Six Bucknell University faculty members were presented with awards that recognized their scholarly accomplishments during the 166th Commencement on Sunday, May 22.
Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
Professor Karline McLain, religious studies, received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She was honored for her broad commitment to students, colleagues and the University. McLain incorporates service-learning and writing into her teaching, and challenges her students to examine their perceptions and knowledge.
Class of 1956 Lectureship Award
The Class of 1956 Lectureship Award, which recognizes inspirational teaching, went to Professor Robert Rosenberg, English. Faculty, alumni and students describe him as a passionate teacher-scholar and a trusted mentor. Creative writing and non-creative writing majors alike praise him for his skill in critically evaluating writing while at the same time instilling in students confidence in their abilities. Rosenberg will give a lecture during the next academic year as part of the award.
Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence
Professor Michael Drexler, English, received one of two Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence. Nominated by his senior colleagues, he brings his scholarship and technological knowledge to his courses on 18th- and 19th-century American literature and specializes in the cultural study of the American Revolution through the Civil War. He is known for pushing his students' intellectual boundaries through challenging them to do their best work as well as guiding those in Bucknell's graduate program as they prepare to gain admission to doctoral programs.
Professor Bernhard Kuhn, Italian studies, also received a Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. Senior colleagues praised his work in transforming an initial offering of courses into a robust Italian studies major program. Students have described him as an innovative and creative teacher whose clear love of teaching inspires them and cultivates their knowledge.
Professor Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks, biology, received the William Pierce Boger Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences. Her colleagues laud her skill in evoking critical thinking from her students and building academic rigor into all levels of courses, as well as mentoring undergraduate researchers. "This class made me uncomfortable and confused, in the best ways possible," one student commented.
Writing Across the Curriculum Award
Initiated two years ago on the 30th anniversary of Bucknell's Writing Program, the Writing Across the Curriculum Award of Excellence honors a faculty member who demonstrates exemplary work in the teaching of writing. This year's award honors Professor Deborah Abowitz, sociology. In her career, she has taught more than 30 required undergraduate writing courses. Her colleagues cite her commitment to writing as a process and as a way for students to engage deeply with material. Abowitz helps students become better writers — and by extension, better thinkers — by focusing on essentials of strong writing, including editing, revision and precision.
Additionally, the two recipients of the 2016 Burma-Bucknell Bowl were recognized during Commencement. This award is given to University community members who have made outstanding contributions to intercultural and international understanding. The recipients were honored at a ceremony earlier in the spring.
Professor Angèle Kingué, French & Francophone studies, received the inaugural University Medal from François Rabelais University in Tours, France, in recognition of her work in promoting the exceptional partnership between Bucknell and the French university, which is home to the Bucknell en France program.
Mona Mohammed '16 graduated from Bucknell's five-year program in civil engineering and doubled-majored in women's & gender studies. She was involved with numerous student organizations, having served as an international orientation assistant and leader, the founder and executive leader of the Middle Eastern Student Association and an undergraduate executive intern.