Ninety-six percent of Bucknell first-year students return as sophomores. This is due in no small part to the excellence of our faculty.
Each year the Office of the Provost has the opportunity to recognize superior teaching skills with four awards:
Katie Faull, professor of German and humanities, received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Described as a mentor, an innovator and a role model, Faull is known for her creative teaching and scholarship, taking students well beyond their intellectual comfort zones to their lasting benefits. Since joining the faculty in 1986, she has made numerous contributions to general education and has taught Foundation Seminars, Residential College Seminars, Integrated Perspectives courses, GIS courses in the humanities, and more.
Faull also has been a generous collaborator, sharing her expertise and time with students and colleagues. Her research into local history — translating 18th-century Moravian diaries to uncover the alliance with the Iroquois Indian Tribes — extends a larger, cross-disciplinary program at the Environmental Center, highlighting the history of the Susquehanna River Valley. The quality of her scholarship has been recognized by such granting agencies as the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Er-Dong Hu, associate professor of dance, received the Class of 1956 Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching.
Described as a dance master, technical virtuoso and cross-cultural ambassador, Hu has shared his expertise with frequent guest teaching at universities here and abroad, and his choreography skills with dance commissions both national and international.
Hu joined the faculty in 1994, becoming Bucknell Dance Company concert director in 2001. Five years later, he led the Bucknell Dance Company trip to the International Ode to Peace Festival in China, the only U.S. representative invited to perform at the event.
Hu's students repeatedly reference him as one of the most inspirational professors they encountered at Bucknell, a faculty member who challenged and motivated them as dancers and individuals.
Two faculty members were recognized with the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence.
David Evans, professor of psychology, received one of two Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Evans, who joined the faculty in 1998, has been instrumental in establishing the highly successful major in neuroscience. He was lauded as "a motivating and inspiring teacher in the classroom, exceptional in his ability to engage undergraduates in challenging clinical research. He also has been a key leader in the development of the Bucknell-Geisinger collaboration, including the Geisinger-Bucknell Autism and Developmental Medicine Center.
A frequently published scholar, Evans teaches courses that require students to consider the complexity of brain-behavior relationships and develop their ethical and clinical-reasoning skills. Graduates seek his guidance and support as a mentor well beyond their time at Bucknell.
Joseph Tranquillo, associate professor of biomedical and electrical engineering, received one of two Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Nominated by colleagues in both colleges, Tranquillo is described as a passionate professor who works tirelessly and selflessly on behalf of his students and colleagues. One example of his novel teaching approach is "kinesthetic learning," in which he uses physical activities, such as passing shredded paper around the room, to demonstrate the concept of how brain signals pass from neuron to neuron.
In addition to teaching within his specialty of biomedical engineering, he also has co-taught a course in Comparative Humanities on Brain, Mind, and Culture. Since joining the faculty in 2005, he has been involved in numerous interdisciplinary projects including land-mine sniffing rats, building biomedical instruments, and a theatre project about living with autism.
Mary Beth Gray, associate professor of geology and 1984 graduate of Bucknell, received the William P. Boger Jr. M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences.
The recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies, Gray has been described as a consummate teacher scholar who teaches demanding foundational and advanced courses at the intersection of geology and engineering. She was nominated by colleagues in the geology and civil engineering departments as well as students and alumni.
Gray has supervised multiple undergraduate research projects, ranging from potentially seismically active fault zones at Yucca Mountain in Nevada to Central Appalachian tectonics. She has led many field trips and is noted for mentoring undergraduates, particularly women in the sciences and engineering.
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