-teacher at Le Moyne.” The committee also remarked on Father Maldari’s service, saying that “as a matter of course, he goes above and beyond, in his ministering to the students and his commitment to social causes and social justice in every realm.”

The Michael D. Madden Professorship in Business was awarded to Ronald H. Wright, professor of business administration, and is also a three-year professorship. Wright is the author of numerous articles, based on technical methodology he has developed that has the potential to change how performance is evaluated in business, industry and government. He was recently awarded an E-Professorship by the Syracuse Campus Community Entrepreneurship Initiative for his work in developing new courses. Wright served on the Technological Advisory Group to the research and development department of Niagara Mohawk. He also collaborated with the Maxwell School at Syracuse University on their Government Performance Project, working with several faculty and graduate students to build an artificial intelligence system that would evaluate the financial management of the 50 states and one to evaluate human resources management, one of the first successful non-engineering applications of fuzzy logic.

Also honored:

Michael J. Streissguth, professor of communication and film studies, as The Rev. Richard M. McKeon, S.J. Scholar of the Year
Streissguth is the author of five books and author and editor of two others. His biography of Johnny Cash, published in 2006, is regarded as the authoritative text on the life of this American cultural icon. (View Streigssguth's CV here.)

David A. Craig, associate professor of physics, as The Rev. Msgr. A. Robert Casey Teacher of the Year
Craig was honored for leading a comprehensive renewal of the physics curriculum, courses and laboratories. He re-invigorated upper-level physics courses and spearheaded the creation of a popular pre-engineering program.

Theresa L. Beaty, associate professor of chemistry, with The Louis D. DeGennaro, Ph.D. Undergraduate Mentor Award
Beaty has fostered undergraduate research at Le Moyne, providing her students with one-on-one motivation, encouragement and guidance. As a result of her inspirational mentoring, many of her students have gone on to doctoral study in the sciences.

Patrick J. Lawler, adjunct instructor of English, as Outstanding Part-time Faculty Member of the Year
Lawler has been inspiring students at Le Moyne for over 20 years. He is the author of three award-winning collections of poetry and a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has supported extracurricular student creative endeavors by organizing readings of student-authored plays and has supervised honors theses of student creative writers. The award is given to adjuncts who have furthered the mission of Le Moyne, while also serving as practitioners, scholars and teachers in their fields of academic expertise.

Susan L. Scharoun, associate professor of psychology, as the Beatrice Robinson, Ph.D. Advisor of the Year
Scharoun has mentored scores of students, including a large number through the challenging process of applying to graduate school. She has used her knowledge and skills to support students with disabilities and their families, advocating for their rights and helping them maximize their academic potential. She regularly meets with students with disabilities from all disciplines, demonstrating her strong commitment to social justice for individuals challenged with disabilities.


posted on: 4/23/2010