June 24, 2004


LEWISBURG, Pa. — Twelve members of the Bucknell University faculty, staff, and administration were honored during commencement ceremonies at Bucknell in May.

They were: Thomas Cassidy, assistant professor of mathematics; Kari Conrad, director of Campus Activities and Programs; Jackson Hill, professor of music; Katharyn Nottis, associate professor of education; Jerome Rackoff, director of Institutional Research and Assessment; Gary Snyder, custodial section supervisor; Donald Stechschulte Jr., director of Student Health Services; Peggy Straub, telecommunications specialist, Information Services and Resources; Paul Susman, associate professor of geography; Marianne Torza, assistant director, International Education; Carol White, associate professor of religion; and Connie Yoder, academic coordinator, Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

In addition, the late Danna Frangione, associate professor of dance, was honored posthumously with the Harriman Award for Contributions to the Intellectual Life of the University.

Cassidy and Susman each received Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence. Created in 1998, the award enables the university to recognize the very high achievement attained by faculty members who demonstrate reputable integrity in the art of teaching.

Cassidy, who joined the university in 1999, was cited for combining "his mathematical insight with wit, as well as an ability to make anything mathematical sound interesting. Students report he is a dynamic, talented lecturer. His lectures are models of clarity and precision."

Susman, who joined the faculty in 1980, was recognized for his pedagogy, which "incorporates active and collaborative learning and often includes service-learning components. He challenges students to think differently and to integrate what they have learned into their personal lives."

Conrad and Rackoff each received the Walter C. Geiger Memorial Award for Administrative Excellence. The award honors Walter Geiger, who served as director of the Bucknell physical plant for 21 years until his retirement in 1978.

Cited for her consistent, dedicated, and exceptional service in her role as associate dean of students/director of campus activities," Conrad is described as "an enthusiastic, energetic leader who is a role model for staff as well as students. This enthusiasm and dedication has, in particular, served as motivation for students to assume greater responsibility for their overall growth and development."

Rackoffwas honored for "his outstanding service to the campus community, most recently demonstrated in his work leading the Middle States accreditation and the Presidential Search. His leadership in these two critical initiatives was absolutely essential to their success."

Hill, who joined the faculty in 1968, received the Harriman Award for Contributions to the Intellectual Life of the University in recognition of his extraordinary achievement as a musician and composer. He is the recipient of 38 composition prizes and awards, including annual ASCAP awards, as well as a Grammy Award nomination this past spring for his work, "Voices of Autumn" recorded by Chanticleer.

Frangione, who directed the Bucknell dance program for 14 years before her death in 2002, was honored posthumously for her contributions which include the renovation of Tustin Gym into a dance studio, the implementation of a dance minor degree, the introduction of the studio concert and choreographers showcase and adding to the university's curriculum .

Nottis received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Established in 1960 and funded by the Lindback Foundation of Philadelphia, the award honors professors who make outstanding contributions towards the community, particularly through teaching With the university since 1995, Nottis was lauded for her "extraordinary commitment to students in supporting their academic, intellectual and professional development. She stimulates students' curiosity and excitement about the material, in part, because her own enthusiasm for teaching and for learning is contagious."

White received the Class of 1956 Lectureship, given annually to recognize inspirational teaching. With the university since 1992, White specializes in the philosophy of religion. She was cited for "critical intelligence, inspiring creativity, an impressive breadth of knowledge and consistent excellence" through which she "motivates student to master complex religious and philosophical ideas." She will give a lecture during the academic year.

Stechschulte and Torza each received the Burma-Bucknell Award for Promoting Intercultural and International Understanding. The award recognizes those in the university community who contribute significantly to the ideal of brotherhood, and promote international understanding.

Torza was honored for her work with students planning to study abroad, "making international education a hallmark of the Bucknell experience across all departments of the university including the initiative to create study abroad opportunities for engineers."

Stechschulte was recognized for his work not only with Bucknell students but with the Bucknell Brigade to Nicaragua. He has provided medical assistance in clinics built by Bucknell students and staff to residents of Nueva Vida on each of the 10 trips since the first Brigade trip in 1999 following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch.

Gary Snyder, Peggy Straub and Connie Yoder each received the John F. Zeller Award for Support Staff Excellence. Inaugurated in 1995, the award honors John Zeller, a 1941 Bucknell graduate who served as vice president for business and fiscal affairs, general counsel, and acting president of Bucknell before his retirement in 1986.

Snyder was lauded for "providing services that are crucial to the day-to-day operations of the Kenneth Langone Athletics and Recreation Center" as well as the 26 varsity programs, the multiple recreational activities that occur across all facilities, and the non-athletic events that serve the students, staff, alumni, and other community groups."

Straub was honored for her "adaptability, versatility and exceptional service to her department and the Bucknell community. Her current set of responsibilities in the telephone office include serving as the help desk for telephone services, taking care of billing system data, running call records, and ensuring the bills are prepared in accordance with policies and procedures."

Yoder was recognized for providing "not only administrative support for the Deans, but also information and direction to the constant flow of students, parents, faculty, and staff who call or visit the office. She has assumed a great deal of responsibility for the course guide and the faculty adviser handbook, two critical publications that support many constituent groups."

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