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  • About the Faculty

    What lies at the heart of a Le Moyne education? Our faculty. They don’t just know their fields; they know their students. They work side by side with them, encouraging, challenging and inspiring them every day. They can speak to their students’ successes in the classroom, and to their dreams for the future. These educators – including Fulbright scholars, award-winning authors, and highly regarded researchers – spark their students’ imaginations. They teach them to ask questions, to think deeply, and to look beyond the apparent. In addition, they model what it means to do well by doing good through their engagement with communities locally and abroad, working to improve early childhood literacy in Syracuse and to combat AIDS in the Republic of South Sudan. Le Moyne faculty members are innovative leaders and engaged scholars who see teaching and learning for what they truly are: deeply human interactions.


    2018 Faculty Convocation Award Recipients

    At this annual spring tradition, the College community gathers to honor outstanding faculty achievement and provide recognition for faculty contributions to teaching, advising, mentoring, scholarly work and service that benefit Le Moyne's students. The honorees for 2018, along with the information and individuals citations, are listed below.

    Lawrence Tanner, Ph.D. - The Joseph C. Georg Endowed Professorship
    Jennifer Glancy
    The Joseph C. Georg Endowed Professorship, funded by the estate of Joseph C. Georg and intended to encourage and support scholarly research, was first awarded in 1991. This professorship is available to tenured faculty in any department of the College and runs for a period of three years.

    The 2018 recipient of Georg Professorship is Lawrence H. Tanner, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Science Systems at Le Moyne. As part of this professorship, Dr. Tanner will research a project titled "Iceland vs. Climate Change." This project could be thought of as a study of how climate change is affecting the ecology ​and environment of Iceland, and how Iceland's ​environment ​is fighting back. Funds will be used for travel to Iceland to conduct field research for three seasons, with money also supporting travel for Le Moyne students who will assist in this research.

    Dr. Tanner has a passionate concern for the Earth's rapidly changing environment. He encourage​s solidarity between environmental action groups and faith traditions in addressing these concerns. The realization that modern climate change and habitat loss are already having a significant impact on ecology drives his research with Le Moyne students investigating changes in soil and forest structure and carbon cycle dynamics in both laboratory experiments and field research in such diverse locations as Iceland and Costa Rica. His lab includes analytical equipment for studying rock and soil compositions (Bruker D2 Phaser X-ray diffractometer, Leco Truspec CN analyzer and JEOL JSM-6510LV scanning electron microscope). For studies of carbon flux we have a Li-Cor 8100 soil CO2 chamber system.

    Much of his professional work focuses on the paleogeography and paleoclimate of the Mesozoic world (probably a consequence of a childhood fascination with dinosaurs). His current research in this area examines the environmental conditions (climatic, atmospheric, etc.) as dinosaurs rose to ascendancy in the Late Triassic, the record and causes of extinctions for the early Mesozoic, and the global environmental processes responsible for mass extinctions in general. Primarily, this research is conducted through field studies (sedimentology and stratigraphy) of early Mesozoic formations in the Four Corners area ​of the American Southwest and the Canadian Maritimes.

    A secondary interest is in volcanology, particularly the recognition of volcanic processes through the study of volcanoclastic deposits. Most of his work in this area has been concentrated on the volcanoes of southern Italy (Etna, Stromboli and the Iblean Plateau of Sicily), where he has worked for some years with Dr. Sonia Calvari of the INGV in Catania, Sicily. He is also deeply interested in the effects on the climate and environment of large-scale volcanic eruptions, such as those of large igneous provinces.
    The Julia and Thomas Lanigan Distinguished Chair in Medicine and Ethics at Le Moyne College was funded through the generosity of Thomas L. Lanigan ‘60. This position will strengthen and enrich the intellectual life of Le Moyne College and its Jesuit tradition, while simultaneously bringing significant prestige to the College. It will run for a period of three years.

    Recipients will have expertise in medicine, with interdisciplinary interests in social issues, law, literature, and ethics. The chair will develop projects that engage students through either research, experiential learning, and/or by inviting a scholar to campus each academic year.

    Professor Springston articulated a plan to promote community wide awareness of vulnerable populations affected by various disorders. Specifically, she plans to promote interdisciplinary collaboration by implementing unique programming to address mental health and substance abuse disorders that are negatively affecting our community.

    This year Professor Springston has arranged several scholarly endeavors to enhance knowledge about mental health and substance abuse issues. Students and faculty attended two performances at Syracuse Stage, one featured a boy with autism and the other included a family whose mother suffered from bipolar disorder. After each performance, the students participated in facilitated discussions about the impact of mental health disorders on the individual and the family. In March, over 100 students attended a panel discussion about the opioid epidemic. In April, many students and others attended a presentation by Dr. Martin Kohn about the role of “big data” in clinical decision-making.

    In her first year as Lanigan Chair, Professor Springston has enriched and strengthened the intellectual life of Le Moyne by engaging in scholarship concerning interdisciplinary issues in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence. Plans for the next two years are underway and we look forward to many more thought provoking, engaging, and creative scholarly events.
    Mary Zampini
    There is an old American adage that warns us to be careful of what we wish for. Back at the beginning of the century, we hired Dr. Mary Zampini as a sorely needed specialist in linguistics, and that is precisely what happened to us.

    For, not only has Mary served our department as chair and instructor with distinction, but, from day one, she has strived to improve the quality of students’ lives both inside and outside the classroom, embodying the Jesuit ideal of being men and women for others that drives our mission. In 2007, on her own initiative, she pioneered the integration of service learning into our courses by engaging with the MANOS Program at Seymour Elementary School in Syracuse, motivating the rest of us in the department to follow her lead.

    Mary has served the College on the Student Conduct Hearing Board, where she helps provide guidance and constructive learning experiences for the students involved. More importantly, while fulfilling her duties as chair of the department, she joined, and became co-chair, of another labor-intensive committee: the Institutional Review Board. There she keeps a vigilant eye over the ethical treatment of human subjects in research projects and has become a valuable resource for an increasing number of students and faculty members, many from the professional programs, who engage in such projects, to ensure they comply with federal guidelines while also identifying training opportunities for them.

    In recognition of her outstanding service and commitment to others as an educator, Le Moyne College is proud to confer upon Mary L. Zampini, Ph.D, The Rev. Robert E. O’Brien S.J. Service Award.

    Josefa Alvarez
    Josefa (Pepa) Alvarez, Ph.D., is a scholar of 20th and 21st century Spanish poets and is widely considered the leading expert on the poetry of Aurora Luque. In her work, Dr. Alvarez has a particular interest in examining aspects of the classical tradition in modern poetry, which draws on her background in Hispanic philology. Among her accomplishments, she has written a monograph; edited two books, including an anthology of Aurora Luque's poetry; and published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

    Dr. Alvarez is praised by her peers for her lucid writing style and the breadth and depth of her theoretical knowledge and critical analyses. Her 2013 book on the poetry of Aurora Luque, Tradición clásica en la poesía de Aurora Luque: Figuras, formas e ideas, has been called "groundbreaking." Similarly, Dr. Ana Merino, Spanish poet and 2016 Collegiate Scholar at the University of Iowa, has said that Dr. Alvarez's Fabricación de las islas is the best anthology of Luque's work and required reading for scholars in the field.

    Recently, Dr. Alvarez was invited to join an international research project on happiness and literature at the University of Salamanca in Spain and was elected as a member of the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the same university.

    Finally, Dr. Alvarez has worked tirelessly to bring well-known and award- winning Spanish poets and other artists to campus for public presentations and class visits. These events have benefitted the Le Moyne community and enhanced Le Moyne's reputation in Spain.

    For her outstanding contributions to research, Le Moyne College is proud to name Josefa Alvarez, Ph.D. The Rev. Richard M. McKeon S.J., Scholar of the Year.

    Devon Kenney
    Snips, snails and puppydog tails? Not exactly. More like fish, snails, worms, parasites ... and microsatellites. These are all elements of the research in population genetics performed by Le Moyne students under Dr. Devon Keeney’s close supervision. Devon actually began mentoring undergraduates in research during his postdoctoral work in New Zealand. Since setting up his research lab at Le Moyne, he has mentored a stream of undergraduate research students. Of the 10 students (now alumni) Devon mentored in the past nine years, five are currently in, or have completed, Ph.D. programs and one is working currently as a research scientist. Another recent student landed a summer research position in Costa Rica using the skills he learned in Devon’s lab. This level of success in sending students on to graduate programs in basic research is remarkable, given the number of biology majors aiming for careers in the health professions. Indeed, three of Devon’s research students have gone on to medical or dental school, but some now in Ph.D. programs originally planned on medical school until they discovered the excitement of basic research. Not only has he successfully seduced such students to “the dark side” (i.e., real science), but Devon’s students leave well prepared for the rigor of working in research labs at top-notch universities, industry and international labs.

    Along with mentorship of his own research students, Devon’s commitment to undergraduate research is evident in his long and outstanding service on the Student Research Committee (SRC). Devon has been a member of that committee since 2009, his second year at Le Moyne College, and has been chair of the SRC since 2015. During his tenure that committee has seen continued expansion in the number of students both applying for SRC funding and presenting their research on campus during Student Scholars Day. The latter is an annual daylong event run by the SRC that has been thriving under Devon’s dedicated oversight.

    Much like Lou De Gennaro himself, Devon shares with his research students the “ah-ha” of discovery, the joys and frustrations of experimental science, and the excitement of presenting their work both at Le Moyne and to the broader scientific community. Dr. Devon Keeney is a stellar example of Le Moyne’s commitment to undergraduate research, continually supporting research students. He does this not only with those in his own lab, but also through his work on the SRC with many others in the diverse disciplines across this campus.

    For his excellence in mentoring and supporting undergraduate research, Le Moyne College is proud to present to Devon B. Kenney, Ph.D., The Louis D. DeGennaro Ph.D. Undergraduate Mentor Award.

    As a dedicated part-time instructor of chemistry for more than 20 years, Rachael Henriques Porter has generously shared her talents and enthusiasm with her students and colleagues. She contributes to the first- and second-year curricula with energetic enthusiasm and high expectations. She constantly modifies her instruction to meet the needs of all students. She occasionally brings candy to lecture courses, tossing out rewards to the students who thoughtfully answer her questions. If candy were allowed in the labs, she would likely do the same in those courses.

    Rachael’s apparently endless office hours are heroic and a hallmark of her dedication to her students. She supports their efforts and cheers their successes, no matter how incremental the progress may seem to them. She inspires students to achieve more than they thought possible, while showing compassion for their challenges. The rapport she develops with students is enviable, often building relationships that extend outside the classroom and last for years.

    She is a valued colleague, often contributing creative ideas to discussions on pedagogy and curricular development. She responds to every departmental request with cheerful generosity.

    For her many years of imaginative teaching and resourceful support of students and colleagues alike, Le Moyne College is honored to recognize Rachael G.H. Porter as the Outstanding Part-Faculty Member of the Year.


    Their Work


    Photo Delia Popescu

    Delia Popescu

    / 2016

    Ultimately politics is about creativity.

    View Story
    Photo Jason Luscier

    Jason Luscier

    / 2016

    It feels pretty incredible to have my inspiration come full circle in such a way

    View Story
    Photo Douja Mamelouk

    Douja Mamelouk

    / 2016

    Douja Mamelouk, Ph.D., learned to move between three languages with ease.

    View Story
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecte adipiscing elit. Early Childhood Literacy

    For five years, Le Moyne professors and students have sought to answer this question: If the parents of very young children were regularly provided with books at no cost, would they spend more time reading to their sons and daughters? -

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecte adipiscing elit. Researching the Rainforest in Costa Rica

    Earlier this year, Environmental Science Systems Professor Larry Tanner and two Le Moyne students traveled to Costa Rica to study the carbon dynamics of reforestation in the mountain cloud forests of the Central American country.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecte adipiscing elit. A Global Approach to Business Education

    The Madden School is utilizing the network of nearly 200 Jesuit colleges and universities from around the world to educate its students.

    Faculty Spotlight

    Why We Do What We Do

    What do a Mark Twain scholar, a biochemist, and a filmmaker have in common? What motivates them – or any of us, for that matter – in their work? And why is that motivation – that thing which moves them to reread one of Twain’s stories (again), return to the lab to study a cell’s development, or continue to search for the perfect shot – important? Read our stories

    A Way of Life

    "If you want to love your work - and you do, if you want to be a good teacher, because love is contagious - you sometimes need to reflect on why you fell in love with it in the first place." - Miles Taylor, Ph.D., associate professor of English