The accomplishments of alumni, faculty and students were recognized at an annual College of Arts and Sciences celebration.

CAS celebration

College of Arts and Sciences events celebrates achievement, success


11:12 a.m., May 28, 2014--The University of Delaware’s College of Arts and Sciences recognized the accomplishments of alumni, faculty and students at its annual spring Celebrating Achievement and Success event.

Held Tuesday, May 20, in the Roselle Center for the Arts, this year’s celebration honored five alumni and five faculty members with college awards. Dean George Watson also recognized faculty members and students who previously received University awards and other honors this year, along with 23 promotion and tenure appointments that were announced earlier this month.

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Watson presented college Alumni Achievement Awards to:

Susan L. Buck, who received a master’s degree in 1991 from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and a doctorate in art conservation research in 2003, is a private art conservator and teacher who is widely recognized as an expert in paint and finish analysis.

Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich, who received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1983 and then earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore Law School, was formerly an assistant public defender, a prosecutor and the first lady of Maryland and now teaches criminal law. 

Matthew B. Geller, who earned his master’s degree in fine arts from UD in 1978, is a sculptor who has received numerous fellowships, grants and commissions to display his award-winning art in public spaces, as well as in museums and galleries, throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Guillermina Gonzalez-Sobrero, a 2009 graduate of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program who began her career working for multinational corporations and then took that expertise to the nonprofit sector, is executive director of the Delaware Arts Alliance and holds leadership roles in many other arts and advocacy organizations.

Lawrence M. Principe, who earned two bachelor’s degree at UD in 1983, in chemistry and in liberal studies, is an authority on the history of science and is the Drew Professor of the Humanities and director of the Charles S. Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe, both at Johns Hopkins University.

College faculty awards

The college honored five faculty members with awards for excellence in advising, scholarship, teaching and service. 

Christopher Penna, associate professor of English, received the college’s Outstanding Advising Award for his dedicated work in advising students and in using that experience to enrich their educational opportunities and to press for more innovative and effective approaches to teaching. “He is that most valuable of advisers,” Watson said, “the person who knows how the system works and the person who knows exactly what to do when the system doesn’t work.”

Tobin Driscoll, professor of mathematical sciences, received the Outstanding Scholar Award for his fundamental contributions in numerical analysis, scientific computing and software development, and applied mathematics. His widely published scholarly work has received more than 3,000 citations and has been consistently funded by the National Science Foundation. Letters supporting Driscoll’s award nomination called him “one of the most outstanding numerical analysts of his generation.”

Christine Cucciarre, assistant professor of English, was presented the college’s Outstanding Teaching Award for work that was described as passionate and “distinguished at every level — in classroom teaching, mentoring, advising, teaching across campus and service to the profession in the teaching of writing.” Cucciarre’s classroom teaching consistently receives the highest ratings from student evaluations.

“The high level of faculty service across the college made choosing one recipient for the Excellence in Service Award difficult, so this year, we settled on two,” Watson said.

Karl Booksh, professor of chemistry, was recognized for his service as “a tireless and committed advocate for students from diverse populations [who] works diligently to help minority students and those with disabilities find their way in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.” Booksh is a leader in the national scientific community on the subjects of disability and diversity in chemistry and helped produce a handbook, Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities.

Melissa Ianetta, associate professor of English and director of writing in the University Writing Center, also received the college’s Excellence in Service award, recognizing work that “has truly been exemplary, both on campus and in the larger professional community.” As director of writing for the past nine years, Ianetta has provided leadership both in required writing courses and in numerous student- and faculty-focused writing initiatives throughout the campus. 

University awards

Also at the Celebrating Achievement and Success event, Watson recognized faculty members and students who previously received University awards.

Those included three faculty members who were presented Excellence in Teaching awards at this month’s Faculty Senate meeting: Dana S. Chatellier, education specialist and instructor in chemistry and biochemistry; Iris Busch, assistant professor of German in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; and Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, assistant professor of communication.

In addition to the University’s faculty awards for teaching, two graduate students received Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching awards for their work as teaching assistants: Nadezda Anatolyevna Stepicheva, doctoral student in biological sciences; and Yiben Wang, doctoral student in chemistry and biochemistry.

Watson also recognized the graduating seniors, both with majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, who previously received awards from the UD Alumni Association as the outstanding man and woman in the Class of 2014. Ryan Leonard received this year’s Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Award, and Brielle Gerry received the Emalea Pusey Warner award.

Other accomplishments the college marked this academic year were recognized in a slide show that was featured at the celebration.

The presentations were followed by a reception, which included a performance by UD’s award-winning student a cappella group Vocal Point.

For a PowerPoint presentation about the college’s achievements and successes, click here.

Article by Ann Manser

Photos by Kevin Quinlan

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