Feb 16, 2009 staff reports Uncategorized
Five Syracuse University faculty and staff members received Chancellor’s Citations for Excellence at an awards ceremony in their honor Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management building.
The Chancellor’s Citations recognized the five individuals for faculty excellence and scholarly distinction, for academic access and support and for engaging the world, the three tenets of SU’s Scholarship in Action vision.
This year’s honorees were Shobha K. Bhatia, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science; Sari Knopp Biklen, professor and chair of the Cultural Foundations of Education program in the School of Education; Susan E. Donovan, SU dean of admissions; Tula Goenka, associate professor of television-radio-film in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication; and Gary M. Radke, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities in The College of Arts and Sciences.
Shobha K. Bhatia
Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction
As a civil engineer and a professor, Bhatia has undertaken groundbreaking work that has paved the way for new thinking and innovative practices in the engineering field, distinguishing herself as a scholar and teacher, both at the University and internationally.
Bhatia specializes in both geotechnical and geosynthetic engineering. For the past 20 years, she has engaged in broad research on topics ranging from the material characterization of soils to the application of geosynthetics and natural materials in waste containment, road and building construction, and erosion control. Her work, research techniques and tools have been utilized and emulated by scientists and practitioners in engineering and non-engineering fields.
Bhatia’s innovative work includes integrating globalization and social justice issues into collaborative research performed with professors from other disciplines. She recently participated in a research project in India that seeks to combine engineering with public policy to create sustainable opportunities as well as provide environmentally safe products for indigenous people.
“Professor Bhatia is a very special person who has devoted her life to engineering, scholarship and education,” says Samuel P. Clemence, a fellow professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “She is making a difference on so many levels, providing the ‘roads and byways’ for engineering to address current and critical needs at the local and global level.”
Eric Lui, chair of the department, agrees.
“Being colleagues of hers for the past 20 years, we have seen that her talent lies not only in innovative research with practical applications, but in her ability to cross academic boundaries and forge multidisciplinary partnerships necessary for excellent scholarship,” Lui says. “Shobha’s approach to her work is among the finest examples of faculty carrying out our overall University vision of Scholarship in Action.”
Bhatia is a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence. She is also recipient of the Women of Influence Award from SU’s Division of Student Affairs and the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Award from SU’s Graduate School. Bhatia has held numerous positions of responsibility in her field, including vice president of the North American Geosynthetics Society, and has served as a member of the Technical Committee’s Council and International Activities Committee Task Force for the Geo Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Sari Knopp Biklen
Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction
Biklen’s commitment to social justice has resulted in extraordinary contributions in the area of gender and education studies that garner her national renown and bring distinction to the University.
Biklen has been a staunch advocate for equity at SU, nationally and within her profession.
Her book “School Work: Gender and the Cultural Construction of Teaching” (Teachers College Press, 1994) demonstrated how “teacher work” is socially constructed and how historical discourses of schooling influence the complex meanings actual women teachers develop about what it means to work as teachers in schools. The book, which won the Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association, was groundbreaking in that it focused on women’s own stories as told in their own voices.
Her earlier work involved editing three influential works in the area of gender and education: “Women and Educational Leadership” (co-edited with Marilyn Brannigan, Lexington Books, 1980), “Changing Education: Women as Radicals and Conservators” (co-edited with Joyce Antler, State University of New York Press, 1990) and “Gender and Education” (co-edited with Diane Pollard, National Society for the Study of Education, 1993).
Biklen’s use of qualitative methods in her research makes her a leader in the field, as evidenced by her book “Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theories and Methods” (co-authored with Robert Bogdan, Allyn & Bacon, 2006), now in its fifth edition.
Her inclusiveness goes beyond theory: When the National Society of Education approached her to be editor of “Gender and Education,” she requested Pollard co- edit so women of color would be included in the volume and their authors represented.
“Sari really exemplifies the Chancellor’s vision of genuine inclusion and is my role model,” says Barbara Applebaum, associate professor in the cultural foundations program. “So many times she has stuck her neck out when she saw injustice. She very much advocates for others and she acts on her commitments-often doing more than is required-yet she doesn’t think of it as going beyond the call, but rather as something that has to be done.”
Her work has brought her national acclaim, with several institutions-such as the Harvard Graduate School of Education, McGill University and York University- hiring her as a consultant on various equity and education projects. She was honored as a University Scholar by the American Association of University Women and was awarded the Willystine Goodsell Award for Scholarship and Practice in Gender and Education by the American Educational Research Institute.
Biklen is a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence and director of the Institute of Popular Culture, Media Literacy and Education at SU.
Susan E. Donovan ’66, G’83
Outstanding Contributions to Academic Excellence and Support
Donovan’s dedication to Syracuse University has fundamentally helped steer the University toward achieving a stronger, more diverse student body in alignment with the institution’s long term goals and present vision of Scholarship in Action.
Donovan has worked within the University administration for 33 years, serving as dean of admissions since 2000.
Her passion for fostering diversity and access includes tangible forms of commitment, such as creating the Bridge Tour that brings New York City counselors who work with historically underrepresented students to SU; playing a key role in the implementation of the Syracuse Challenge; increasing diversity within staff members in undergraduate admissions; aggressively recruiting students from urban areas outside the Northeast; and creating and implementing a recruitment plan for Puerto Rico.
“Susan has played a key role to reshape our recruiting and our strategies to bring in a more diverse group of students and has been very successful,” says Donald A. Saleh, vice president for enrollment management. “Much of that success can be attributed to Susan’s entire staff, but it required leadership to show and help her staff understand how they needed to reshape their thinking and their behavior to better fulfill our institutional goals. As a result, I think our entire admissions staff was among the first to appreciate the Scholarship in Action message and thereby able to translate that vision into relevant language that our prospective students can understand.”
Under Donovan’s leadership, SU saw an increase of nearly 90 percent in enrollment of first-year students of color from 2003-08 and an increase in international student enrollment of more than 200 percent in the same time frame.
Donovan’s leadership extends beyond the Office of Admissions. She serves on the University Senate and over the years has served on various committees, including the Agenda Committee, the Athletic Policy Board, the Academic Pluralism Committee, the Chancellor’s Review Board for Academic Affairs and the Student Mental Health Task Force. Donovan also served as the New York state delegate to the National Association for College Admission Counseling and received the state chapter’s 2006 President’s Award for outstanding service to the organization.
Donovan’s dedication to the University is also personal: She, along with her mother, husband, brother, son and stepdaughter are all SU alumni.
Engaging the World
Through the powerful medium of film and television, Goenka found the perfect bullhorn to enlighten the world on the difficult challenges still faced by a large section of the global population, from exclusion, inequality and discrimination to social class, racial violence, gender bias and change.
Goenka is driven by the Gandhian philosophy that calls for us to be the change we want to see in the world. She incorporated this philosophy into her life long before she joined academia in 1996, participating in film and television projects that used popular media to perform public advocacy. Some of the films she worked on include Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (1989) and “Malcolm X” (1992), and Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay” (1988) and “Mississippi Masala” (1991).
Her creativity and talent in film and television continue to serve as her outlet for social justice issues while she continues to mentor and equip her students with the skills needed to have their voices and visions heard. Her work as a professor includes the award-winning “Dancing on Mother Earth” (2002), an hour-long PBS documentary produced with her former student Jim Virga G’01. The documentary follows Native American singer/songwriter Joanne Shenandoah for a year, depicting a greater human story of survival and the struggle of indigenous people for their rightful place in modern society. The documentary received much acclaim and was screened at several film festivals, including the Smithsonian Native American Film and Video Festival in December 2003.
Goenka’s work continues to incorporate the outside world into the learning experience. She has successfully worked on community-based projects such as initiating and coordinating the Illuminating Oppression: Human Rights Film Festival that created venues to facilitate dialogue and understanding about diversity and freedom of expression. She also took Newhouse students with her to India for a summer SU Abroad course titled “A Bollywood Experience: Internships in Mumbai” that placed students alongside filmmakers in production sets, providing them a firsthand opportunity to appreciate the history, aesthetics, language and process of filmmaking in India.
Goenka, who was born and raised in India, continues to be very involved in the South Asian community in America. She is a founding member of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a New York City-based organization working to end violence against women. She is currently on the board of directors of Breakthrough, an international nonprofit organization that raises human rights awareness using popular culture.
“Tula’s passion for justice and equality translate into her work and life purpose,” says Carla V. Lloyd, associate dean of scholarly and creative activity at the Newhouse School. “She has continued to advance the issues, voices and perspectives of the oppressed, downtrodden, exploited and abandoned, not only of those at Syracuse University, but in further-flung locations halfway across the globe.”
Gary M. Radke
Engaging the World
By tapping into his international connections, ingenuity and expertise in medieval and renaissance art, Radke brought Michelangelo’s work from Italy to Syracuse University’s campus and to SU’s Joseph I. Lubin House in New York City during fall 2008.
The unprecedented arrival of the exhibition, which included works never before seen on U.S. soil, highlighted Radke’s creativity, talent and collaborative nature, and his global network of colleagues. Radke worked in tandem with a team of highly respected experts, including Dottoressa Pina Ragionieri, guest curator and director of the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, Italy, and Domenic Iacono, director of the SUArt Galleries and the Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery at Lubin House.
The much-anticipated exhibition explored multiple facets of Michelangelo’s life, art and reputation, and featured more than 25 works by the master and artists contemporary to him, including 14 original works by Michelangelo. The exhibition attracted more than 26,000 visitors to both galleries.
“It takes months and months of preparation to put together an exhibition of [Michelangelo’s] scale …. the work Gary put into it, from envisioning this happening to helping coordinate the logistics, was completely impressive,” says Jeffrey Hoone, executive director of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers and executive director of Light Work, the nonprofit, artist-run photography organization and imaging center located at SU. “But what was even more impressive is that when it was finally here, it was like he was seeing it for the first time. He was never tired of it-he would discover new things in the drawings-and that’s the same kind of enthusiasm and curiosity he transfers to his students.”
Radke has also served as curator for previous distinguished exhibitions, including “The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance Masterpiece,” an exhibition that toured Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Seattle in 2007-08. He previously organized traveling exhibitions of Verrocchio’s “David Restored” (2005) and “Michelangelo: Drawings and Other Treasures from the Casa Buonarroti, Florence” (2001). A fellow of the American Academy in Rome, Radke is a prolific writer whose publications include “Viterbo: Profile of a 13th-Century Papal Palace” (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and, with John T. Paoletti, “Art in Renaissance Italy” (Laurence King and Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005), now in its third edition. Radke is also a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence and recipient of the William Wasserstrom Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.
“Professor Radke’s vision and tireless work resulted in an accomplishment that will set a standard for excellence for years to come,” Hoone says. “But the most impressive thing about Gary is that he’s really interested in exploring and has this ability to generate the kind of curiosity that leads to great discoveries that embody what good scholarship is really about.”
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